The Advantages Of A Cloud-Based Authoring And Delivery Tool
By now, many of us will know what being cloud-based is, but if you’re not familiar with the term, it’s technology that allows content to be remotely stored on the web, instead of on local devices. Generally, eLearning authoring tools come packaged as a piece of course development software that needs to be downloaded and installed on individual devices, in order for users to design and produce custom eLearning content via their desktop. Authored content then needs to be uploaded to a Learning Management System for learners to access it. This is all well and good, but in a modern working environment there are more time-efficient and cost-effective ways of creating and delivering authored eLearning to multiple staff. This is where the genius of a cloud-based authoring and delivery tool can combine for the ultimate way of quickly and simply delivering essential training to an entire workforce. This one-stop-shop solution is also known as Software as a Service (SaaS) authoring. Below we explore some of the benefits and possibilities of using a cloud-based eLearning authoring tool:
1. Saving Time
The ability to create and deliver content quickly should be high priority for companies seeking a cloud-based authoring tool. It would be beneficial for the types of organizations which tend to have high frequencies of information rollouts to staff, often need to output last-minute information, or even those that simply don’t want to waste any time. A great real-world example of this is a telecommunications company which is expecting the release of the latest smartphone to make its way into stores. The organization would be able to create the eLearning training content needed to provide product knowledge for their sales staff in as little as one day. Course admins can create content within the cloud, get courses approved, publish them instantly, and have staff on their way to getting clued up on everything they need to know in time for the latest releases.
2. Collaboration Is Key
Opting for a cloud-based authoring tool offers greater flexibility for people to work together collaboratively than installed desktop tools do. Since all content is stored in the cloud (rather than on a single computer), it can be accessed on a multitude of devices, and anywhere in the world, so there’s really no limit on who can work together. If your organization has offices in London, New York, and Paris and you want to combine the expertise of your employees in these locations but have previously had to use conference calls, lengthy email trails and multiple documents to work on projects together, switching to a cloud-based solution could facilitate much easier collaboration.
All the team has to do is make sure they have an internet connection, and courses can be shared with colleagues for reviewing and improving, by using either a direct link or QR code. Enabling smooth and organized communication for a project is key to working collaboratively, so look for an authoring tool which makes teamwork uncomplicated and has a central shared resources area in the cloud.
3. Makes Changes Easily
Changes to courses can be made and deployed instantly when using a cloud-based authoring tool, even if the courses are ‘live’ in a traditional Learning Management System (LMS). If you work in a fast-moving and constantly evolving industry, then you’re likely to need to be able to revise and upgrade your content as and when changes roll in. A pharmaceuticals manufacturer, for example, might make a change to a product formula, or a new law that affects the workplace is introduced, which means that relevant courses will need an update to reflect the new information. This simply involves logging into the authoring tool and making the necessary changes (even on a mobile device). Then, when learners next log back in for training, the courses are updated and ready to go, featuring the new elements. With your courses being hosted in the cloud, making alterations doesn’t have to be a complex and complicated process, and you can be sure that your eLearning content won’t go out of date.
4. No IT Permissions Needed
Because there’s no need to download any software or obtain licenses, you shouldn’t need to seek your IT department's permission to start working with a cloud-based authoring tool. There’s no slow software installation process or system maintenance that needs to be kept up. Using the cloud should also save physical storage space on desktops that might otherwise get used up with traditional authoring tools. It’s as simple as purchasing the cloud tool, creating a company login, and getting started from a web browser virtually straight away.
5. Secure Online Storage
With a cloud-based authoring and delivery tool, content and data is backed up and stored safely in the cloud. This should go a long way towards minimizing your security worries and reducing the risk of documents being stolen or lost.
6. Easier Tracking And Analysis
Cloud-based authoring tools benefit from tracking technology such as xAPI (formerly known as Tin Can), which is essential for employers wanting to monitor the learning progress of their workforce. If you’ve created a training course which ends with a quiz to test learners knowledge on the subject they’ve just completed, then you’ll want to know how many of the questions they answered correctly or which ones they got stuck on, and how long they spent on the training. Gaining insights into the effectiveness of your eLearning program will help to improve future courses and inform feedback for learners. Tracking and analysis will also allow you to identify patterns in the data such as, for example, whether the majority of your learners are failing one area of the course, which can help you to ensure that more time is spent learning that particular content.
A Final Word On Being Cloud-Based
We’ve highlighted the main reasons why choosing a cloud-based eLearning authoring tool could be beneficial to organizations wanting to deliver no-fuss eLearning on a global scale, while saving time and money. To recap, it is a more flexible, cost-effective, and more productive way of providing learners with custom-created eLearning content than a traditional desktop authoring tool. It facilitates collaborative working, allows learner data tracking, easy course updates, and it takes away all the hassle of downloading, installing, and maintaining software on several machines. So if you’re thinking of opting for an authoring tool to suit your training needs, then consider going cloud-based.