Everything You Need To Know About Course Authoring Tools
It’s common for many organizations to seek ways to differentiate, customize and improve their learning and training strategies, but more often than not, they aren’t sure where to start – or how to do it. But eLearning authoring tools offer a solution, granting organizations control of the courseware they produce without deep technical expertise, proficiencies or even pockets.
What Is An Authoring Tool?
According to PCMag.com, eLearning authoring tools are eLearning course creation tools that empower anyone – not just tech-savvy programmers – to create courseware to train employees in new job skills, employee policies, or even general-interest topics for leisurely reading.
But slick tools are all for naught you don’t know how, when or why to use them so here, we’ll break down some of the biggest considerations and best practices for content authoring tools so you can select, leverage and review the right tools for the job.
Choose An Authoring Tool
Upon closer review of courses created by various content authoring tools, you’ll quickly begin to notice their inherent differences. Where some courses may appear templated, others will appear customized and personalized. Selecting the right eLearning authoring tool means you’ll need to prioritize features and functionality – such as high-end multimedia simulations or ease-of-use – so that you can whittle down available authoring tools to find the right fit for your needs. Here are some reviews and comparisons to help.
Plan Your Course Elements
Before creating your first course, eLearning Industry recommends planning for a balanced blend of three fundamental courseware building-block elements: informative, interactive and visual.
The goal, of course, of eLearning courses is to effectively communicate information so naturally, you’ll want to ensure that your content is informative. The next critical component of successful eLearning is the learner’s application of newly acquired skills and knowledge so courses must leverage exercises, studies, quizzes and simulations to allow them to apply what they’ve learned.
Lastly, consideration must be paid to how the courses present visually as it’s what learners will notice first. High-quality images, clean, legible fonts, and thoughtful colors go a long way to keep your audience engaged – without being distracting. Also be sure to consider how adaptive and responsive the course will be on all devices, not just desktops.
Draft A Course
Now this is the fun part. There’s really only one way to determine if you’ve chosen the right eLearning authoring tool and have a masterful handle on all of its features: Get to work! By drafting a prototype that incorporates each of the aforementioned fundamental elements, as well as any collaborative suggestions or requests, you’ll have a better idea of what works – and what doesn’t. Don’t become consumed with perfection or getting it ‘right’ the first time; instead, use this step to experiment, seek feedback and try again.
Only by rolling up your sleeves and diving in can you really get a sense for the authoring tool’s capabilities, the direction of your course, and what it will take to create the right course to meet your needs.
Inspect What You Expect
Once your course is everything you’ve dreamt it could be, be diligent about evaluating the process to know what works, what doesn’t and what can be improved or changed altogether. If you view your courseware as a living, breathing thing, you’ll be better equipped to respond to its shortcomings and evolve it accordingly.
And BONUS: All of this initial tinkering and evaluating and modifying means courses can be created more quickly and easily the next time around.
Authoring your own eLearning courses is infinitely easier and often surprisingly more efficient with the right eLearning authoring tool, empowering you to deliver high-quality courses – without breaking the bank.