With eLearning becoming the buzz word, the trainers have continuously been facing challenges in terms of delivering an effective and interactive elearning course to its employees. The lack of human touch has failed the best trainers in achieving the kind of results that they have been delivering through traditional classroom methods.
“Necessity is the mother of inventions”. Various elearning companies have come up with the solution by providing the tool in the form of the software that helps in creating the interactive learning content, lessons, courses, assessments, etc. using text, multimedia and interactions. The best part is that the trainer developing the course does not need any technical skill to curate the required course. This software program is known as an “elearning authoring tool”.
Choosing the right authoring tool might be overwhelming with so many options being available in the market. If not chosen wisely, the authoring tool might end up being a problem rather than the solution. Mentioned below are some of the features one must look for while considering and shortlisting the right authoring tool.
- User Interface: The interface to create the program must be intuitive and user friendly. The purpose of the authoring tool is to help you create the most complicated and a lengthy course in a relatively shorter span of time. The user friendly interface should also enable you to break the complete course into smaller byte sized microlearning topics while providing you the creative control.
- Interactivity: Online courses are designed in a manner that the course can be learnt without the instructor. Thus it becomes even more challenging that the learner remains engaged. Providing the material with which the learner can interact makes it interesting, easy to retain and engaging. A good authoring tool enables the inclusion of features like creating custom activities and games, interactive videos, animations, placing the objects and images in an interesting manner like pop-ups, triggers, buttons, etc. By choosing the right interactivity and multimedia, you can make the course more interactive and interesting and engaging with better end results.
- Managing Content: It is always good to have complete control of all the tools and resources required for developing your elearning course. This arms you with the required information like media, quizzes, etc. at any given point of time. You save time on developing them from scratch while keeping your workflow organized. Look for features like course and lesson libraries, quiz and question bank, resource and media library.
- Collaboration: With the option of working from home or working remotely to defy the geographical boundaries, it is crucial that all the stakeholders can connect and share the information easily. With the collaboration option of the authoring tool, this can work seamlessly. Features like co-authoring, shared resources, review system, author control and many more should be part of your learning management system. It will be good to have features if the authoring tool provides multilingual support to cater to your distributed workforce.
- Responsive: The primary feature of an elearning program is that the learner gets the flexibility of learning at their own pace, time and on the device that they are comfortable with. The authoring tool must have the feature to ensure that the elearning course generated is responsive on all screen sizes by automatically aligning the content to fit as per the device, be it laptop, tablet, PC or a smartphone.
- Support Services: It is crucial to have an effective support service from the vendor in case you require troubleshooting. Of course, the level of support required depends a lot on the experience level of your elearning team. Some companies provide support in the form of online FAQs while others might provide one-on-one support. Another point to keep in mind is the support of purchasing the required add on features for your elearning program.
Conclusion: Whether you are upgrading your existing authoring tool or looking to purchase your first elearning tool, Adobe Captivate provides the above mentioned features and much more. It is advised to perform a thorough research before finalizing the tool as this will mostly be a big investment.