We couldn't find anything to match your criteria.

eLearning Authoring Tool Complete Buyer's Guide

What is eLearning Authoring Tool Software?

With advancing technology, educators and trainers should also enhance their training materials for better effectiveness. Over time, eLearning has transformed the education and training sectors radically. Various eLearning authoring tool software are priceless additions for teachers, students, trainers, and learners who want to discover new ways to share knowledge and build skills with ease.

Basic Functions And Features You Must Know

eLearning platforms provide a convenient, affordable, and effective way for college students, K-12 schoolers, corporate trainees, and other learners to learn and acquire new skills. Course authoring software additionally comes with a plethora of learning materials, including audio, text notes, video, spreadsheets, animations, exams, and much more that make learning enjoyable. That said, the guide below provides essential insights into eLearning authoring tools, their features, and all you need in order to select the best tool.

Analyzing Top eLearning Authoring Tools

As the name suggests, eLearning authoring tool software enables educators and trainers to create eLearning and digital content. The main goal of these tools is to develop content efficiently and open up learning possibilities that would otherwise be time-consuming or infeasible to create without such dedicated tools. Simply put, an eLearning authoring tool is among the many types of software that enable users to develop digital learning and training content and distribute it to learners through the internet or an eLearning management system.

Digital content created from these platforms includes video lectures, e-courses, simulations, and assessments, among others. While some eLearning authoring tools have dedicated or narrowed focus, such as only creating assessment questions, others have versatile usage. However, regardless of the use, most eLearning authoring tool software maintain a slide-based development structure.

This means that you can create as many slides as you want and fill them with text, animations, and images. Based on the functionality of the tool, you can include interactive elements, such as videos, quizzes, and other tasks. The best thing about eLearning tools is that users don't require advanced programming expertise to use the software. This is because most tools are pre-programmed, offering a ready-to-use interface. eLearning authoring tool software has a number of uses. It facilitates the following:

Make The Creation Of eLearning Content Easy

These tools are important as they make it easy to create interactive training content. With the help of pre-programmed templates, these authoring tools make it possible for anyone to develop professional-grade learning content.

Better Engagement Through Interactive Content

You can also use eLearning tools to keep your learners engaged and increase the desire to learn. An interactive system makes it easy for learners to grasp new concepts. Trainers and educators can leverage interactive elements, such as images and videos, when creating learning modules.

Who Can Leverage This eLearning Solution?

Like Learning Management Systems, using eLearning authoring tool software is significantly beneficial to educational institutions and corporations.

For starters, it enables educational institutes to create and share interactive learning content with their students. Educators can create, edit, and transform online materials for better learning results. Teachers can repurpose outdated PDFs and presentations to suit modern learners.

Apart from learning institutions, businesses and corporations can deploy various online learning courses to their employees and customers as well. This helps businesses create an effective learning module to keep their staff updated. Through this, the company can be sure of a successful knowledge transfer.

These platforms are certainly one of the best ways that companies can ensure that all their staff is updated with crucial company information, such as product details and updated safety protocols.

Besides, users can also leverage authoring software to create engaging assets for learning on the go. That said, educators and corporate trainers can use these tools to produce mobile-friendly eLearning content within minutes.

Benefits Of eLearning Authoring Tool Software

Apart from keeping abreast with developing technology, below are a few benefits of eLearning authoring tools when used in an organization:

They Speed Up eLearning Content Development

Time is a crucial factor when it comes to creating online learning content. Fortunately, the use of eLearning authoring tool software significantly decreases content development time. As mentioned, these tools feature pre-programmed templates and themes that can be integrated easily into an eLearning course. This way, you won't have to spend a lot of time gathering media and outsourcing other involving tasks.

They Provide Easy-To-Repurpose eLearning Content

Advancing technology and the availability of new information makes the online space a slave of continuous change. Similarly, eLearning courses require regular updates to meet the dynamic demands and needs of learners. With every slight change in business needs, employees should be updated about the revisions. eLearning authoring tools come in handy in helping course developers and designers implement unplanned changes and make the necessary amendments in the course outline and details.

These tools make it possible to repurpose learning materials as well, provided they are in digital forms. For instance, instead of designing interactive learning content from scratch, you can modify and reuse already existing material. Every video, image, or presentation already in digital form can be repurposed, saving content creators a lot of time and money.

They Are Accessible And They Increase Learner Engagement

Accessibility is probably one of the best benefits of using eLearning content authoring tools. Once the content is fully developed, students and trainees can easily access the materials. That aside, the fast turnaround and stress-free creation enable content developers to create relevant eLearning materials that enhance learner engagement and participation.

Online training resources are also overly interactive and easy to absorb. As such, online learners can engage better with these materials and participate actively for maximum learning benefits.

They Improve Knowledge Retention

Apart from stress-free content creation, better accessibility, and increased learner engagement, using eLearning authoring tools is a recipe for a significant increase in recall and knowledge retention among learners. With properly formulated, relevant, and goal-focused content, learners can easily connect with the subject matter.

With this, learners will remember the core concepts and ideas more likely for longer periods. eLearning authoring tools provide brief bursts of information, enabling learners to focus on one topic and absorb key facts before moving on to the next.

They Enable Everyone To Develop Winning eLearning Content

Another notable benefit of eLearning authoring tools is that everyone can create engaging and insightful learning content. Most tools come with pre-programmed templates and guides that enable teachers and trainers without prior experience to create immersive content.

However, note that some tools have advanced features that suit experienced trainers. Regardless, eLearning tools equip individuals with the power to create unique yet beneficial multimedia presentations, interactive learning content, and memorable pages related to their subject matter.

The key to succeeding in this is ensuring that one finds eLearning tools that match their talents and skills. Therefore, thorough research and identifying the key features of the tool that you need are necessary when making a selection. This will enable you to find software with great functionality.

They Offer The Possibility To Deploy Content To Various Platforms

eLearning authoring tool software makes it possible for modern content creators and instructional designers to access information anytime and anywhere. Most tools can be published on various platforms, ranging from laptops and desktops to mobile devices. Through this, educators can deliver their content to the audience, even to those without access to devices that don't support Flash, mostly tablets and smartphones.

These tools give content creators the ability to create a master layout with several breakpoints. The layout will automatically adjust to the screen size, orientation, and resolution supported by the device used to access the content. With this, your learners get access to information wherever and whenever they want. Besides, content creators won't have to spend a lot of time creating different versions of their learning and training materials.

eLearning Authoring Tool Deployment Options

Deployment options for eLearning authoring tools significantly affect their accessibility, overall cost, and setup time. As such, you should consider all these factors when investing in your tool of choice. Below are the popular eLearning authoring tool deployment options:

Cloud Hosting/SaaS

This deployment option is also known as Saas (Software as a Service), and it's where you host your eLearning authoring tool online. Rather than downloading any software on your local hard drive, you access it on an online system—you log in to access the software's features such as asset libraries and others. Most eLearning cloud hosting service providers offer their services on a subscription basis instead of the one-time purchase pricing model. That means you can launch your desired tool without any hassles of offline setup or upfront costs.

What are the advantages of cloud hosting? One major advantage of choosing this deployment option is the ease of access. You can access your cloud authoring tool at your own convenient place on your tablet, phone, or laptop. Another advantage is that as long as you pay the subscription fee as required, many cloud hosting providers offer updates and maintenance services such as extra themes and templates. That means hiring an in-house team to perform these tasks isn't necessary.

However, these tools also have a drawback. Despite their excellent functionality, being hosted online means they're susceptible to issues like data theft and infiltration. This may be a concern for companies and organizations that deal with extremely sensitive information. But, even with this susceptibility, the good thing is cloud hosting service providers take great measures to keep your data safe, for instance, by using superior security and encryption features.

Self-Hosting Deployment

This deployment option is just like the name suggests; you host the tool yourself. Unlike cloud hosting where the software is hosted online and you can access it remotely, self-hosting involves downloading the tool on your local hard drive and accessing it from there. Before the advent of downloading software online, you had to buy a disc containing the tool and launch it on your computer. However, these days things have become easier; after paying your one-time licensing—which is typically the option in these cases—the provider allows you to download it.

Just like cloud hosting, self-hosting also has its advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that you can set up and tweak it according to your specifications. Depending on the type of authoring services you provide, you can set it however you want. Another advantage of self-hosted eLearning authoring tools is that there is no risk of data confidentiality. Also, self-hosting makes your data available and you don't have to deal with the cloud hosting provider's downtimes.

However, this option also has a downside. To make the eLearning authoring tools hostable locally, some providers make them with complex features. These features may not be easy to understand, which can make the process a bit challenging when starting. Another disadvantage of self-hosting is that you're solely responsible for any maintenance and updates, which means extra costs. And when you compare the subscription fees in cloud hosting and one-time purchase fees in self-hosting, the latter is higher when it comes to the initial costs.

Cloud-Based Self-Hosting

Cloud-based self-hosting is another deployment option. It's a popular choice among organizations that deal with extremely sensitive information but want their data to be stored in the cloud. Cloud-based self-hosting is different from cloud hosting/SaaS in that you get your own servers and host your tool there. Instead of using a provider, you take care of the hosting yourself. Since the data is stored online, members of your team can access it from their convenient places. When it comes to the fees for this kind of deployment, some vendors offer them on a subscription basis, while others only allow one-time purchases.

Just like the other two options, cloud-based self-hosting authoring tool deployment also has its pros and cons. For the advantages, this option allows you to invest in measures that you're sure will keep your data safe. Instead of relying on the vendor's cloud-hosting systems, which may be prone to infiltration, you can establish your own encryption, authentication, and other kinds of security features. However, the downside is that since you're hosting the tool yourself, you will be responsible for maintenance tasks and uptime. This means investing more time in the eLearning authoring tool to keep your content fresh, and if you prefer hiring an in-house team, it will mean additional costs.

Desktop Application

In addition to cloud hosting, self-hosting, and cloud-based self-hosting, having your eLearning authoring tool software as a desktop app is another option. The users can install the app on their laptops or computers and access the training even when they're offline. When they need to make progress updates, they just resync to the system.

Why prefer to have your tool as a desktop app? One, you won't have to deal with the additional expenses of investing in your own servers or cloud hosting. Another plus is that with desktop apps training doesn't have to stop when there is no internet connection. Options that rely on an internet connection 100% can lose critical training time when there is an outage. The other advantage is that you can better customize it for your needs. That is better than web-based solutions that are created to fit all people.

Mobile App

eLearning authoring tools can also be deployed as mobile apps. The vendors develop a suitable app that can be downloaded on various mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. A major advantage of this deployment option is convenience; it allows users to access the tool regardless of location. If you prefer your authoring tool as a mobile app, make sure the training will be more effective and convenient. Also, make sure there are no device incompatibility issues. This way, no one will be locked out.

Explore Our Top eLearning Authoring Tool Directory
Visit our niche directory to find, compare, and choose the best course authoring platforms. You're one step away from creating engaging learning experiences!

Which Businesses Can Leverage Authoring Tools?

Top customer types of eLearning authoring tool software include:

  • Large organizations
    Large companies and institutions use authoring tools to educate and track the progress of their employees. With these tools, they can deploy worldwide online educational initiatives simultaneously.
  • Small and medium businesses
    Like large corporations, SMBs can leverage authoring tools to minimize their human resource needs. The good thing is that these tools often scale along with the business, enabling it to adapt to the constantly changing company training needs.
  • Freelancers
    Remote working culture has witnessed a continuous surge, especially with extensive internet access. eLearning authoring tools enable freelancers to work with multiple remote clients with ease. The tools feature collaboration tools for real-time updates.

Licensing Options For eLearning Authoring Tools

Licensing for eLearning authoring tools is a crucial factor when searching for the best tool to use. Different tools come with varying licensing options. Some of the options are:

  • Open source licensing
    These open source eLearning authoring tools are free and often based online. Users can modify the initial source code to suit their needs. Open source options also come with an actively engaging online community, which provides additional usage and troubleshooting tips if you encounter problems while using the tool. The only limitation is that you need to have some background programming knowledge to modify the code successfully.
  • Free license
    Several free license authoring tool options are also available. Though you may save by not incurring for the license, you will spend by paying IT staff, especially for users without programming knowledge. You may also need to invest more time in learning the system for maximum benefits.
  • Paid license
    Obviously, paid license authoring tools require monthly or annual fees. Some vendors allow users to pay a one-time fee to purchase the software. Such tools offer advanced support and a user-friendly interface.

Pricing Models For eLearning Authoring Software

eLearning authoring tool content development and pricing often go hand in hand. However, some factors, such as ongoing maintenance cost and payment frequency, affect the pricing structure of these tools. That said, below are the popular pricing models when choosing an eLearning authoring tool.

One-Time Purchase

Some eLearning authoring tool vendors prefer selling their software outright instead of allowing users to pay monthly fees. In such positions, the user will have to pay a one-time licensing fee upfront. While this can save on costs, as you don't have ongoing subscriptions, it means that you will have to incur the cost of upgrades in the future. Besides, you might find that the tool doesn't meet your needs after paying the entire fee.

Subscription

This is a commonly used pricing model since most eLearning authoring tools offer a subscription option. Unlike the one-time fee, vendors charge monthly or quarterly subscriptions that enable users to access the tool. Cloud-based authoring tools commonly use this model. With this, provided you have paid the monthly fees, you can log into the tool and create as much content as possible.

A big plus for this model is that the vendor takes care of the upgrades and regular updates, which enables the tool to function optimally. However, on the downside, the prices can fluctuate with time. Vendors may decide to raise the fees after some time, which you have no control over.

Free

These pricing models suit companies and organizations with tight budgets. They are the best authoring tools to get started. However, free things are not always the best. So to say, free authoring tools come with basic features with limited functionality. For instance, you may not have access to the built-in library.

Freemium

Freemium pricing options are almost the same as free models. Such authoring tools can be downloaded or accessed in the cloud for free. However, they come with a catch. Vendors provide the basic versions of the authoring tool for free but charge for additional features and upgrades. For instance, vendors can enable users to download the tool by paying a one-time fee or they can allow users to access the tool's repository at a monthly fee. Based on this, freemium eLearning authoring tools can end up being costly compared to subscription pricing models. It all depends on how many features you might want. For basic usage, they might be a good option to start with.

Top Features To Look For In An eLearning Authoring Tool

Without a doubt, content built through eLearning authoring tools provides sufficient training content to power effective learning. However, with the wide array of tools that can be used to create such content, you should ensure that you choose a suitable authoring tool. Below are the top eLearning authoring tool features to consider when making a choice.

An Intuitive User Interface

You might come across a feature-rich authoring tool on the market. However, the tool will be worthless if you can't easily use the features. This is why you should consider software that is easy to use at all times. Your authoring tool of choice should make it easy to achieve your goals, by making it possible to design instructional content within a short period. This might become impossible if, for example, you need more time to learn the various features of your Instructional Design software.

That aside, the platform should strike a perfect balance in its ease of use and creativity control. However, this comes down to the nature of your eLearning team and their ability to use the authoring tools. eLearning professionals will definitely prefer using robust tools with advanced features, even if the tool isn't intuitive, while less experienced personnel will opt for basic tools with simple and straightforward controls.

Of course, if you still find it difficult to work on your online training courses, you can always reach out to a top eLearning content provider.

Interactivity And Multimedia Integration

The ability to integrate both multimedia while maintaining interactiveness is another top feature to consider in any eLearning authoring tool. The interactivity of an eLearning authoring tool means that the tool should allow users to interact with the content instead of solely consuming it.

Allowing learners to participate actively in the learning process enables them to acquire and retain knowledge longer. This also enables them to solve real-world problems with ease. The interactivity of these tools is what gives them an edge over traditional training methods. That said, your eLearning authoring tool of choice should make it easy to include interactive features, such as triggers, pop-ups, and scrolling panels. Or you might find a Tin Can API-compliant authoring tool more appealing.

On the other hand, the tool should allow for unlimited multimedia integration as well. Various multimedia file types, such as photos and videos, are a great addition to training tools. The engaging nature of these items makes them a preferred choice for explaining key concepts and directly resembles an Instructor-Led Training session.

Similarly, learners enjoy learning through mediums they are comfortable and familiar with, probably explaining why the use of video content is on the rise. With that said, don't settle for a tool with limited interactivity and media functionalities. Several eLearning authoring tools allow users to blend both for better learning outcomes.

Collaboration Capabilities

Besides enabling quick content creation, most organizations use eLearning authoring tools to achieve standardized training experience among their distributed or remote workforce. Institutions and companies with a distributed workforce definitely have distributed Instructional Designers working from different locations as well. If that isn't the case, your learners/employees should have the liberty to learn anywhere, anytime.

That said, an eLearning authoring tool with excellent collaboration features can only make this happen. The benefits of choosing a collaborative tool go beyond providing designers and learners with opportunities to work or learn from their desired locations. Tools with great collaboration abilities make it possible to work with the best Instructional Designers around the world. You can outsource content creation to professionals to help you create your course content.

Another great collaborative tip to consider is ensuring that the tool has multilingual support. With this feature, you can translate your course content into several languages while retaining the original template and structure. Multilingual support enables content creators to deliver standard eLearning content in different languages.

Templates

You should also ensure that your eLearning authoring tool of choice provides unlimited templates and themes. Templates are essential as they make it possible to create consistent course material. Consistent course designs enable learners to pay attention to the training content, rather than having inconsistent designs, which may drift the learners' focus. Consistent designs should also align with your brand's language and colors, which can bring magical branding results.

That aside, consistent eLearning content design is advantageous for those developing multiple learning content for one audience. Fortunately, most authoring tools feature preloaded course templates. However, the best tools should allow businesses and tutoring designers to customize their templates.

Mobile-Friendly

Current online learners would want to access your training or learning content on the go. As such, you should ensure that your eLearning authoring tool of choice has a mobile-friendly feature. This ideally means that the design should have responsive abilities that adjust automatically to fit smartphone and tablet screens.

Having a mobile-friendly authoring tool makes things easier if you need to create content anytime, anywhere. Besides, it ensures that all admins (and learners) enjoy a seamless user experience, regardless of the device they use to access the content.

Your authoring tool of choice should also enable content creators to preview various layouts and make adjustments accordingly. The adjustments could include resizing the buttons to accommodate small screens and removing heavy images to shorten loading times.

Installation Options

From the deployment options listed above, some eLearning authoring tools should be installed on the local hard drive while cloud-based options allow users to access the platform anytime, anywhere. That said, you should consider the installment options of your authoring tool to ensure that all members have equal accessing opportunities.

Cloud-based systems, for instance, enable collaborators and learners who are miles away to access the platform anytime. Locally installed options are best for local teams who need additional creative control and better data security. With local software, you don't have to worry about the possibility of strangers accessing your private information.

Assessment Features

eLearning authoring tools with excellent assessment features enable course designers and trainers to track how their employees or students are interacting with the content. This enables organizations and institutions to evaluate the effectiveness of their eLearning content and note areas that require improvement. Assessment features include simple questions with advanced capabilities, such as shuffle questions, negative marking, and awards that enable trainers to gather predictive data about the learners.

Publishing Capabilities

Institutions and organizations definitely have varying publishing needs for their eLearning courses. Therefore, you should check your requirements to choose an authoring tool compliant with your learners' Learning Management System. Some common publishing formats include cloud-based, HTML5, iOS, Android, file, CD, and much more.

Pricing Models For eLearning Content Providers

Pricing is probably the ultimate deciding factor that determines if you will purchase the authoring tool or not. While you may find a tool with suitable features, its pricing may be out of your budget range. Most eLearning authoring tools offer subscription-based payment plans. With this, you will only pay based on the number of users accessing the system or the size of content produced monthly.

That said, you should ask about the vendor's pricing options before choosing a tool. Apart from the subscription models, others offer a one-time licensing fee while others require yearly contracts. If you aren't sure of the best option, consult your eLearning team to get their thoughts. They can offer valuable advice based on the tools they have used before.

With these features in hand, create a list of several eLearning authoring tools that you can consider. You should then compare how they stack against the essential features. This is the best way to ensure that your authoring tool of choice suits your needs.

eLearning Authoring Tool Business Use Case Scenarios

eLearning authoring software are a viable investment for those transitioning from traditional training methods and those looking for an effective way to create content. Besides expediting the learning content development process, they make it possible to package resources neatly. Learners also get to enjoy interactive, engaging, and immersive content. That said, below are common use case scenarios of eLearning authoring tools.

Employee Training

Training employees is a common burden experienced by most HR managers and company owners. Companies and businesses need a good eLearning authoring tool to create interactive and educational training courses for their in-house and remote employees. Creating custom-tailored content is essential in such situations in order to improve employee performance and bridge knowledge deficits.

As such, managers and eLearning content designers should consider several factors to define an authoring tool that suits their needs. Finding the right authoring tool cuts costs while enabling the organization to achieve a fast, effective, and easy training process. Successful employee training using eLearning authoring tools brings forth immeasurable benefits to a corporation.

For instance, training employees to take up new roles and responsibilities using eLearning authoring tools can keep them actively engaged. Using a tool with gamification features makes the training process even more exciting. Keeping your learners or employees engaged during the training makes them more willing to learn and expand their skills. This also results in better retention rates.

Academic/Educational Training

eLearning authoring tools for academic use is something to consider. Schools and colleges should leverage authoring tools to keep their students engaged while meeting the standard requirements. Most institutions use blended learning strategies, which combine learning technologies with face-to-face teaching. Using these combined strategies provides students with unlimited access to essential educational resources when they need it. Using these tools also reduces the content development time while allowing admins to tailor content in order to suit individual student needs and learning preferences.

Compliance Training And Onboarding

This is yet another essential training in the current modern, fast-paced working environment. Most organizations expect that their employees should adapt to the rapidly changing work environment. However, this may not be possible for new hires or if changes occur within business procedures, products, and services. Using a good eLearning authoring tool makes it easy for your employees to undertake compliance training and enhance their confidence.

Providing effective compliance training and onboarding significantly helps your staff learn from previous mistakes. Creating a knowledge-sharing mentality between employees and trainers brings forth much improvement within an organization. This also creates a conducive environment for learning and evolving skills.

You can check out here eLearning authoring tools for compliance training.

Association Learning

Trade groups should also take advantage of eLearning authoring tools to provide their members with convenient access to unlimited online training resources. This is a valuable membership perk, which can help in improving the number of sign-ups. For instance, using interactive simulation educates members on various mechanical tips of heavy machinery, which they can use to prevent unexpected mechanical faults.

Most organizations use eLearning authoring tools to provide association learning by creating a centralized knowledge library featuring a wide range of self-taught activities.

Sales Training And Developing Employee Skills

Most companies often turn to new technologies to save on costs while increasing their revenues. Therefore, if you need to train your sales personnel with better success rates, there is no better way to do it than use eLearning authoring tools. Company managers starting on sales training programs or looking to improve their sales training methods should take advantage of these tools.

With eLearning authoring tools, you can create effective sales training programs quickly. However, ensure that the program is goal-oriented from the start. On the other hand, developing your employee skills is essential in boosting their career goals and company revenue. Therefore, any eLearning authoring tool of choice for sales training and employee development should:

  • Be collaborative
  • Be mobile-friendly
  • Have eCommerce integrations
  • Be flexible with its licensing
  • Have branding customization
  • Have multiple multimedia support

A good sales training program should equip your employees with the best methods of communicating your product's value proposition to potential buyers. Using these tools effectively will make your company benefit from improved sales.

Customer Training

Effective customer training, achieved by using suitable eLearning authoring tools, leads to increased sales, better customer satisfaction ratings, and loyalty. Such training provides companies with the opportunity to use demos, videos, and tutorials to enable customers to familiarize themselves with your brand. The best authoring tool for customer training programs should have the following features:

  • A friendly interface that is easy to use
  • Great mobile learning abilities
  • Social learning abilities
  • Multi-tenancy support
  • Gamification aspects for better engagement and motivation

Large Companies And Extended Enterprise

Selecting a good course authoring software for an extended enterprise is vital. Such a tool makes it possible to update external sales teams, vendors, and other essential members of your company not only about recent changes in the industry but also for new product updates. The tool can help in creating branded content, which helps ensure that your external team meets your organizational standards to avoid possible compliance penalties.

Dealer/Franchise Training

Apart from external sales teams and vendors, you should also ensure that your company franchisees provide information that accurately depicts your company's brand identity. With eLearning authoring tools, you get a cost-effective and convenient way to develop accurate product details, which enable dealers to align with your company image while providing customers with excellent services.

Find and compare authoring software for franchise/dealer training.

How To Select The Best eLearning Authoring Tool

With a wide array of eLearning authoring tools available on the market, finding the right one can be challenging, especially for those who don't know where to begin. That said, trainers and educators should ask themselves various pertinent questions that will guide them in finding the right tool. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • Is the tool easy to use?
  • What skills should the user have?
  • Can you design the learning content quickly?
  • What security does the tool provide?
  • Is the developed content a responsive course?
  • What flexibility does the tool offer?
  • Does the tool allow for collaborative work?
  • Do you need to make regular assessments?
  • How should you deliver your content?
  • Is the tool affordable?

Your answers to the above questions should help you find a tool with incredible features and functionalities that suit your needs. That said, to select the most appropriate eLearning authoring tool for your business, keep the following in mind:

Ease Of Use

An important factor when choosing an eLearning authoring tool is ensuring that it is convenient to use and offers excellent creative freedom [1]. Most complicated tools allow users to control every aspect of content design, right from the visual components to the layout. Simpler tools feature predesigned templates which, while they don't provide a lot of freedom, ease content creation.

Skills Of The Content Design And Development Team

Before settling on a tool, you should ask yourself if you or the team has the necessary skills to work on the eLearning authoring tool. You should assess the skill level of your content development team beforehand to ensure that you choose a tool that suits the team's talents.

Keep Your Learners In Mind

You should as well consider the training needs of your audience when selecting the tool. This gives you the opportunity to structure essential deliverables for optimum results. For instance, before going for a costly tool with advanced features, consider if your audience needs such bells and whistles before investing heavily. Will your audience learn better with highly interactive videos, or a simplistic slide-show approach is more effective? Check on your audience's tech limitations, preferred learning methods, and skills to find a suitable authoring tool.

Security

Extensive internet access has led to increased cases of cybercriminals. Since you don't want your data stolen, you should ensure that your tool of choice has immeasurable security features. For desktop-based tools, you should download and install the software on your computer. You should also update the tool periodically to suit upcoming needs.

Similarly, cloud-based service providers provide end-to-end data encryption while facilitating collaborative work. However, the online presence of this information makes them susceptible to online criminals. Therefore, investing in good security protocols is prudent.

Content Delivery

You should ensure that your tool of choice supports your preferred eLearning content delivery method. Among the pertinent questions to answer is if the learners can access the eLearning course offline and if they can access the material from their mobile devices. The correct answer to these questions will help you narrow down the possible eLearning authoring tools you can use.

Level Of Interactivity

This is an important consideration if you intend to include various interactive elements, such as clickable images and videos in your training content. Choose a tool depending on the level of interactivity and engagement that you want with your eLearners. Some eLearning authoring tools feature template libraries that enable users to create very interactive elements while others have limited options.

Ability To Track Learners

Making regular assessments is essential in determining how your learners are coping up with the training. Fortunately, some tools have sophisticated tracking abilities. With this, you can assess your learners' progress and determine specific areas that need improvement. While some tools provide comprehensive reports, others provide basic user data, making it difficult to infer conclusions. Obviously, tools with in-depth tracking data are better.

Cost

Another crucial factor to consider when buying an eLearning authoring tool is the cost. The main goal of incorporating the use of authoring tools is to create great content quickly. Therefore, avoid tools that come with expensive licenses. Consider software that don't require much time to learn and offer several plans, including the free plans for startups. If you have a budget for the licenses, you should consider one that fits your budgetary plans.

Importance Of eLearning Authoring Tool Integrations

As you select the best or ideal eLearning authoring tool, you should ensure that it can integrate and that it is compatible with third-party software as much as possible. Choosing a tool with multiple integration options enhance the capabilities and utility of your authoring tool. Integrations will also enable your team to benefit more from the tool and make the tool efficient.

eLearning authoring tools integration brings forth several benefits. For instance, once learners get familiar with specific software, the ability to integrate significantly increases user engagement. This also helps in delivering better User Experience, as it saves time and reduces manual tasks. The best integration is with tools that you are already well-versed with or may want to use in the future.

If you are interested in rapid authoring, you might like to read this: Rapid eLearning Authoring Tools: 7 Benefits For eLearning Professionals.

Which eLearning Authoring Tool Is Best For Your Needs?

Choosing the best eLearning authoring tool comes down to identifying your needs. Depending on your expectations, you should choose a system that meets and overly satisfies prevailing business needs. For instance, if you are looking for an eLearning authoring tool to train your extended enterprise, you should settle for a tool with localization features. Most extended enterprise tools should offer online training anywhere, anytime. As such, cloud-based applications are a good choice.

