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Published on:
March 12, 2021

LMS Course Authoring Tools Buyers Guide

Review the course authoring tools available and discover which is right for your organization.

There are many sophisticated course authoring tools in the market, choosing one can be quite a headache. How do you know which one will address your organization’s training needs? Need not worry. This guide will give you all the detailed information you need to choose that one particular course authoring solution that your instructors and learners will love.

The success of elearning starts with having the basic things right. This means that your business should invest in the best tools for your industry. The first and most important thing is a powerful learning management system (LMS).

If you intend to create SCORM or xAPI course content, a quality course authoring tool is also a must-have. Some LMSs come with inbuilt course authoring tools while others have to rely on third-party tools to do the job.

Whichever the case, a course authoring tool is important for your business. In this buyer’s guide, we will look at several elements and features of course authoring tools. We will also review some of the best tools in the market to help you find the perfect solution for your elearning needs.


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What is an eLearning Course Authoring Tool?

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A course authoring tool is a software program designed for content creators to develop elearning courses. It is mostly paired with a learning management system to create and arrange content in a standardized structure. The structure is then exported in several formats such as SCORM or xAPI learning standards.

In elearning, the most common output is SCORM format. Specifically, SCORM 1.2 is the most widely used learning standard. Using authoring tools, you create ZIP packages that are easily uploaded to your SCORM-conformant LMS.

A course authoring tool can be instruction-focused, template-focused, programming or web creation tool, knowledge-capturing system, and text-based file authoring tool. It can also be as easy as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint processor, or as complex as a graphic design tool.

These tools help instructional designers and content creators to develop and manipulate components for an elearning course’s intended purpose. In eLearning, an authoring tool is used to create digital courses and is mostly used by L&D (Learning and Development) personnel to design and develop learning material.

Course authoring tools can either be advanced and highly-specialized or simple and basic. Your LMS can also have its own built-in course authoring tools or you might need to use third-party course authoring software.

How Course Authoring Tools Work

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How Course Authoring Tools Work

There are different types of course authoring tools created by different companies. Hence, no two authoring tools are the same. Some programs are created for non-specialists who need simple template-based features for simple content, quizzes, and interactions. 

Others are designed for specialists who want more advanced functions including adaptive learning experiences, simulations, and gamification. Despite these variations, all these tools perform the same overall function; the creation of elearning content for learners using content creation, content organization, and content standards.

Most of these tools come with a slide-based structure. All you need is to create as many slides as possible and fill them with content such as text and videos. You can also add interactive media such as videos, quizzes, and animations depending on the tool that you are using. After everything is put in place, all you need is to hit the ‘publish’ button and your course will be live.

The aim of authoring tools is to allow you to use an ordinary computer to create professional eLearning material. When eLearning was in its infancy, creating content was complex and time-consuming and mostly involved the input of designers and programmers.

Currently, the creation of awesome and engaging content using course authoring tools takes a shorter amount of time. You also don’t need programming or graphic design skills to develop content. All you need is the right information and relevant elements such as images and videos.

The rest of the details are taken care of by your course authoring tool. Therefore, your focus won’t be on the programming and design elements of your courses. Instead, you will only focus on coming up with great content that your learners will love.

Types of Course Authoring Tools

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Types of Course Authoring Tools

Types of Course Authoring Tools

Course authoring tools are divided into broad categories. No single course authoring solution fits into nearly all these categories. The lines between authoring tools, learning management tools, and other learning tools are increasingly becoming blurred.

Ideally, all these systems should work together seamlessly to increase overall efficiency. Below we will provide information on how to define a tool’s main purpose and how it can address your training needs.

General Categories of Course Authoring Tools

Stand-Alone Authoring Tools

These are software programs specifically designed for elearning development. These tools have a learning curve and take time to master. At times, they may require programming expertise.

If such a tool is the right fit for you, a stand-alone authoring tool offers you unlimited freedom and flexibility to create unique training courses. These tools also let you experiment with advanced features such as virtual reality (VR), virtual tours, and sophisticated safety drills.

PowerPoint Authoring Tools

These tools work as Microsoft PowerPoint add-ins. With these tools, you can create professional courses using PowerPoint. The main advantage of PowerPoint is that it is familiar to many people thus, the creation of courses shouldn’t be a hard task.

