eLearning: Choosing the Right Authoring Tool

By | March 3, 2015

e-learning authoring toolkiteLearning in India and everywhere else in the world is slated to achieve a higher growth rate in future with its growing demand and adoption amongst the learners and trainers of all age-groups. eLearning is the learning delivered, supported, and exemplified through digital technologies and media. It includes Online Courses, Computer based Training, Web based training, and any other form to facilitate learning using any web-enabled devices such as a computer, laptop, tablet or a mobile phone. Developing elearning material requires thorough understanding in the fields of education, multimedia, publishing, and digital technologies. Ascezen Consulting offers eLearning solutions using cutting edge elearning authoring tools to empower its clients significantly.

Developing an eLearning module requires meticulous planning and efforts. eLearning developers understand their target audience before developing focused learning material. Their major objective is to design a module keeping in mind the learning objectives of the target audience.

The elearning developers work on following aspects before developing an eLearning course:

  1. Preparing the eLearning material according to the target audience
  2. Planning the course material or lesson list hierarchy
  3. Story-boarding for courses, modules and lessons
  4. Selecting the right tools for developing eLearning material
  5. Translating the storyboards into an interactive and engaging elearning course

It has been found that selecting the appropriate tool for eLearning development remains an important question for many clients. Several eLearning authoring tools are available in the marketplace. Sheer abundance of authoring tools makes its challenging to choose the best authoring tool that meet author’s demands without exceeding the client’s budget.

Each eLearning tool has its pros and cons. Well-informed decision based on the learners’ requirements needs to be taken while selecting the most appropriate tool for development. Most e-learning authoring tools available today are rapid authoring tools that enable a person to create training content without having exceptional technical skills.

Factors to consider while choosing the e-learning tool:

  • Complexity of Courseware:

Select a basic or sophisticated authoring tool based on the complexity of your courseware.

  • Creative Freedom Versus Easy-to-use interface:

A highly significant aspect of choosing an eLearning authoring tool is creative freedom versus simple interface. Some eLearning development tools offer a wide range in eLearning design while the simpler ones may not offer much freedom in terms of creativity.

  • Level of Interactivity:

Select the appropriate authoring tool based on the level of interactivity required in your courseware. For instance, What kind of training component you plan to make? Will it require more of interactive assessments, and simulations?

  • Assess skills of eLearning Design and Development Team:

Select an authoring tool depending upon author’s capability. It is highly significant to analyze the skills of your eLearning design and development team before choosing eLearning software.

  • Analyze Learners’ requirements:

eLearning Design and Development Team should analyze the learner’s requirements before selecting the appropriate tool. It is imperative to have knowledge about your learners’ skills, preferred learning modes, and technical limitations such access to technology.

  • Delivery Method:

Delivery method of your eLearning course should also be taken into consideration before selecting the appropriate authoring tool. How will you impart your course: online, offline or largely through a mobile device?

  • Budget Constraints:

One of the most important aspects is the budget requirements of your courseware. Selection of authoring tools should consider the budget constraints.

Some of the finest e-learning development tools include:

Adobe Captivate:

A part of Adobe eLearning suite, Adobe Captivate is one of the most popular eLearning development tools among eLearning professionals, students and educators all over the world. It is a user-friendly tool requiring little technical prowess. Some focused training and practice will help the developer get going. It offers excellent editing along with drag and drop components.

  • Usability:

Adobe Captivate can be used for creating interactive simulations, software demonstrations, and quizzes. It offers audio synchronization, text/graphic animations, publishing option for both web and LMS delivery and interactive components.

  • Output Formats:

Output files can be produced in a number of file formats including AVI. Adobe Captivate 8 is the latest version of this e-learning development tool.

  • Additional Features:

Adobe Captivate offers a number of options to choose different control bars from the gallery and carry out further customizations with various color schemes. It enables users to create their very own project skin by building it in Captivate Master Slides or developing it in Flash. Features such as widgets, text-to-speech, a quiz analyzer and aggregator, and a quiz have been added to the tool in order to increase its functionality.

MadCap Mimic:

MadCap Mimic is a part of the MadCap MadPak, an authoring suite comprising of MadCap Mimic, MadCap Echo, MadCap Capture and MadCap Flare. This software simulation and multimedia authoring tool allows the user to create fully interactive videos, movies, presentations, tutorials of software or systems, and simulations. The latest version of the tool is MadCap Mimic 7.

  • Usability:

This tool offers powerful single-sourcing features, video support for iOS, YouTube and others, multiple recording modes, multi-language support, seamless integration with MadCap Flare and others. MadCap Flare is a popular technical writing tool used for creating Online helps, User Manuals and others as well. Integration of MadCap Mimic with MadCap Flare ensures incorporation of Mimic outputs into Flare projects.

  • Output Formats:

It is capable of generating output in a variety of formats including Silverlight, Flash, Adobe, Mimic Movie Format, HTML5, PDF, Microsoft, XPS, AIR, and Adobe.

  • Additional Features:

Mimic has a variety of single–sourcing features which help save time and energy by creating content once and reusing it several times. These features are targets, palettes, condition tags, variables, and frame libraries. The users can import Microsoft PowerPoint presentations as well.

Camtasia Studio:

TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio offers all the requisite tools to record computer screen and then convert the recording into well-made professional videos. Developers can share their work directly from the app on various platforms including Screencast.com, YouTube, and Google Drive.

  • Usability:

It is a user-friendly tool that helps to record screen while capturing Web Pages, Software Demos and PowerPoint Slides. It enables in importing media, adding interactive elements and then editing video with the help of Camtasia’s huge variety of editing tools. The videos can be shared on almost any device.

  • Output Formats:

After the editing, the developers can export a movie to a variety of formats such as AVI, MP4, SWF, MOV, RM, MPV, Silverlight-compatible WMV and animated GIF or MP3.

  • Additional Features:

The tools allow users to apply captions, inset title pages, video clips or pictures, add soundtrack and more. Users can highlight the cursor movements or mouse clicks to ensure better understanding of the recorded actions. Camtasia offers Voice Narration, Transition Options, Pan Effect, Quizzing, Zoom Option, and other efficient finishing tools.

eLearning design and development is an intricate process requiring collective efforts of the entire team. Choosing the right development tool is an important aspect of developing an eLearning resource.

Ascezen Consulting offers comprehensive eLearning design and development services across India. We offer a wide range of eLearning services including courseware development, development of training material like training guides, presentations and videos.

eLearning team at Ascezen Consulting is competent to develop:

  • Computer-Based Trainings
  • Web-Based Trainings
  • Storyboards
  • Voice Over Scripts
  • Instructor-Led Trainings
  • Training Guides
  • Demonstration Videos
  • How-To Videos

We are a potential eLearning partner for SMEs across the globe. Ascezen’s commitment towards offering effective and cost saving services makes us the preferred choice among the eLearning service providers in India.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *