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Comparison of the best e-learning authoring tools

Choosing an authoring tool is one of the most critical steps you must take when planning your online training strategy. Using the wrong tool that doesn’t suit your needs can cause frustration and negatively impact your training plans.

Not all authoring tools are easy to use or have the same features. That’s why we have created a comparison of best e-learning authoring tools to help you decide on the best one for you.

What should I look for in an e-learning authoring tool?

When comparing authoring tools, knowing where to start isn’t easy. Depending on your needs, some features or benefits will be more important than others. Here are some tips that can help you choose the right one: 

Look for a simple and intuitive authoring tool that doesn’t require previous training, with templates that help you create your content quickly and ready-to-use interactive resources.

Ensure the tool has an easy-to-use editor that allows you to see the result while editing (WYSIWYG) t save time and changes..

Finally, assess whether the tool meets your distribution needs. Some e-learning authoring tools offer an integrated distribution system (an all-in-one platform). With this feature, you won’t have to worry about uploading your courses to other platforms.

In this case, you should avoid e-learning authoring tools that focus on technical profiles and look for the latest-generation software. Using older versions of authoring tools makes content creation more time consuming.

Luckily, there are tools with plenty of ready-to-use interactive resources and predesigned templates so that you can focus on your content instead of the technicalities.

If you don’t know how to take advantage of your current tool, the rest of the team doesn’t know how to use it, you don’t want to invest in training or if all your courses look alike; then the time has come to look for alternatives.

Look for an online course creation software that is intuitive and easy to use, and that both you and your coworkers feel comfortable using.

You can find free trials online to help you make an informed decision about the e-learning authoring tool that’s best for your company.

Implementing an LMS can be a long and expensive process. Luckily, some e-learning authoring tools provide a built-in distribution system, so you don’t have to worry about this step.

Keep in mind that not all tools offer equal solutions. Look for the one that helps you organize your audience efficiently, provides accurate tracking statistics, and allows you to create certificates.

You should also ensure you can view the courses and the distribution platform on mobile devices.

If you need an affordable authoring tool, look for one you can subscribe to monthly (not all of them offer this option). Remember that an easy-to-use tool will save time and improve your project’s profitability. Also, you should be able to access a free trial for as long as you need before making your decision.

If you already have an LMS (such as isEazy LMS, Moodle, Cornerstone, Blackboard, or SuccessFactors), you need an e-learning content creation tool that works with it. Check the compatibility of the tool with your LMS before taking the next step.

The ideal option is an authoring tool that covers a variety of distribution options to cover you in situations where your LMS cannot be used, for example when offering external training.

The success of your training depends on being able to connect with your students. Training through PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, or static courses will not engage or motivate your learners.

Instead, a good e-learning strategy should stimulate the curiosity of your audience. Look for a tool with fun and ready-to-use interactive resources, like exercises and games.

Whether you are a freelancer or work in an e-learning content factory, you need to adapt to your clients’ needs. For this reason, when choosing an authoring tool, consider how it will allow you to personalize your courses based on their corporate branding.

This should go beyond just the logo to offer complete customization of colors, fonts, images, slide layouts and beyond. New features such as SmartColors have also emerged that allow you to change the entire color palette of your project in a matter of seconds!

E-learning course creation is often delegated to members across the organization, even if they don’t belong to the training department. If this is the case for you, you should opt for a cloud-based tool that allows you to centralize and organize your projects without installation, especially if you have employees who work remotely. This will enable you to give and remove permissions to different collaborators quickly.

Your authoring tool must also offer the possibility to edit projects collaboratively and use corporate templates so that the contents are consistent.

If you need to create courses in several languages, you should pay special attention to features that can speed up the translation of your content.

Look for an authoring tool that allows you to export and import your texts in formats which are compatible with translators. Some tools will also enable you to use the latest technology to perform automatic translations.

Comparison of the best e-learning authoring tools

USER EXPERIENCE

Fully cloud based

WYSIWYG

Intuitive / not training required

High Performance user interface

CUSTOMIZATION

Full Corporate Branding & Corporate fonts

Style templates library

Image Filters

Style templates editor

SmartColors

COLLABORATION

Shared environments & folders

Collaborative project editing

Permission management + Team managment

Transfer projects