With these add-ins, the basic PowerPoint application becomes enhanced with advanced and interactive features such as video lectures, quizzes, and interactive simulations. PowerPoint-based authoring tools are, therefore, powerful enough to create engaging content. They also don’t have a learning curve meaning that rapid authoring is possible.

Cloud-Based Authoring Tools

The development of web services over the years has eliminated the need for special hardware and operating systems. Today, all you need is an updated browser and you can log in, choose an application, and access whatever service you want.

Cloud-based authoring tools use this concept of today’s integrated web service model. Indeed, they allow you to create inherently web-designed material. Compared to traditional course authoring software, these tools give you the flexibility to access services anywhere at any time.

However, in comparison to installed software solutions, cloud-based authoring tools have limited capabilities. Nonetheless, they come with important features that can address your course creation needs. They still retain the same primary authoring functions as other tools.

Using cloud-based course authoring tools, you can create professional pages, interactions, and assessments. The best part is that these tasks can be done by multiple authors all working on the same project.

Highly-Specialized Authoring Tools

There are course authoring solutions in the market that come with loads of features, some of which you will end up never using. This is because they are developed to take care of all possible course creation scenarios for different professionals.

These highly-specialized tools will help you to complement your major tasks with some added functionalities. They also make it easy for you to add more features to your courses as elearning develops thereby saving you the hustle of looking for another more advanced tool.

Content creators and instructional designers acquire such tools for two reasons; either the tools they are using have poorly-designed features, or want solutions with more advanced features.

Examples of such tools include software simulation tools and programs for creating video lectures and branching scenarios.

Specific Categories of Course Authoring Tools

eLearning Authoring Tool

These tools have been popular for the last decade and give you the ability to create slide-based elearning courses with interactive elements. These tools help you to export your content in multiple formats such as HTML5 and SCORM.

Integrated Learning Platforms

These tools have recently become popular since they allow you to quickly develop content by first creating a course structure, and then building a course by adding text, images, audio, slides, quizzes, PDFs, and other assets.

These platforms also allow some form of collaboration and can host and deliver the created content to learners. There are various solutions in the market for this type, some designed for individual content creators and instructional designers, and others for large organizations.

Video Capture and Editing Tools

These tools allow you to quickly capture and edit software simulations and other assets into professionally-made video courses. They allow you to add features such as annotations, captions, and other advanced video features.

You can also add quizzes, internal assessments, and other knowledge checks. Mostly, videos created using these tools are usually embedded in a course.

Microlearning Authoring Tools

Microlearning has become a buzzword in today’s elearning scene. It is defined as content offered on-demand in bite sizes. Such can include training videos of ten seconds to one minute in length. They could also be reading materials of a hundred to about three hundred words.

Importantly, microlearning has been criticized since splitting bigger courses into smaller chunks is claimed to be ineffective. It has also been accused of reducing learner attention. Therefore, when using microlearning course authoring tools, ensure that instructional design principles are incorporated into your micro-courses.

Learning Management Systems

Traditionally, learning management systems (LMSs) worked hand-in-hand with elearning authoring tools. The LMS would host the course content and take care of aspects such as tracking results, security, enrollment, and many other tasks.

LMSs are considered course authoring tools since the current generation of platforms have inbuilt course authoring functionalities. The native authoring options in LMSs may lack the capabilities of tools specifically developed for this purpose. However, they still offer you the basic features of designing and creating content that course developers want.

If your organization owns a licensed LMS, it is also worth checking out the course authoring functionality that it offers.

Choosing the Right Tool for the Job

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Now that we are clear on the general and specific categories of course authoring tools in the market, let us look at how you can decide which is the best tool for your job. Generally, it is a tough choice to make since the best tool or a mix of tools will all depend on your organization’s requirements.

The type of content that you need to create and how to deliver and track it are big determining factors regarding the type of authoring solution you will choose. Below are a few questions to answer.

