5 Best eLearning Authoring Tools & Software

The 5 Best eLearning Authoring Tools & Software

Are you looking for eLearning software or tools to streamline your organization’s professional training and development processes? Or, maybe you’re just hearing about online learning software for the first time, and want to know what’s out there. In either case, there’s a lot to know about eLearning and the tools available to enable it. Let’s dive in.

An authoring tool is a type of online learning software that enables instructional designers and L&D teams to develop eLearning materials for their employees that are both engaging and meaningful.

By simplifying and streamlining the course-development process, an authoring tool can help your L&D team become more efficient and effective. An authoring tool can be desktop-based or cloud-based, and simple — or it can be built out to be more robust, with complex graphics and multimedia elements.

You can deploy an eLearning authoring tool as standalone software or access it from within a learning management system (LMS). In fact, a defining characteristic of eLearning authoring tools is the ability to publish your content using industry standards like SCORM or Tin Can API.

Which is the Best Authoring Tool For You?

The best eLearning software for you will depend on a range of factors, as well as the specific needs and skill level of your team members.

If your team possesses a technical or programming background, you may want an authoring tool with more sophisticated functions and features, such as video editing, 3D, and animation. For a less technical team that just needs an efficient way to roll out online learning materials, something more straightforward may work. Spend some time surveying your team’s needs and capabilities, recognizing that, over time, they will change.

There is a dizzying number of new eLearning tools on the market and multiple authoring tools. Here are five that we like a great deal.

5 of the Best eLearning Authoring Tools

  1. Articulate Rise

An eLearning authoring tool that instructional designers can use to create interactive and engaging courses, Articulate Rise is – from its intuitive interface to its course templates – all about quick and easy. Articulate Rise is ideally suited for members of the team who may not have deep experience in instructional design, but who nonetheless insist on creating stunning eLearning courses.

What can this eLearning software do for you? Featuring a responsive design, the Articulate Rise professional eLearning software automatically reconfigures your courses so they fit all devices. This means you don’t have to create a separate design for mobile devices – it does it for you (though you may have to fine-tune it yourself).

Articulate Rise may be appropriate for your team if you are seeking a cloud-based, entry-level solution that is intuitive and easy to use, with a clean, easy-to-navigate interface. If streamlined simplicity wins the day for your team, then Articulate Rise should be on your shortlist. One of the tradeoffs, however, is a somewhat limited selection of templates.

  1. Camtasia

For L&D team members that are big believers in the power of video content, Camtasia may be just what you’re looking for. Known for its impressive video editing suite, Camtasia is commonly used for screen recordings, tutorials, and new-product demos; it provides the polish needed to make your screen recordings stand out. If engaging employees with immersive, interactive video content – with no limit on the length – is your mission, Camtasia has you covered. What’s more, with sophisticated analytics and reporting, you will always have a bird’s eye view and in real time know who has and hasn’t completed a given course.

  1. Adobe Captivate

Captivate is a desktop app for both Windows and Mac. At first glance it may resemble PowerPoint but, given its truly impressive features and capabilities, call it PowerPoint on steroids! The software comes in different versions, but no matter how you slice it, Adobe Captivate is one of the most robust and dynamic examples of eLearning software on the market.

So when would you use it? Really, anytime that you are going to develop some kind of computer-based training. It’s ideal for general eLearning development: from creating slide presentations and quizzes to developing complex interactive courses.

That said, it takes practice – and ideally, some technical expertise – to use this product to its full capability. In fact, it is designed for experienced authors who need the capabilities – hello virtual reality! – to create engaging, high-quality courses.

Adobe Captivate is available as a standalone eLearning authoring tool and is SCORM- and LMS-compliant. It even comes with a unique editor for recording software simulations. Another advantage is its responsive design, meaning that your design course will work on a desktop, mobile device, or tablet.

  1. Lectora Online

Initially a Windows-only app, Lectora went online in 2016 and is now available on the cloud. The software provides users with the tools to create a comprehensive, engaging, and professional eLearning course. It offers a wide range of attractive templates for instructional designers and the ability to create complex training scenarios.

Although it is regarded as a simple, user-friendly solution, Lectora is not for the novice designer; in order to leverage its full potential, instructional designers should have experience and a comfort level with sophisticated authoring tools. Other elements include automation, interactivity, branching, and responsive design. Lectora works with any LMS.

  1. Elucidat

Regarded as one of the best SCORM-compliant eLearning authoring tools, Elucidat is designed for both Windows and Mac. While companies of any size can use Elucidat, it is intended for large companies that are managing large-scale training initiatives; the software provides these companies with a platform to quickly and easily ramp up their training while significantly reducing costs.

Benefits include enhanced collaboration and teamwork. Based in the cloud, Elucidat enables various authors to collaborate on the same project, at the same time, and makes it easy to create interactive, immersive courses as well as personalized learning paths.

With a clean, streamlined, mobile-friendly interface, Elucidat can supercharge a wide variety of training initiatives, from onboarding and product training to compliance.

Elucidat features a comprehensive library of pre-designed templates with which even less experienced authors can design visually stunning and immersive training experiences. If you don’t know code, it’s not a deal-breaker. Use surveys, social learning, and gamified elements (think points and leaderboard) to capture learners’ attention and keep them motivated.

While Elucidat places a premium on easy and intuitive, some of the more advanced features may take some getting used to. As with any eLearning authoring tools software, you have to practice by doing.

Did you know that the World Manager LMS supports the best eLearning authoring tools? Book a demo today to learn how the World Manager LMS supercharges employee training. Contact Us today!

Top 5 eLearning Software and Authoring Tools Infographic

Disclaimer: This information is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor World Manager will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this information.

The best companies use World Manager to train staff, maintain standards, and set the company up on the road to success.