That aside, companies in the hospitality industry should choose an eLearning authoring tool that excels in compliance training and employee onboarding. This is because you will have to deal with many seasonal employees who should be trained.

So, before making your decision, please consider these 7 essential types of eLearning authoring software.

Finally, you can always keep an eye on eLearning Industry's Top Authoring Tools List.

The Bottom Line

Evidently, eLearning authoring tools help various companies and businesses achieve their training goals. As such, you should consider enjoying these eLearning authoring tool benefits by finding the best possible platform with solutions that meet your industry learning and content development needs. The guide above outlines all the key eLearning authoring tool features, the essential tips, and a comparison of the best eLearning authoring tools, and other pieces of information to consider while making a decision.

Resources:

[1] Authoring system - Wikipedia

The Best eLearning Authoring Tools To Deliver Top-Notch Training Content (2023 Update)

The Best eLearning Authoring Tools To Deliver Top-Notch Training Content (2023 Update)
Summary: The best eLearning authoring tools help you create meaningful and engaging content for online learners. But it all hinges on the right platform for your team. Is it intuitive? Does it feature built-in assets that benefit your bottom line? Can it streamline the development process and alleviate the burden on your L&D department? Before deploying a top-notch online training program, you need robust authoring software to build a solid framework.

Explore And Compare The Top eLearning Authoring Tools

You might think that it’s relatively easy to pick the best eLearning authoring tools. After all, there are so many options to choose from. However, the abundance of choice makes it even more challenging to create a shortlist. There’s simply not enough time to vet all the vendors one-by-one or take test drives to see how they perform in the real world. Fortunately, our Top eLearning Authoring Tools List takes the stress out of software buying. All the vendors have earned their spot with stellar CX and standout features.

In fact, our list can help you determine which providers are RFP-worthy based on your evaluation criteria, such as which companies deliver all your must-have features and support services. This way, you can spend less time searching and more time implementing your new authoring tool solutions, as you should be. Below are just a few benefits our list can bring to your organization.

Check out eLearning Industry's Top List to:

  • Compile a shortlist of authoring tool vendors for your use case
  • Evaluate authoring software selling points
  • Analyze user reviews and ratings to establish social proof
  • Compare top authoring tool solutions to get top value for money
  • Check out pricing options to find the best software in your price range
  • Qualify vendors that specialize in your customer type

In the following list, we’ve gathered the top software for your needs. If you want to compare authoring tools side by side, go straight to our directory!

Top List: The Best eLearning Authoring Tools

The Best eLearning Authoring Tools To Deliver Top-Notch Training Content (2023 Update)

If your company is listed among the Best Authoring Tools, feel free to add this badge to your website!

Here Are The Top Authoring Software For eLearning

A Powerful, Yet Easy-To-Use Authoring Toolkit For Creating eLearning Courses

iSpring provides a comprehensive eLearning authoring toolkit that’s a perfect fit for both experienced and novice eLearning developers. It includes tools for creating courses, quizzes, video tutorials, role-plays, and more.

To explore all the capabilities of the authoring toolkit, get a free 14-day trial!

You can also check out iSpring Suite reviews in our directory. 

Highlights

  • Diverse eLearning content
  • Integrated Content Library
  • Online Space For Collaboration

Highlights

  • Diverse eLearning content

You can create online courses, quizzes, training videos, role-play simulations, and eLearning interactions with a single software.

  • Integrated Content Library

This authoring toolkit comes with over 89,000 ready-to-go slide templates, characters, locations, and icons that help you build courses even faster.

  • Online Space For Collaboration

You can work on courses with your colleagues in an online space to complete your eLearning projects without delay.

Plans And Pricing

iSpring offers two plans: iSpring Suite Basic ($770) and iSpring Suite Max ($970), both available as annual subscriptions. It also provides volume, academic, nonprofit, and other discounts.

2. Lectora
4.4/5 (17 reviews)
With Lectora, Build Any Learning Imaginable—Accessible, Responsive, Interactive

Create better learning experiences with ELB Learning. They offer tools for building learning games, VR training, eLearning courses, and video practice, as well as an LXP/LMS. Their team also offers strategy, custom dev, and staff augmentation.

Visit elblearning.com to get a free trial of Lectora or CenarioVR and start creating interactive learning today.

Care to see why users think it is one of the best eLearning authoring tools? Explore Lectora reviews in our niche directory.

Highlights

  • Accessible
  • Rapid Development
  • Mobile

Highlights

  • Accessible

The built-in accessibility settings in Lectora lead the industry. They give you the capabilities you need to ensure all your learners receive the most effective training possible.

  • Rapid Development

Cut dev time in half with pre-built course logic and templates. Quickly drop templatized interactions in. Themes and style packs instantly apply unified color schemes and styles.

  • Mobile

Lectora’s approach to mobile design gives you the most control over how your content displays across all devices. Content automatically adapts to the viewing device; you can adjust it as needed.

Plans And Pricing

Lectora is part of the ELB Learning Authoring Suites. Choose from three plans to meet your needs. All plans include Lectora desktop and Lectora Online, ReviewLink, and in-app access to the Asset Library. Other levels have full web access to the Asset Library and CenarioVR.

Design Amazing Courses In Minutes

Adobe is a global leader in digital media, digital marketing, and eLearning solutions. Their tools and services allow their customers to create groundbreaking digital content, deploy it across media and devices, measure and optimize it and achieve greater business success. Adobe Captivate is a rapid authoring tool that enables eLearning content developers to create mobile-ready, engaging, interactive courses in minutes.  

Ready to give it a spin? Click here for a free 30-day trial.

Curious to see why it is one of the best eLearning authoring tools?

Visit our directory to read Adobe Captivate Reviews.

Highlights

  • Jumpstart compliance and soft skills course creation with ready-to-go slides
  • Create future-ready eLearning courses using Virtual Reality and responsive design
  • Out-of-the-box assets, interactions, and quizzing

They empower their users to create, publish, and manage their eLearning content with their industry-leading, award-winning digital learning solutions, for trainers, Instructional Designers, educators, and business professionals.

Highlights

  • Jumpstart compliance and soft skills course creation with ready-to-go slides
    In Adobe Captivate, the ready-to-go slides allow eLearning content developers to simply plug and play their own content (text, images, videos, etc.) and rapidly create beautiful eLearning courses. Additionally, the Quick Start Projects enable them to increase their productivity by authoring just once for all devices.
  • Create future-ready eLearning courses using Virtual Reality and responsive design
    Virtual tours, crisis management, safety drills, first responder situations—you name it! Adobe Captivate helps authors create and deliver numerous kinds of immersive learning experiences. Additionally, the mobile-ready slides in the asset store and the customizable fluid boxes allow them to author just once and publish to all devices.
  • Out-of-the-box assets, interactions, and quizzing
    Adobe Captivate does the heavy lifting for the eLearning authors as it provides free access to 75000+ assets. Additionally, it enables them to create interactive courses without programming. From text to speech, quiz slides, and a host of plug-and-play interactions, such as drag-and-drop and click-and-reveal, it has everything one needs to create a stunning and engaging eLearning course.