  1. Do you want to reuse existing content? Many companies have huge archives of legacy training materials. You should consider an authoring tool that allows you to leverage this old content without necessarily modifying it.
  2. How do you need to deliver your content? It might seem like it is not that important to establish how you are going to distribute and deliver your training content. Indeed, it is. For instance, do you intend to print hard copies for your audience or do you want to provide them with ebooks and other soft copies? You should also decide if you will use an LMS or other web conferencing tool. A good authoring tool should take care of all your distribution and delivery needs.
  3. Do you need to make effective assessments? How will you evaluate your learners and establish if you are getting value for your money? Most authoring tools come with simple assessment options such as quizzes and multiple-choice questions. These may be enough but a quality authoring tool should allow you to incorporate interactive assessments such as matching and sorting activities and mathematical calculations.
  4. Do you need to make your content interactive? Interactivity boosts learner engagement. You don’t want to spend hours creating boring presentations. Your chosen authoring tool should allow you to add interactive elements such as gamification and simulation scenarios.
  5. Are you working with other organizations? If you are working with other institutions and entities, look for a course authoring tool that allows collaboration. It is such a tedious process, for instance, to keep sending files via email for review.
  6. Do you need a faster and easier way to publish branded content? You should choose a course creation solution that allows you to publish branded courseware. Such a tool will help you to publish content online on a secure website.

Do you intend to publish content that you can reuse for multiple purposes? Content that can be repurposed helps to save time when creating new courses. A modern course authoring tool will let you create and transform print and digital content fast. It will also allow you to create a single project and simultaneously generate and export it into multiple print and digital file types. It will also let you make the content available on web, mobile, and tablet applications. Using a course authoring tool that supports simultaneous workflows saves course creation times and reduces overall costs.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Course Authoring Tool

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Considerations for Choosing the Right Course Authoring Tool

Choosing online course authoring software is a systematic approach that requires checking out a few boxes. One of the secrets of developing successful elearning projects is choosing the right tools for the job.

A good tool satisfies both the developer and the learner. Definitely, you will need a solution that works with a learning platform, mostly a learning management system. Indeed, there are many factors to consider and each organization has a different set of requirements.

The best place to start understanding the categories of course authoring software available as discussed above. The type of elearning course authoring software that you will end up choosing depends on a variety of factors. We shall discuss each of these considerations below.

Budget

The amount of money that you need to spend needs to be among your top considerations. You don’t want to purchase a cheaper application that won’t serve your needs yet you may afford a more advanced one. 

Also, you don’t want to strain your budget too much to the extent of making other departments suffer. When considering the price of an authoring tool, check what is included in the product:

  • What are the features of the tool?
  • Does it come with inbuilt audio and video recording features?
  • Does it come with free templates, themes, illustrations, and other premium assets?
  • Does it include a review app to facilitate collaboration?
  • Are there tutorials and other resources from the vendor to help you get started?
  • Is there technical support and does it come at a price?
  • Is there a community of users to interact with regarding important issues?

Ensure that you get good value for your money. If you spend a little more on the solution, it might seem like an expensive affair. However, in the long run, it will save you money, since such a tool will come with loads of features.

Availability of Trial Versions

Most course authoring software companies allow potential customers to try out full-featured versions of their tools. This is meant to give them a feel of their interfaces and capabilities before they make final purchase decisions.

Before you make a final investment, take advantage of such trial versions and test out their features. For instance, you can develop a mini-course that contains quizzes and try it out on different authoring solutions. This way, you will find out which app is the easiest to use among other factors.

Trial versions are a great way to test-run software but are usually time-limited. Before downloading one, ensure you set aside time on your calendar to test the tool lest time will run out on you.

Ease of Use

What is the level of the learning curve you are ready to handle? You should establish if you need to develop an elearning course immediately or if you have a few weeks to get comfortable with the application. You should take into account if you are a tech-savvy person who can learn things easily and faster or if you need months to get accustomed.

Check if the tool that you choose has resources such as tutorials to get you started. Also, if you run into technical issues, is there support provided by your vendor? Do they charge for technical support or is it a free service? These are all questions to consider.

Are You Developing Linear or Nonlinear Content?

You need to consider the type of interactivity that you will incorporate into your elearning courses. Your options include straightforward, linear elearning courses or content that includes interactive elements such as branching scenarios and simulations.

Creation of Mobile-Friendly Courses

In today’s elearning scene, mobile-friendly courses are a must. However, the creation of such courses is challenging since your users have devices that vary in screen sizes and resolution while others could still be using Flash.

