What is an authoring tool for content and how to pick the right one

An authoring tool is a software application that allows you to create content and incorporate it into e-learning courses. You can package various multimedia files and convert them into multiple digital formats such as HTML, video, and audio assets through this tool. Various authoring tools can range from simple (Google Docs or Sheets) to advanced (video editing). More on this later!

What is the main purpose of an authoring tool?

The main purpose of an authoring tool is to provide ready-to-use applications that will make course creation easy and accessible to a wide range of users. In addition, an authoring tool enables easy navigation by providing a fool-proof system that would otherwise be time-consuming or complex for an ordinary user. Imagine building a full course with only a few clicks and drag-and-drop instead of spending hours coding.

What is an authoring tool for content and how to pick the right one

How can you use an authoring tool?

With an e-learning authoring tool, there’s no need to learn technical programming or possess any coding expertise to use it. Instead, an authoring tool is a user-friendly way of developing e-learning courses and lessons using templates, pre-programmed tools, and interfaces that are normally easy to navigate, even for non-technical users.

Content authoring tools may vary in the way they work. Some are made for course creators with little to no technical expertise, so they are mainly composed of templates and drag-and-drop. The outputs then include simple Word documents, surveys, and quizzes. Others are meant to create custom and more complex learning contents like simulations, interactive learning applications, gamification, 3D or 4D formats, and the like.

Regardless of interface, complexity, and functionality, authoring tools function with the same goal in mind – to help you create e-learning courses quickly and easily.

Why should you use an authoring tool?

An authoring tool serves a great purpose, especially in instructional design and content authoring. Here are some of the main reasons why you need a learning authoring tool:

  1. You can personalize your learning experiences by providing highly customized content.
  2. If you’re working with a team and external parties, an authoring tool can allow you to collaborate with multiple authors with more ease.
  3. Suppose you’re making your e-learning courses and contents available in various geographical locations. In that case, authoring tools can help you roll them out and adapt to changing regulations in each region quickly and easily.
  4. Continuous improvement is highly feasible as these tools can collect feedback and provide data to analyze and use for updating the course.
  5. Learning authoring tools allow you to address learning needs, meet new demands, and update your e-learning content without spending too much time and effort.

What are the various types of authoring tools?

Learning Management Systems

A Learning Management System (LMS), is a software application used in education and business with a primary function to create, deliver, administer and track training, learning, and development programs. An LMS should have a wide variety of authoring tools to make the training process easy for both users and administrators. Learning content, files, and assets are first uploaded to an LMS platform. You can then organize that content and build e-learning courses to deliver to your desired learners.

Learn more about how you can take advantage of a Learning Management System. Start a free trial or contact our team to get started.

e-Learning authoring tool

These tools allow instructional designers and course creators to create slides and presentations and incorporate interactive content developed using formats like HTML5, SCORM, and ePub.

Video recording, screen capture, and editing

These tools allow the course creator to record their entire screen or capture a portion of it. They also allow easy video editing options to ensure that videos are professionally produced. Some of the key features in video edits include a pop-up window for the speaker while showing the presentation, quizzes, and interactive assessments.

How can you identify the right authoring tool for you?

When deciding which authoring tool fits your content and course creation needs, you must consider the following factors:

How can this tool enable you to meet your time frame and maintain efficiency?

Think about the level of complexity of your course and identify which features can help you develop the content quickly and easily.

  • What is your timeline like, and will the tool help you produce high-quality content within the time frame?
  • Whom are the authors involved?
  • What is the level of collaboration needed to author the entire product, and how can you streamline the communication process?
  • What technical expertise and experience are available among the authors, and can they use the platform with ease?

How can you produce high-quality content for the e-learning course

Consider the learning needs and the learners, and ask yourself these questions:

  • How personalized and customized should learning content be?
  • What is the level of complexity and the range of formats available to address learning needs?
  • Are interactive and dynamic content important? (The answer should be “yes!”) What tool will enable you to produce this content, given the technical expertise and experience available?
  • Are you planning to use existing content? Which tool will enable you to produce a high-quality and updated version of your existing resources?

How can you scale it?

Scalability is highly important, so you should consider the following:

  • How quickly and easily can you edit, recycle, and scale your e-learning content?
  • How can the tool provide you cost-efficiency when you produce the course at scale?
  • Can you import and export features, interfaces, and other elements of the course with ease?
  • Are there options to translate and make the course available across various geographical regions?

Conclusion

If this topic interests you and you’d like to know more about course authoring, please contact us. Edubrite has Course Authoring capabilities and resources that allows you to:

  • use readily available content, quizzes, surveys, and SCORM to build a course;
  • use drag-n-drop, bulk-upload features;
  • set-up business rules to control course behavior; and
  • Export SCORM from your favorite authoring tool and upload directly to our EduBrite LMS while combining them with other items, like quizzes and surveys, to deliver high-quality training.

Start a free trial or contact our team to get started.