Tips To Choose The Right Elearning Authoring Tool

handwriting on design toolAn elearning authoring tool is not a sophisticated word processing software. The term “authoring” can be quite confusing. What you need to remember is it goes beyond the writing requirements of online courses.

An authoring tool used in e-learning allows instructors and trainers to create a course that is engaging, interactive, and professional looking. In essence, it is a tool that will help you create online courses. It has a lot of development tools and functions that you can use to create new content or recycle old ones. It also allows you to combine different tools and use their respective functions to create a great elearning course.

The challenge here is not the availability of authoring tools, but in choosing the right one that will help you meet your learning requirements. There are many types of course creation tools but we can classify them into two simple categories.

  • Installed authoring tools. This is a tool that you need to download so you can use it on your personal computer or laptop. The beauty about this tool is that you can use it even without an Internet connection. You can access it even when you are offline. However, it can be tedious to update because you need to constantly download the upgrades to get the latest version. Sometimes, these upgrades will require payments.
  • Cloud-based authoring tools. This is a tool that is stored in the cloud and does not require installation. Of course, that means an Internet connection is a requirement before you can use it. A great thing about this tool is you do not have to worry about the upgrades. The administrator of the site that manages the authoring tool will take care of all the updates. That usually part of the package. When you log in, you are sure to get the latest version all the time. Another benefit is that you have more access to a community to users that can help you utilize this authoring tool well.

In order to choose the right elearning authoring tool, you need to understand what your course will need. Here are some questions that you need to ask yourself.

What is the design of your elearning course?

Start by asking yourself what the goals are. Do you plan on creating a one-time course? Or do you want to create a series of courses? If you will work or access these courses every day, an installed authoring tool may be easier for you. That way, you can work even if you do not have an Internet connection.

What is your level of expertise?

If know that you do not have the expertise to create a professional course, you are safer with a cloud-based authoring tool. These are usually more user-friendly than the installed one. These have a stronger and more comprehensive tech-support system since more users are online while using the tool. Installed authoring tools are more for the professional elearning developers.

Who will author the course?

If you have a team working on the same course at the same time, a cloud-based authoring tool will make it easier to collaborate. That way, everyone can work on the course when it is convenient for them. But if you are the sole author, then an installed tool should be enough.

What is the device of the target learners?

A great elearning course is for nothing if it cannot be accessed by your target audience. Make sure the authoring tool that you will use is responsive enough to be accessed through multiple devices.

How do you want to pay for the tool?

There are two ways to pay for an elearning authoring tool. The first is through a license – which is generally more expensive. This is what you pay for if you choose an installed authoring tool. It will become even more expensive if the upgrades require additional payments. If you want to pay for a subscription, this is a lower monthly cost that you have to pay for as long as you are using the tool. This is the scenario that you will face if you opt for a cloud-based authoring tool.

The elearning authoring tool will help you reach your goals in creating an online course. Make sure you choose wisely so you will not waste the monetary investment that you will put on it.

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