Mobile compatibility when choosing a course authoring tool is important. Also, ensure that your authoring tool can inherently create responsive courses instead of having to manually tweak content to make sure it is displaying correctly.

To add, consider if the tool can publish HTML5 content. When trying different software options, test your content on different devices to see how it is displayed.

Ability to Record Software Simulations

You should also take into account if you need a software solution that has a screen recorder or one that allows you to edit individual frames in a recording. Is it also possible to add annotations and closed captions to your videos during the recording process?

These features will come in handy especially if you do a lot of software recordings and simulation-based training. A tool with these functionalities lets you create recordings and edit them easily without having to re-record.

You can start by downloading a trial and test its recorder to establish if it will meet the standards of your projects.

Ability to Integrate with an LMS and Other Learning Tools

When choosing an authoring tool, you should know how you will publish and deploy your elearning content. Your tool should support different formats and the publishing outputs that you need.

If you intend to publish your content to an LMS, your course authoring tool should support common standards including SCORM, AICC, or xAPI (TinCan). Investigate how your learners will access your content and ensure that it is possible using the tool you are considering.

Satisfying Future Needs

The projects you are working on currently will greatly determine the tool that you want to purchase. However, you should also consider the type of elearning projects that you will create in the future.

Ask yourself if the tool will allow you to create a variety of elearning courses as your abilities grow and as your organization expands. You don’t want to settle for a solution that will not take care of tomorrow’s elearning needs.

Availability of Community Support

A lot of time will be invested in your new course authoring tool. Therefore, it is important to make sure that there is a strong community and technical support. This will help when you face technical challenges and need assistance in troubleshooting.

Strong community support makes so much difference when you are learning a new application or trying new approaches to online learning. The community will also provide you with valuable tips and examples that will make it easy for you to get started on your projects.

Features of a Course Authoring Tool

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Features of a Course Authoring Tool

1. Course Authoring

This is the primary feature of a course creation tool. The addition of text, images, audio, video, and other elements is what developing courses is all about. Course authoring brings life to your courses and gives the learner something to read, listen to, view, or use other consumption methods. The types of courses you will build will depend on this functionality.

2. Content Management

eLearning assets including text, audio, and video should be stored and managed in an organized manner. This is because you may need to access these elements in the future. Such access should be fast and reliable.

Therefore, an organized workflow saves time on development. Content management also involves controlling the tools you need during course development. Some content management features include course and lesson libraries, template library, question and quiz bank, and media and resource library.

3. Screencasts and Video Lectures

Video is more powerful than plain elements including text and video. It comes in three categories. First, there are how-to and video tutorials that give helpful insights. YouTube contains many channels featuring these videos. 

Second, there are software tutorials which are screencasts that automatically deploy when you use hotkeys (program and keyboard shortcuts). These add visual cues to the video when these actions are detected.

Lastly, there are talking-head screencasts which are a common format for creating video tours where you share your screen or webcam with other users.

When using screencasts and video lectures, ensure that you have the necessary video editing tools.

4. Quizzes and Surveys

Quizzes and surveys allow for the creation of knowledge checks and the collection of knowledge learner feedback. Different authoring tools have various assessment creation options. Some may include video assessments, simulation tests, and the ability to create varying question types. The more the features the better.

5. Templates and Themes

An authoring tool with templates and theme capabilities will help you to establish the right design for your courses. You could be looking for a consistent look and feel and want your courses to have specific organizational branding.

Consistency in templates and themes is especially important if you are designing more than one course for the same audience.

6. Publishing

The publishing style of an organization should not be overlooked. Some course authoring tools will allow you to publish your elearning content in a variety of formats some of which include HTML 5, iOS, Android, Flash, cloud-based, or CD.

7. SCORM-Compliance

SCORM is the most common elearning standard in use today. It lets LMS systems communicate well with other conformant systems. When learning content is created, it needs to be published so that learners can access it. 

You should, therefore, choose an authoring solution that can publish content using acceptable learning standards. Besides SCORM, AICC, xAPI, and CMI-5 are other standards to consider.

8. Collaboration

In many cases, elearning involves many people working together on a single project. Using tools such as email, discs, and other digital media to share work becomes a complicated affair.