Achievements/Case Studies

  • American Airlines
    “The ability to use Captivate has allowed our team to stretch and grow as well as increase requests from our business partners.” Shanté King, Instructional Designer
    Results achieved:
    • Easy deployment
    • High engagement
    • Responsive learning
    • Increased potential
  • ACCC Insurance Company
    “Adobe Captivate has allowed us to deliver eLearning courses with highly interactive content that cater to a multitude of learning styles.” Darren Jones, Learning and Development Project Manager, ACCC.
    Top benefits of using Adobe Captivate:
    • High engagement
    • Diversified content
    • High retention
    • Interactive content

Plans And Pricing

Adobe Captivate has flexible buying programs for individuals, small and large teams:

  • Individual Subscription: US $33.99/month
  • Perpetual License Price: US $1299
  • Student Teacher Edition: US $399
  • Upgrade Price: US $499

Team subscription

The Adobe Value Incentive Plan (VIP) is a subscription licensing program with simple and secure management capabilities, flexible terms, and discount levels.

Enterprise licenses

An Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA) is ideal for larger deployments across centralized organizations. Get cloud and desktop offerings and budget predictability over a 3-year term, with one annual payment due on the same date each year.

Empower Your Entire Team To Easily Create High-Quality eLearning Courses

Easygenerator empowers organizations to simplify and accelerate their learning development. They provide an award-winning eLearning authoring tool that helps enterprises enable employees to unlock and share their knowledge online.

Ready to fulfill 100% of your training needs? Get started with the easiest eLearning authoring solution today!

Visit our niche directory for Easygenerator user reviews. It will help you understand why it is one of the best eLearning authoring tools.

Highlights

  • PowerPoint Import
  • Auto-Translation
  • Customized Branding

Highlights

  • PowerPoint Import

With Easygenerator, you can transform your PowerPoint files into eLearning courses in just a few clicks. Make your courses stand out by taking advantage of the powerful benefits this authoring tool has to offer.

  • Auto-Translation

Auto-translate your Easygenerator-created courses to and from 75 languages in a few clicks with high-quality translation powered by Amazon AWS.

  • Customized Branding

Do you want to design pieces of training according to your brand guidelines? Easygenerator gives you the option to change colors and themes and add your logo to let your brand shine through.

Plans And Pricing

  • Pro Plan

Perfect place for the single creator to get started sharing knowledge.

  • Team Plan

Work together with your entire five-person team to create eLearning content.

  • Enterprise Plan

Create a company-wide knowledge-sharing culture with unlimited authors.

 

Creating Beautiful eLearning Has Never Been So Beautiful

Gomo is an easy-to-use eLearning authoring tool. Yet, it still offers all the advanced features that your learning designers love. This cloud-based eLearning software encourages collaborative working. At the same time, it allows content to be quickly updated and instantly distributed. 

Start your Gomo free trial.

Don't forget to take a look at Gomo Learning reviews in our directory.

Highlights

  • Easy to use but powerful 
  • Cloud-based 
  • Create a single course that works for different audiences

Gomo empowers you to create courses that are tailored to your brand. In this way, your teams can work effortlessly on any device. After all, its responsive eLearning comes as standard. They also offer strong multi-language and localized content options. Thus, making this tool a perfect fit for global networks of learners. Gomo takes the hard work out of creating visually stunning courses that your learners can access anytime, on any device.

Highlights

  • Easy to use but powerful
    Intuitive to use, Gomo features a drag-and-drop interface that is full of powerful interactive features. Learning designers love its advanced features such as branching scenarios and question banks. 
  • Cloud-based
    This authoring tool can be accessed anywhere, anytime through any modern web browser, enabling global L&D teams to overcome traditional challenges of software downloads, working remotely, and across different timezones. 
  • Create a single course that works for different audiences
    Gomo allows you to build content efficiently. Supporting over 260 different languages and with options to localize content, your message remains relevant—wherever your learners are located.

Plans And Pricing

Gomo offers a range of annual subscription options that cater to all sizes, from smaller agencies to global enterprise organizations with 100,000+ learners. It offers content authoring-only packages, as well as a combined package with the authoring tool plus flexible delivery options. That includes their unique LMS Wrapper, which allows instant updates to your content across multiple LMSs. Authoring licenses start from $1,035. All packages feature onboarding support via Gomo Academy, which is full of microlearning videos to get you moving quickly. Enterprise customers receive an enhanced support package with a dedicated customer success manager.

A Favorite Creator Platform To Easily Develop Online Training At Scale

Trusted by 98,000+ organizations worldwide, Articulate software, services, community, and content make it easy to create compelling courses for every device. Articulate 360 has everything eLearning professionals need for course development. The annual subscription includes the award-winning authoring apps Storyline 360 and Rise 360 with 6+ million course assets. Also, you get an easy-to-use project review app and live and on-demand online training with industry experts such as Tom Kuhlmann. It’s continuously updated with new features and assets.

To learn more, sign up for a free 60-day trial of Articulate 360.

Looking for more reasons to see what makes it one of the best eLearning authoring tools?

Read Articulate 360 user reviews.

Highlights

  • Multidevice eLearning, automatically
  • Ever-expanding asset library
  • Live and on-demand training with industry experts

Highlights

eLearning developers are asked to build many different types of learning projects. Articulate 360 gives them all the apps and resources they need for any project with the assurance that their courses will look and work perfectly on any device.

  • Multidevice eLearning, automatically

No matter what Articulate 360 authoring app a developer chooses, their projects will work automatically on any mobile device. It solves the mobile device problem so developers don’t have to.

  • Ever-expanding asset library

Many eLearning professionals build courses without the help of graphic designers or other design resources. With Content Library 360, they get access to more than 6+ million assets, including templates, characters, and stock images, illustrations, icons, and video. By leveraging all these assets, they can create beautiful courses quickly. Users can access these royalty-free assets right from within Storyline 360 and Rise 360. As a result, they don’t have to interrupt their workflow to hunt online for images!

  • Live and on-demand training with industry experts

Developing engaging and impactful training takes more than great authoring apps. eLearning professionals know they must continuously grow their skills to do their best work. Articulate 360 subscribers get exclusive access to live and on-demand training webinars with industry-leading eLearning experts that help them quickly get started with Articulate 360 apps to expand their eLearning expertise.

Achievements/Case Studies

  • iHerb: IT trainer April Lokar

The IT trainer at iHerb, April Lokar, uses Articulate 360 to quickly create internal eLearning courses for different departments across her company. April is the first training professional iHerb has employed in its more than 20-year history.

After so many years with no training team, iHerb had a glaring gap in its business. There was a near-complete lack of training on how to use the key apps and technology that iHerb relies on day to day. As a team of one tackling a large backlog, April needed an eLearning solution that would speed course development, without a tough learning curve.

April carefully researched a handful of eLearning apps. She quickly settled on it, because other solutions "couldn’t compete with the level of user-friendly design in Articulate 360."

She saw how simple it was going to be to get it up and running. April knew this tool would immediately help remedy iHerb’s long list of needed training. Storyline 360 and Rise 360 made it easy to apply her Instructional Design skills. With the authoring apps in Articulate 360, she managed to create great-looking responsive courses. She could deliver material that learners could reference from any device.

Key points

After a year of experience using Storyline 360 and Rise 360 for course authoring, April now praises Rise 360 as a “game-changer.” And she uses Storyline 360 to add custom interactivity to the fully responsive training courses she builds in Rise 360. April also records pro-quality screencasts quickly with Peek and fine-tunes videos. She uses them for platform walkthroughs and manager training with Replay 360. She then adds the training videos to her courses. A process she calls “very efficient” for one professional to do on their own.

