Over the last thirty years, the proliferation of both the internet and new technologies in general, has completely transformed every aspect of what it means to be human. From the moment the internet began making its way into public homes in the early 1990s, to the point in time that the first 5G mobile networks began being rolled out, the impact of the modern age has been obvious for all to see. While there is no industry that new technologies have not had a helping hand in developing, there is perhaps no sector more than that education that has reaped the benefits of technology.
When it comes to education, authoring tools have quickly become one of the most important parts of the process of creating e-learning content, making them an essential tool for instructional designers, training businesses, and Learning & Development professionals. Those familiar with Learning Management Systems (LMS) will be more than aware that despite the fact that they come with their own built-in authoring tools, they are often too basic to adequately create worthwhile e-learning content. This is where e-learning authoring tools come in, and why so many amateurs and professionals are turning to them in order to develop online training programs.
In order to fill you in on the power of authoring tools, as well as to answer some common questions such as “what is SCORM?”, we decided to put this article together to explain what exactly authoring tools are, their main advantages, and to present some of the most popular authoring tools in existence today.
What is an Authoring Tool?
Authoring tools do just what they suggest, so far as they put you in control of what you are creating. The rise of the internet has seen the process of how we educate, and how we learn, develop and adapt to what is now possible.
We will all be familiar with the concept of online lessons, courses, assignments, exercises, and simulations. These are what we now refer to as eLearning content and are created using authoring tools.
So, in essence, authoring tools allow you to combine text and a host of audiovisual material with the objective of formulating an interactive learning experience from scratch.
The exponential growth of technology has removed the need to be able to write the code for every section, meaning that the authoring tool allows you to solely focus on how the learning environment should be structured.
In order for the final creation to be imported into an LMS, authoring tools allow you to export your final product into a host of files, including SCORM.
What is SCORM?
So, first things first, SCORM stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model. SCORM is a set of industry standards for the creation of both e-learning courses and Learning Management Systems that function in tandem with it.
You can, in a sense, think of SCORM as a form of middleman between Learning Management Systems and e-learning authoring tools. This is true due to the fact that the exact same SCORM file can function with the majority of Learning Management Systems, allowing the owner of the course to switch between systems without having to recreate their entire course.
The Advantages of Authoring Tools?
Just as individuals learn in a specific way, individual companies want to be able to customize what those taking their online courses interact with. The main benefit of a specialized authoring tool is the fact that you can design every last detail of your course.
This allows you to create the optimum learning environment for whatever it is you are trying to teach. This is where an authoring tool can provide that extra element of control that allows you to customize every last aspect of your e-learning course to meet your needs.
Popular Authoring Tools
LearnWorlds, Articulate Storyline 360, Adobe Captivate, Lectora Online, and EasyGenerator are among what we consider to be the best authoring tools available today. The choice between authoring tools should be based on what you, as an organization, what to achieve with your course.
Some of the aspects to take into account should be the type of training, mobile compatibility, LMS compatibility, budget, scalability, and the level of the user who will be interacting with the tool to create the e-learning course itself.
The digital age has provided us with some incredible opportunities. When it comes to how we learn, it has transformed what is possible in every sense of the word. Authoring tools quite simply put you in control of tailoring an e-learning course to fit the exact model you require, and therefore achieve the results you are after. From here, we wish you happy learning!