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Choosing the right authoring tool is very crucial for creating the best possible elearning experience for users, whether it’s for business skills development or for high school students. Analyzing the key factors for comparing one authoring tool to another will help you make the best decision. Following are a few key considerations to keep in mind as you make your decision:
Although your budget is one of the most significant factors, it shouldn’t be the prime consideration. If you have a limited budget, you can consider using one of the desktop tools available. This includes using MS Word or PowerPoint as a base authoring environment. If you don’t have a budget constraint, or if you’ree looking to scale up your authoring across the organization or have a dedicated team, you can consider a collaborative server-based eLearning authoring tool. They usually have more powerful capabilities, and some are multi-purpose allowing for systems and non-systems training.
In addition, you should research and compare products while watching for hidden costs associated with upgrades, licensing, software maintenance, and training. With the availability of various options for a wide range of budgets, you can choose your must-have features and find the best match.
Ease of Use
Considering the level of learning curve you can comfortably handle is extremely important. The authoring tool you choose should be easy to use. If you produce content without involving any developers, the time required to create training content will be shorter, the number of modules created can increase, and the ROI for your authoring tool will be higher.
A key benefit of cloud-based authoring tools is that your workforce has more flexibility to scale according to your current development needs. If you need to create last-minute eLearning content for a major project, a scalable authoring tool will allow you to leverage the skills of team members across multiple locations. SMEs can access your cloud-based authoring tool from any location and use your branded templates to contribute to the project.
Streamlined Online Communication
To ensure delivery of high-quality content, authors are required to collaborate efficiently and quickly with all stakeholders, including reviewers and testers. Authoring tools that feature a streamlined online feedback system which allows all members of the team to add comments or recommendations on the page they’re reviewing can help the team avoid missed or crossed email communications or conflicting change requests so they deliver high-quality content.
Ease Of Integration with Your Current Software
It’s important to determine if the new tool can be integrated with your current LMS or other authoring tools. Check its compatibility with other eLearning tools that you use often and find out if the new tool hinders the functionality of the software that you’re already using. If the authoring tool conflicts with your current technology, then you may need to look into plug-ins that offer you the same features or functions as your existing platforms.
Availability of Trial Versions
Many e-learning software companies allow their customers to try a free trial full-featured version of their app. It helps users get a feel for its interface and potential before they make a final purchase decision.
Before investing, you should take advantage of free trials and try different apps firsthand. For example, you can develop a short module containing one quiz in each e-learning authoring app you’re trialing. It’s a great way to discover which app is easiest to learn and use.
The importance of the considerations discussed in this article will vary depending on what your expertise is and what scale of work you produce. The eLearning authoring tool you choose is an important investment, so do some research before purchasing one. You can get feedback by reading customer reviews too. Moreover, there are vendors that provide free trials, so take advantage of these trials to understand the best fit for your business.