Articulate 360 has saved April and iHerb countless hours developing eLearning courses. April explains that her last company had a “team of five that was lucky to complete one eLearning course each month using other tools. At iHerb, April has created 31 eLearning courses in 12 months—all on her own.

Plans And Pricing

This tool makes every aspect of eLearning course development simpler, faster, and less expensive. An annual subscription of Articulate 360 gives course developers everything they need to complete eLearning projects, from start to finish.

  • Articulate 360 is available on the Articulate website and through Articulate authorized resellers.
  • The Articulate 360 Teams plan is available for $1,299 per user, per year.
  • Personal subscriptions are perfect for freelancers and are available for $999 per user, per year (all prices USD).

Eligible educational customers receive a 50% discount on list prices.

4.6/5 (21 reviews)
Enabling Companies To Deliver Impactful Learning Experiences On A Global Scale

Elucidat combines enterprise-level tech, strategic consultancy, and a true partnership approach. They help customers capture internal expertise, control quality, and deliver people-centered learning that achieves real impact. Are you interested in harnessing the power of people-centered eLearning?

Book a demo on their website to take the first step.

Read submitted reviews for Elucidat

Highlights

  • Capture Expertise
  • Designed For Enterprise
  • Fully Supported Partnerships

Highlights

  • Capture Expertise

Elucidat enables authors of any skillset to create impactful eLearning. With streamlined workflows and globally set controls, enable anyone to create quality content and share their expertise.

  • Designed For Enterprise

Elucidat is designed for enterprise teams. With advanced admin workflows and fully granular user permissions, teams have complete control of content creation.

  • Fully Supported Partnerships

Elucidat is a fully supported solution. From technology to consultancy. Elucidat partners with customers to achieve their learning goals and provides unrivaled support.

Plans And Pricing

Plans for Elucidat are based on the number of users creating content and learners consuming content. They have four base plans; Basic, Team, Enterprise, and Scale. Each plan can be fully customized to meet your exact requirements. Please contact them for a tailored quote.

8. KREDO
4.5/5 (13 reviews)
A Tool That Helps Deliver Visually Rich Interactive Courses With Ease And Pace

Tesseract Learning is an award-winning organization that offers eLearning course development and products to meet varied digital learning needs, including its easy-to-use authoring tool, KREDO. Its mission is to help businesses like yours increase productivity, drive growth, and create a strong talent pool. Hence, they are an excellent partner to help you with all your digital learning needs!

Explore their digital learning solutions.

Check our directory to read reviews for KREDO.

Highlights

  • Easy Authoring
  • Advanced Functions
  • Easy-To-Use Template

Highlights

  • Easy Authoring

A no-code authoring tool enabling your SMEs, content writers, and developers to create visually rich and interactive courses using prebuilt templates and deliver on devices of learners' choice.

  • Advanced Functions

Intuitive course and assessment configuration, co-authoring and translation capabilities, text-to-audio and transcript capabilities, and more!

  • Easy-To-Use Template

KREDO comes with 50+ pre-built templates which can be used with ease to build interactive courses quickly—these templates cut across Content, Interactivity, Questions, Gamification, and Charts.

Plans And Pricing

Per authoring license: US $750 to US $1000 per user per annum based on the volume of licenses purchased.

Find The Best eLearning Authoring Tool
Take a deep dive into eLearning Industry's niche directory to explore and choose the best platform for custom eLearning content development.

What Were The Criteria That Determined Which Vendors Made The List?

Globally recognized LMS experts, including C. Pappas, and our editorial team did a thorough review of each vendor's eligibility and relevant published content (articles, eBooks, webinars). Our committee ranked the best authoring tool software based on the following 9 criteria:

  • Customer support
  • Customer Experience
  • Software features
  • Software innovation
  • Customer reviews
  • Economic growth potential
  • Company’s customer retention
  • Employee turnover
  • Company’s social responsibility

After exploring this top list, make sure to read our tips on what you need to consider when opting for an authoring tool to create your training content.

eBook Release: eLearning Authoring Tools Comparison Guide
eBook Release
eLearning Authoring Tools Comparison Guide
Explore and discover how you can choose the best platform for custom eLearning content development.

What Is An eLearning Authoring Tool?

An eLearning authoring tool wears many tech hats in your organization. First and foremost, it allows you to develop content from the ground up. Or even use built-in assets to save time and resources. However, you can also use feature-rich authoring tool software to repurpose existing content and convert legacy resources.

For example, transform outdated Flash files into fresh HTML5 training tools. In some cases, LMSs have integrated authoring tools. But there are also standalone authoring platforms that enable you to generate content that’s compatible with your current LMS.

Why Do You Need An Authoring Tool?

One of the most notable benefits of authoring tools is that they help you design courses that align with current gaps and goals. For example, you can develop JIT support tools or certification paths to build relevant skills. Every design element and online training activity aligns with your employees’ preferences and L&D objectives.

Furthermore, you can quickly update content using pre-built templates to keep up with trends and policy changes, whether it’s onboarding courses for new hires or compliance resources to mitigate risks.

Top Things To Consider When Choosing An Authoring Tool

The best corporate training authoring tools deliver all the features and functionality you need to maximize ROI. They should also come with support services and customer training resources to help you lower the learning curve. For example, online training tutorials and demos that walk you through the setup process.

First and foremost, all of this needs to happen within your budget. Here are the top things you need to consider when choosing an authoring tool for your business.

Change your privacy settings to see the content.
In order to watch this video you need to have advertising cookies enabled.
You can adjust your cookie preferences here.

What Are The Key Authoring Tool Features That Fit Your Online Training Needs?

The tricky thing about software selection is that your organization has unique needs and buying requirements. A tool that might work for one L&D team isn’t necessarily the best choice for an online training solutions company. However, there are a few features every organization should add to their must-have list to get top value for money. Look for these key selling points to pick the right authoring tool solution without regrets.

Intuitive UI

Unique features won’t do any good if your team can’t use the tool to create engaging content for online learners. For this reason, the best authoring tools are intuitive and user-friendly. Users can customize their dashboards and use built-in templates to cut development time. Plus, they can update existing content. The system should also feature the layout they’re most comfortable with. For example, it might include a ribbon layout with different tabs that allow them to switch between screens quickly.

Branching Scenarios

Branching scenario authoring features include templates and predesigned branches that allow you to create immersive learning experiences. Another critical ingredient is the decision-making points. In most cases, these authoring tools have placeholders that you simply substitute with your own content. You can also change the theme, layout, and images to suit the subject matter.

Content Conversion

One of the most valuable authoring tool features is content conversion as it gives you the opportunity to turn all those Flash legacy courses into modern HTML5 training experiences. Thus, your learners can access the L&D library on any mobile device or browser. Some tools even include editing tools you can use to spruce up the final product. For instance, turn that hour-long webinar into a series of bite-sized JIT tools.

Drag And Drop

Drag-and-drop interactions transform static content into a dynamic online training resource. For example, you can develop a serious game wherein users must match policies to respective departments or products to their standout features and real-world benefits. The possibilities are endless. Simply put, this web authoring tool function boosts learner engagement and participation as it turns passive users into active participants.

Assessment Engine

You must be able to evaluate learners to see how far they’ve come as well as how far they need to go to achieve the online training objectives. An integrated assessment or quiz engine lets you create exams in a fraction of the time. You can use pre-built templates that support multiple Q&A formats—ranging from true/false to open response.

