In a world that is ever increasingly reliant on digital communication and tools, it’s important that as an employer or course provider, your course is accessible to as many potential learners as possible. With eLearning authoring tools and Learning Management Systems, your training can now digitally reach the entire globe. In this CPD article, we look at what eLearning authoring tools are as well as the benefits of using them for your organisation.
What is an eLearning authoring tool?
An eLearning authoring tool is a program designed to help develop eLearning courses. Authoring tools have predetermined elements, which the user can manipulate and change to suit their needs. They allow the user to export the content they create in different formats so they can distribute their course content to learners. An eLearning authoring tool can be a standalone product, or it can incorporated into your LMS (Learning Management System) to deliver to your learners.
What are the benefits of using an authoring tool?
The world of both work and learning has changed and more people are using online, digital technologies. Here are some of the benefits of using an eLearning authoring tool.
1. Anyone can create courses: Not every organisation employs an in-house developer or instructional designer. Authoring tools enable anyone in the organisation to piece together the course, without having coding or technical knowledge.
2. eLearning tools are cost effective: The ability to create digital courses without the need to hire a developer or designer will immediately cut costs for any organisation. Many authoring tools will allow you to upload your current training materials to their system, giving you a base to start from.
3. Allows the course content to be updated easily: Depending on what your course content is, it may be evergreen content or it may need to be updated every year, using an eLearning authoring tool will allow you to update sections of your course material as needed without having to start the entire course from scratch.
4. Customisable content: When using an eLearning authoring tool, you will be given the opportunity to customise the look and feel of your course to ensure your company branding is used throughout. Once this has been created for the first time, you can reuse this across multiple courses, or for tutorials for customers.
5. Scalability: Once your course has been created with an eLearning authoring tool, there is the potential to use it for any number of people. No photocopies, no handouts. Thousands of people could potentially access your course worldwide, more than you could ever train face to face.
6. Translations: With the online world at your fingertips, you want to be able to share your course with as many people as possible. Many eLearning authoring tools will be able to translate digital courses into any language needed.
7. Backups: If you are using a web-based eLearning authoring tool, there may be cloud back up options available, potentially avoiding outages to your training, loss of your resources and inconvenience for your learners.
What are the different types and examples of eLearning authoring tools?
When using eLearning authoring tools, different types of learning need to be considered. Some authoring tools specialise in a particular area, but most will have the same basic features.
- AI: Although still in its infancy, the advent of AI generating course content has boomed with the introduction of ChatGPT. Please read our related article on ‘What AI means for the Future of Training.’ Authoring tools with AI features can empower employees to produce their own eLearning content. If an employee feels that there is a gap in their skill set, they can now use AI to create their own personalised course, for example.
- Gamified Learning Tools: In order to keep a learner engaged, gamification is used. In this form of learning, rewards or badges are received when tasks have been completed, or new information has been used. Apps can be made with tools which feature drag and drop templates to create course material.