Collaboration ensures that there is seamless sharing of files, ideas, and other learning elements. Some collaborative features that your course authoring tool should have include file sharing, co-authoring, user roles, author controls, and social sharing options (email, social media, hyperlinks).

9. Mobile Learning Support

Mobile learning is important for today’s on-the-go learner. In fact, many users access training material on smartphones and tablets. However, not all course authoring tools will allow you to create mobile-friendly content.

Be sure to choose one that is mobile learning capable. To achieve this, your learning material and quizzes should be formatted in HTML5. Besides, the courses need to be responsive meaning they should adapt to varying user screen sizes to create an adequate learning experience.

10. Accessibility

Accessibility is the use of technology to make learning content available to everyone regardless of their physical and other abilities. A good course authoring tool should respect the different audio-visual sensory and other special needs of individuals.

It features interactions, on-screen elements, and formatting to fit the needs of different users. Below is a list of accessibility features to look out for:

  • Keyboard-accessible navigation.
  • Closed Captions (CC).
  • Accessible font sizes.
  • Skip navigation.
  • WCAG 2.0 support.
  • Compliance with Section 508 accessibility guidelines.
  • Translation file export.
  • Language ID for screen recorders.

11. Branching Scenarios

A branching scenario is an elearning feature that allows a learner to determine the walkthrough of their courses through the choices they make. On the other hand, linear courses follow predefined learning experiences that can’t be modified.

Branching scenarios provide individual learning experiences that give your learners an enhanced way of assessing their knowledge.

12. Training and Support

Customer support is important for any software program. Some course authoring tools come with training courses and guides to help you master how to use them. They may also feature live chats and community forums where users can post comments and ask questions.

Other training and support features include email and phone support, video guides, tutorials and how-to-guides, demos, webinars, and upgrades and updates.

Benefits of a Course Authoring Tool

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Benefits of a Course Authoring Tool

Have you always wondered why it is difficult to create engaging content for your trainees? Do you also ask yourself why you can never connect with them using a simple presentation? Ideally, it doesn’t have to be that difficult.

Today, LMS course authoring tools have become powerful solutions that create awesome content that captures your audience’s attention in an easy, fast, and impactful way. They introduce elements of spark and creativity to your elearning courses.

Below, we discuss other advantages of course authoring tools.

Ease of Use

Not all course authoring software in the market are easy to use. The current generation of tools, however, has adapted to the demands of content creators and instructional designers, and their audiences.

These easy-to-use software solutions feature templates, cloud-synchronized editing, among other newer course authoring functionalities.

The ability to offer 24/7 access to learning material to learners from any device, interactive content such as games and vertical scrolling on smartphones are features that make it easy to view and absorb information.

The latest generation of course authoring tools provides users with a hustle-free way and multi-device engaging learning experience.

Responsive Design

Modern course authoring solutions create content that can be viewed on any device and can adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions. Responsive design allows you to develop content that automatically adapts to different devices without compromising on usability and quality.

Consequently, users can access learning content on-demand regardless of their location.

No Technical Expertise Needed

The latest versions of course authoring tools in the market allow you to create professional courses with little or no programming and design experience needed. These software solutions take care of all the technical details; all you have to focus on is creating quality content.

The best part is that these improvements do not add to the total cost of the final product. The latest tools are robust and are designed so that individuals and organizations alike can effortlessly create attractive and dynamic courses that positively impact their audiences.

You no longer need to create presentations with complicated designs. These tools come with easy-to-use intuitive interfaces that let content creators move layouts, modify elements, and customize even the smallest details without needing any prior technical expertise.

Interactive Multimedia Content

Modern course authoring tools have now made it easier to integrate audio, retouch photos, embed self-made videos from platforms such as YouTube, and incorporate games and fun exercises.

When such interactive content is paired with well-written text, the result is an engaging elearning experience. This is not the case with traditional tools.

Assessments for Learner Evaluation

The measuring of results is equally important for instructors and learners. There is a saying that goes, ‘if it can’t be measured, it doesn’t exist.’ Modern course authoring software let you create assessments through quizzes and simulative questions which work together with reinforcing concepts to verify the success of your elearning training programs and learning outcomes.

The metrics gathered from these assessments enable you how to strategize on how to modify and improve your training courses over time.