Another tie-in feature to look for is customizable grading options. For instance, you can assign points to every question and specify the feedback type.

Multiple Interaction Types

There are 3 common interaction types: open, linear, and passive. Passive involves no user interaction, while linear formats guide users every step of the way. On the other hand, open interactions are more interactive and dynamic, meaning learners can pave their own path. They can complete the course or activity in any order based on their needs. Different objectives call for different styles. Thus, you should look for authoring tools that support multiple interaction types.

Authoring Tool Comparison: Desktop Vs. Cloud-Based Vs. Open Source

Whether you’re looking for locally installed or vendor-hosted platforms, there’s course authoring software for every preference. The key is knowing which systems deliver the most profitable authoring perks for your organization. Below is a quick overview of the various deployment types and their benefits as well as a few downsides you should consider before making your final decision.

The Main Benefits Of Using A Desktop Authoring Tool

Computer-based training tools that are locally installed typically have more customization options. Many organizations also opt for this deployment type because of the security measures. By leveraging this option, you’re in charge of the services and data protection protocols.

Another perk is that you don’t have to rely on a steady internet connection. For example, you may have issues with the office WiFi. In this case, your employees can still log into the platform offline and design or revise existing content. However, this can be a double-edged sword as remote users may run into accessibility issues. Unless, of course, they have the software downloaded on their local device.

Desktop authoring tools are often associated with one-time licensing fees, as well. This means that you don’t have to foot a monthly bill for subscription fees. You’re locked in at that price. So, price fluctuations are no longer a concern. That said, you should still count on maintenance fees, add-ons, and new versions of the tool.

The Main Benefits Of Using A Cloud-Based Authoring Tool

Web authoring software that’s based on the cloud is accessible anytime, anywhere. Collaborators simply need to enter their username and password to create or update content. All the information is stored on the authoring tool vendors’ servers. Therefore, designers, admins, and SMEs can all work together remotely.

For instance, someone can log in and upload their part of the project, then get revision notes from instructors or facilitators. You also don’t have to worry about lost content, since everything is backed up on the cloud.

Most cloud-based authoring tools are based on a subscription model (or SaaS). This means that you have to pay a monthly or quarterly fee to access the platform. That brings us to the most notable downside, which is price increases. For example, the vendor might choose to raise their rates next year and you must reevaluate your software budget or look for another tool if the cost is too steep for your organization.

The Main Benefits Of Using An Open Source Authoring Tool

Undoubtedly, one of the most significant advantages of authoring tools that are open source is creative control. You can modify every aspect of the software based on your L&D requirements. However, you do need some tech expertise to tackle the task.

For example, most open source eLearning authoring tools call for coding know-how. You must be able to dive into the back-end programming to make the necessary changes.

Open source platforms are typically free since you have to put in most of the work. So, there are no licensing fees or subscription plans to factor into the budget. However, you do have to make room for IT support, since they usually don’t include vendor assistance or online training resources. Most platforms do have active user communities for DIY troubleshooting though.

Who Can Effectively Use Authoring Software?

L&D Managers

L&D managers can use eLearning authoring software to design online training resources for staffers and external partners. They’re able to custom-tailor every aspect of the content to suit organizational objectives. Plus, they can also customize employee preferences and fix personal gaps. Another common application is onboarding training and certification paths.

Online Training Companies

Training companies that develop eLearning resources for clients use authoring tools to widen their profit margin, not to mention, improve client satisfaction scores. Rapid authoring tools are quite popular in this niche because they contain an asset library and templates. This helps reduce turnaround time and achieve the best results.

eLearning Freelancers

Freelancers are usually a one-person show or a small team of eLearning professionals. Thus, they need versatile tools that are cost-effective and packed with valuable features. Especially if they take on diverse projects that call for different activities, JIT resources, and course interaction types.

Cloud-based authoring is usually the best bet, as it allows them to bring remote collaborators on board, for example, consultants or external SMEs.

Our directory has plenty of authoring tools for freelancers.

SMB Owners

Start-ups or small business owners rely on authoring tools for in-house talent development. They may not have room in their budget to hire an L&D team. However, free self-authoring software makes it easy to design courses on a tight time frame and budget so that they can deploy online training to mitigate risks ASAP.

Corporate eLearning Instructors

Another group that benefits from web-based authoring tools is instructors and facilitators. It gives them all the assets, templates, and interactions they need to develop memorable online training experiences, even if they have no prior experience designing content. Especially if the platform has advanced customer support resources to help them master key functions.

Nonprofits

Charities and other non-profit organizations implement authoring software to educate volunteers and expand their reach. For example, design certifications and online courses to raise awareness for their cause, as well as attract new volunteers and donors.

What Defines A Top eLearning Authoring Tool?

Top authoring tools stand out from the tech crowd by building a solid track record. Users give them high marks and they handle constructive feedback with professionalism. Here are just a few ways to evaluate authoring tool vendors and compare top authoring tools:

Industry Expertise

Your new authoring tool vendor must stay ahead of trends and learn about the latest eLearning technology. Namely, how it applies to your use case. For example, top-notch vendors update their tools regularly to include new functions or tech specs. Maybe there’s a new mobile device or browser you need to support.

In many cases, these software providers are industry thought leaders who publish articles or social media posts with valuable insights.

Social Proof

Is the vendor active on social media? Do they have favorable ratings and reviews? It’s crucial to establish social proof for your next authoring tool provider. They must have a track record and a positive online reputation to warrant your investment. A great place to qualify authoring vendors is an exclusive directory. Just make sure that there are fraud prevention measures in place to avoid sponsored reviews.

Support Services

The best authoring tool software is backed by reputable vendors who value CX. For example, they offer email and phone support as well as an online knowledge base or help center. Many vendors even have live chats and user communities where you can resolve issues on your own.

Get Even More Insights From This Top List: Authoring Tools Directory And Extra Tips

Even if you have a clear budget and implementation timeline in place, the selection process can be stressful. It’s not an easy task to choose the best authoring tool type of deployment: cloud-based deployment, open source license, desktop.

That’s why we compiled this Top Authoring Tool List to help you every step of the way. We’ve carefully selected each vendor based on our comprehensive evaluation criteria. This saves you the time and expense of conducting an exhaustive online search.

It features all the buying essentials to choose an authoring system that aligns with your specific needs. After you put the platform through its paces, we encourage you to submit an authoring tool review to our niche directory.

We also welcome authoring tool vendors to create a free listing in our top authoring tool directory. In just a few minutes, you can set up an account and launch your product landing page. With thousands of visitors every month, your software gets maximum exposure for minimal investment.

Last, but not least, a test drive is always necessary in order to evaluate authoring tools firsthand. Take a look at our eLearning authoring tools with a free trial. After all, trials and demos are the best way to assess the UI, features, and functionality before taking the plunge.

I hope this comprehensive list gave you a better idea of the best eLearning authoring tools in the market.

Looking For More eLearning Development Resources?

There’s the matter of finding a tool that has the ideal pricing models and specification support, not to mention, customer type and must-have features. Simply put, there is a variety of factors to consider. So many tools and so little time.

That said, if you’re in the market for a new LMS or a training outsourcing partner, we have eLearning Top Lists for those as well. See which vendors made the cut and how they can help you develop more effective online training for your team.

Whether you need a new Learning Management System for mobile users or an eLearning content provider to help you translate content, we’ve got you covered.

Choose and compare up to 3 Content Development.