Subject-Matter Experts (SMEs) can now quickly generate high-quality online courses using modern, user-friendly, rapid authoring tools. The software program that lets users create learning content and courses using text, media, and engagement is known as an eLearning authoring tool. Such content is generally created for use in LMS apps and can be saved in a variety of formats.
To use the software, a user isn’t required to have any technical programming knowledge.
Elearning authoring tools are typically pre-programmed and deliver a ready-to-use interface with templates, tools, media, interactions, and tests that the user can manipulate and arrange.
Authoring tools are generally classified into three categories. Let’s look at what they are and what their pros and cons are:
- Cloud Based Authoring Tools:
Simply put, cloud-based authoring tools are available online and do not require any software to be installed on your computer. These tools are ideal for remote teams and content creators who work on multiple devices.
- Because all assets are stored in a central library, there is no duplication of work and no lost content.
- No out-of-date content
- Update a variety of courses at the same time with ease.
- Version control and rollback to previous versions
- There is no software to configure or install
- Compatible across multiple platforms
- Sharing of content and media resources among all projects
- Collaboration in real-time with a faster review workflow
- Backup and file management is automated.
- Can be accessed anytime, anyplace
Data theft may be a concern for organizations that store sensitive information. To ensure data security, most service providers offer security protocols and advanced encryption features.
- Desktop Installed Authoring Tools
Locally hosted authoring tools require you to download and install desktop eLearning authoring tools on your computer. It can be a daunting task if your company has a lockdown policy, which means you must first speak with your IT department and obtain permission before installing the software. It can also be time-intensive and necessitate a large amount of hard drive space.
- Advanced features and increased flexibility.
- Can handle a wide range of tasks.
- Have asset libraries perfect for rapid eLearning development
- Greater flexibility necessitates a steeper learning curve.
- Many older desktop tools struggle with interactive design concepts as well. They were created before smartphones and, as a result, frequently provide a subpar user experience for courses on mobile devices such as tablets and mobile phones.
- PowerPoint Plug-ins
PowerPoint includes standard features that can transform it into an effective eLearning authoring tool. A PowerPoint add-in typically appears in PowerPoint as a separate tab.
These tools are typically very simple to use, and anyone familiar with PowerPoint can quickly learn how to use them. Because of their low learning curve, they can create online learning courses almost instantly.
- Because courses are created in PowerPoint, they frequently lack the powerful features found in other eLearning authoring tools.
- Courses are typically linear, with a traditional ‘click next to continue the slide-based approach.
- Advanced features such as branching are frequently not supported.
- They also tend to create non-responsive courses, which are best viewed on a desktop or laptop computer.
- Specialized Media Tools
These tools specialize in one type of content creation, such as video or motion graphics. They are typically used in conjunction with several e-learning tools. You could, for example, make a video with one tool, edit it in another, and then broadcast it on your LMS.
Because of their focus solely on a single type of content creation, these tools provide many advanced media features, which can be beneficial if your organization has a preference for a specific e-learning format. Compatibility issues may arise, however, because these tools more often does not depend heavily on your other e-learning programs and software to produce the final product. Universal e-learning formats such as SCORM help to minimize compatibility problems, but incompatibility remains a risk that must be avoided.
- Innovative media features due to their concentrated focus on one type of content
- The content you create will be compliant with other e-learning tools if it exports to SCORM.
- The user interface is more complex.
- Because highly specialized media tools lack hosting capabilities, they must rely on other e-learning tools.
There are tons of excellent eLearning authoring tools on the market, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. The authoring tool’s functionality is entirely dependent on your organization’s specific eLearning program requirements.