How do we choose the right rapid authoring software that will provide us the maximum ROI? What is the best tool in the market? Well, the answer to these questions is that the choice of a rapid authoring tool has to be made based on your needs.
As the needs of companies are as diverse as the companies themselves, different companies use different parameters to evaluate the tools. The result is that there are no “universally accepted criteria” for comparing rapid online course development software.
However, it is a good idea to consider the features that are preferred by most users. We believe that this provides the best frame of reference for evaluation because we will be comparing the software on features that are widely in demand, thus making the comparison meaningful and relevant to the needs of today's users.
The E-learning Guild has come out with a report that has listed the most desired features in rapid digital course authoring software. Some of the important ones are as follows:
Let us now see each feature in detail.
It is well-known that cost implications play a major role in any decision made by companies and the choice of the authoring tool is no exception. However, it is important to balance the cost aspect with other important parameters in the selection of a tool. The tool needs to support the instructional strategies properly. Otherwise it is of little use to the firm because effective online courses can't be developed using it.
It is common knowledge that efficient use of audio enhances the effectiveness of the online course.The E-learning Guild reported that users were seeking these audio capabilities in authoring tools.
Assessments play an important role in asynchronous eLearning. Therefore, it did not come as a surprise when the E-learning Guild report stated that most users wanted authoring tools with a wide range of assessment features. Some of the features desired were:
Branching and Navigation play a very important role in making the course interactive and user-friendly. The E-learning Guild report stated that users of tools wanted these 3 features to be available in authoring tools.
Proper use of graphics and animations make the course lively and enhances its instructional value. These are the important features desired by most users, which help them use graphics and animations effectively, as per the E-learning Guild.
Videos are an effective medium of imparting training and go a long way in personalizing the online course. The E-learning Guild report stated that the users wanted these video features to be available in the rapid digital course authoring software.
The E-learning Guild report mentioned that most users believed that template, theme, skin, and text formatting features were important in an asynchronous eLearning authoring tool. They wanted these features related to templates, themes, skins and text available in the tools.
It is well-known that effectively deigned games, scenarios and simulations prove very useful in enhancing the quality of online training. The E-learning Guild stated that the users of rapid authoring tools desired these features related to games, scenarios and simulations.
Effective user communities and efficient support are very important in making the best use of a rapid authoring tool. The users of tools wanted these user community and support features in these software, according to the E-learning Guild.
It is common knowledge that progress tracking plays a very important role in an online course. The E-learning Guild reported that users of rapid eLearning software wanted their tools to track in:
The E-learning Guild report stated that most users opined that scripts and variables were very important aspects in the use of authoring tools. It also added that the users wanted these features to be available in the course authoring software.
User accessibility plays a key role in the efficient use of an online course. E-learning Guild stated that most users desired these user accessibility features in their course development software.
The use of social media in learning is steadily on the rise. The users of rapid authoring software wanted their tools to be integrated with these social networking services.
It is important to see that the rapid authoring tool you choose can publish the course in the desired format. Most users stated that they needed a course authoring software that could publish to these formats.
These features go a long way in helping you evaluate the instructional support, multimedia and delivery capabilities of rapid authoring tools. For more information, on the widely used rapid authoring tools, check out this free resource. Hope you find this article useful. We'd love to hear your views.