Saves Time and Improves Development Efficiency

The right authoring tool will eliminate the need for coding allowing content creators to develop LMS-ready material in a short amount of time.

The emphasis is on learning and not programming. Therefore, content creators will focus more on this aspect which results in quality content and an enriched learning experience.

Management of Localization and Internationalization

A high-quality course authoring solution should allow you to create learning content and publish it in different languages. Hence, it should come with an import and export function that captures course content including captions. Additionally, the user should have the ability to download the relevant software version based on their geographical location.

Accessibility

Content developers should be aware of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the guidelines for content and authoring tool accessibility. Most authoring tools come with accessibility features such as captions, alt tabs, and alternative navigation options. Other tools have settings that can enable and disable accessible and inaccessible features respectively, to facilitate your eLearning initiatives.

Collaboration

Course creation solutions that feature collaboration make it easy to create quality courses if especially, the content is being developed by a number of content creators. Mostly, cloud-based tools come with this feature and let developers in different locations log in and review content as well as comment and make tracked changes for others to review.

Corporate Branding

A good authoring tool should let your organization’s branding reflect in your elearning courses. You should be able to add logos, corporate colors, and other branding features to your learning material.

Besides serving as a marketing strategy, developing your courses to match your organization’s brand and identity gives a consistent feel that creates trust among your users. In turn, they will keep coming back and even spread the word to their peers.

Online Course Authoring Within an LMS

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Online Course Authoring Within an LMS

Modern learning management platforms that are developed for educational users come with built-in course authoring tools. This is a good thing especially if the instructor, teacher, or lecturer is also an elearning designer or developer.

In such a case, having a delivery mechanism with an authoring tool reduces complexity. The teacher just simply creates learning documents and adds them to courses. They can also drag and drop files into courses.

Especially, this works well for blended learning experiences where the main element is face-to-face instructor-led sessions supplemented by online training. If the main focus is online training, a course that is just a collection of PDFs and links will not be engaging.

LMSs that come with inbuilt course authoring functionalities provide easy-to-use features. As a result, instructors find them preferable to use as opposed to using separate course authoring tools.

For corporate organizations, subject matter experts who use LMS platforms with inbuilt course authoring features have reported an increased uptake in the use of online and blended learning.

In schools and universities, learning management systems with authoring capabilities are a welcome asset since most teachers and lecturers need the ability to add content to courses. The best part is that these LMSs come at no extra cost. It is no surprise then why they are widely used.

However, the risk is the quality of the learning experience. When these subject matter experts are authoring content, they are just simply sharing knowledge. This is known as a knowledge dump. Other important elements such as design are usually compromised.

Issues With Using Built-In LMS Authoring Tools

1. It is hard to move to another LMS

Most built-in LMS authoring tools don’t have good export features. Some content creators have to literally copy and paste thousands of pages of content from their previous LMSs into their new authoring tool or LMS. The portability of such content is something worth considering since it will save you time and costs.

2. Lack of a Rich Set of Interactive Elements

Third-party course authoring tools come with interactive features such as gamification, simulations, and branching scenarios. Since learning management systems are primarily developed for the creation, delivery, and tracking of learning material, their authoring mechanisms may lack the necessary interactive features needed for course creation.

Undoubtedly, this restricts your organization’s design possibilities.

3. Courses Designed by LMS Authoring Tools are Unattractive

It is not necessarily always the case, but most courses developed by inbuilt course authoring tools lack the appeal characteristic of content created by tools specifically developed for that purpose.

Online Course Authoring Stand-Alone Software

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The same way Photoshop was designed for graphics design, online course authoring stand-alone software were specifically created for elearning development. These tools take time to master. This means you may need preliminary training to get you started. Sometimes, programming skills may be required if you need to create custom interactions.

If this is you, and you have some technical expertise or are ready to learn programming and design skills, a stand-alone solution might be the right fit for you. These solutions provide you with unlimited flexibility and freedom to create unique elearning content.

For instance, you can create virtual reality learning content including advanced safety drills and virtual tours with such tools. These stand-alone software are best for:

  • Content creators and instructional designers who work with multiple clients and need to create varying types of learning content.
  • Experienced elearning developers who need to develop original customized content from scratch. 

