The elearning industry in the recent past has seen a spurt in the growth of authoring tools. There are at least fifteen competing products in the market. These vary from screen capture tools to content publishing systems and online collaborative publishing tools.
Screen Capture tools – Simple tools allow you to record your usage of any particular application and can create videos of mouse movements. Some of them allow addition of text through inbuilt callouts and templates. You can even record audio, describing the application. These are best used for application and process training programs. High-end programs allow you to publish this training as integrated packages.
Content Publishing systems – These are complete authoring environments with some great features.
Creating fully interactive courses
- Text content can be typed in directly or imported in certain formats
- Graphics can be imported in various formats
- Animations and videos can be embedded
- Question banks can be created with quiz templates. Up to ten type of question templates are available here.
- Inserting boxed interactive activities and games is also possible in most authoring tools.
- As SCORM and AICC standards get adopted worldwide, the navigation options for most courses get ‘templatized’ in various authoring tools as per your standards requirements.
- Course navigation can be customized and is usually available in a panel in the system.
- The course that you create can be published to different platforms. They can be CBT’s or WBT’s. Published as per SCORM 1.2 or 2004 versions. Published as per AICC standards. They can be made 508 compliant.
- Courses can be published either as html or flash presentations. Some systems allow you to publish to word for handouts and to power point presentations.
Online Collaboration Tools
- It allows users to review work online and collaborative authoring before publishing.
- It can be an add – on to pre-existing LMS, these authoring tools allow authors to be based anywhere, access the content and publish directly.
- Apart from this they have the features of content publishing system.
Apart from authoring tools, there are also interactivity builders. These have templates for games, activities, quiz and assessments.
- These interactivities are based on sound instructional design principles.
- They cut short your development time especially in integration and testing.
- Very few people are required to create the course.
- Customized elearning solutions become template dependant.
Elearning when automated restricts creative solutions.