Do you already have an e-learning authoring tool? If not, then you've come to the right place. With a rapidly expanding market for this course creation software, the choices are more overwhelming than ever. While each product offers something a little different, there are some features and functions that you’ll want on your "Must Have" list.
You can find the best software on the planet, but if it doesn't communicate with your Learning Management System (LMS), it is not the right choice. Your LMS can help you register participants, track their progress, retain their assessment scores, and track their certifications. An e-learning environment that forces you to manually enter this information will slow your ability to move toward a stronger e-learning environment. For these reasons, you want an authoring tool that will communicate with your LMS.
Usable File Formats
Without getting all technical, you probably have some idea about the types of files you want to use in your projects. If you want to convert PowerPoint, import pictures, include specific types of audio and video files, or add screen shots, the authoring tool you choose will make a difference. Another thing to consider is the computer your participants use to take the course. One of my strongest recommendations is that you talk with your IT department about the types of files currently being used within your company. They can also offer other important system information that you can use to make your decision.
With e-learning, you can select a number of deployment strategies. How your participants will access the course will impact the authoring tool you choose. Some tools allow for on-line access through your company website. Some provide zip files with executable software that can be used on most computers, regardless of location; others can be launched from within your LMS. If possible, make these kinds of deployment decisions before purchasing an authoring tool.
I've only touched on three key factors when deciding on an authoring tool. There is one more consideration I'd like to add. Can you get a FREE trial first? If you can, you will have the opportunity to test out the features, and ease any concerns before actually making the purchase. Remember, be patient during this exploration process. Learning should be fun, so enjoy learning about what these authoring tools have to offer.
For a step-by-step process for developing a comprehensive and cost-effective e-learning strategy that meets organizational goals, our How to Create an e-Learning Strategy self-study kit will guide you through the process. Check it out!