Below are some examples of some of the best online course authoring stand-alone software in the market.

Adobe Captivate

This is one of the most feature-rich tools out there, especially if you are considering interoperability with other Adobe products. With Adobe Captivate, you can utilize advanced triggers and transitions and also storyboard your courses.

The end result is an engaging learning experience for any scenario. It also comes with a PowerPoint integration feature for any instructor with content created in this format. To add, it fast tracks your course creation process.

Articulate 360

This includes both Storyline 360 and Rise 360, and a set of other authoring tools. Articulate 360 is used to develop custom and interactive elearning courses that work on any device without any modification. It is easy for beginners and also powerful enough for experts.

Specifically, Rise 360 is best for creating fully responsive courses in minutes. All you need is a web browser and you’ll be ready to create content that is optimized for every screen size.

iSpring Suite

This is a desktop PowerPoint-based tool that is a great option for novice content creators who don’t have to worry about updating content regularly. It integrates well with PowerPoint and enables the developer to create awesome elearning content in PowerPoint with ease.

Its interface is also clearly labeled and intuitive. There are also tutorials for first-time users accessible directly from within the software. To add, it is user-friendly and offers flexible options to help your learners engage more with your content.

Lectora Inspire

This solution is available as both a cloud-based and desktop solution. Lectora allows you to develop WCAG-friendly interactive courses that achieve great results. You can import PowerPoint slides, add a webcam or screen recording and then publish your courses to your LMS in any format.

You also get premium built-in templates and can add simple assessments for rapid authoring. Additionally, it comes with conditional branching for adaptive learning and also allows collaboration with other authors.

Rapid eLearning Authoring Tools

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Rapid eLearning Authoring Tools

These are software solutions used especially by professionals who need to design and develop immersive and interactive elearning content. Is there really a difference between rapid elearning authoring tools and other course authoring solutions? The answer lies in the advantages that rapid elearning authoring tools offer.

  1. They help to repurpose existing elearning content. You just need to modify existing digital content and publish it.
  2. Rapid elearning authoring tools allow you to quickly deliver your content. All you need is to package your content and it can be viewed on any browser or device.
  3. They give everyone the chance to create winning elearning content. These tools are designed for beginners and professionals alike.
  4. They reduce overall elearning development time. Elements such as templates and themes cut course development times significantly.
  5. They reduce elearning development costs. LMS vendors charge extra for elearning tools authoring add-ons. This is not the case with rapid authoring tools.
  6. Updating and upscaling elearning elements is easy. These functions can be accessed from your rapid elearning authoring tool dashboard and are useful for compliance and mandatory training courses.
  7. They help you to publish your content to a wide range of elearning platforms. You can publish content made with these tools on a variety of platforms especially if they are HTML5-based.

Best eLearning Course Authoring Tools

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Best eLearning Course Authoring Tools

In this section, we will list our top picks for some of the best LMS course authoring tools in the market.

Adobe Captivate: This tool gives experienced authors the ability to create high-quality content.

Elucidat: This software solution helps employers to cut down costs of business-related training.

Lectora: The beauty of Lectora is that it gives traditional, capable authors the ability to develop HTML5 content.

Tovuti LMS: Tovuti's all-in-one cloud-based learning management system (LMS) has inbuilt course authoring tools loaded with features to help you create winning eLearning programs.

Articulate Storyline 360: Ideal for content creators who prefer PowerPoint with an added customization layer.

Articulate Rise 360: This tool helps authors to produce simple elearning courses easily and quickly.

Adapt: A tool specifically designed for technical content creators who want to develop HTML5 content through backend design.

Evolve: This is built for teams who want to collaborate and have the time to learn the program.

Camtasia: A common video editing suite most commonly used for screen recordings, product demos, and tutorials.

Easygenerator: This is designed for small teams who want to produce simple content fast.

Final Words

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Final Words

The functionalities of LMS course authoring tools overlap but requirements such as the quality and scale of the elearning content you want will help you narrow down possible choices.

In the end, whatever course authoring software is the best for your elearning projects will depend on your needs. Here at Tovuti LMS, we offer a modern cloud-based learning management system with built-in course authoring tools.

Talk to us if you need to find out about our product or need advice on course authoring tools.

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