Saturday, May 12, 2012

eLearning and mLearning Authoring Tools

eLearning and mLearning Authoring Tools
 Once you have all of your course content together, it’s time to put them in the most suitable format to deliver to your audience. In most cases, it’s time to choose an eLearning content authoring tool. There are quite a few different types of tools on the market ranging from web-based or installed screen recorders, to PowerPoint plug-ins, right up to full-featured content authoring tools. Most people use one or more authoring tools and because everyone has their own idea of which one is the easiest to use, it’s worth making use of the free trials to see what works for you. This will most probably not be a quick process. In fact it’s best that you take your time and choose wisely because these tools are often not cheap, nor will you find them easy to use just because someone else does. One authoring tool you will most certainly have heard of is Microsoft PowerPoint. Although you may only think of PowerPoint for creating presentations, these days it can be the core foundation on which you build the bulk of your courses. This is great news because it’s a familiar system that you probably already own, so that makes the learning curve a lot easier.


PowerPoint Plug-Ins
These are the most popular ones around: Articulate Presenter Adobe Presenter iSpring Presenter eLearning Content Authoring Tools For more full-featured content authoring tools, we’ve put together a list of the ones the majority of our Litmos clients use:

Articulate Articulate offer a full suite of easy-to-use authoring tools to turn your content in to Flash-based eLearning that outputs to the SCORM Format for easy delivery via LMS. Their products include Articulate Presenter 09, Quizmaker 09, Engage 09, and Video Encoder 09 or you can purchase Artiulate Studio to get all of the tools in a bundle. While ease of use is one of the major reasons people like their products, another awesome benefit is the very large, active, online Articulate community who are there to answer your every question along with the added benefit of design tips, how-to’s, FAQs and video demos. Available for PC only.

Adobe Captivate 5.5
 Using Adobe® Captivate® 5.5 software you can rapidly author professional eLearning content with advanced interactivity, software and scenario simulations, quizzes with every bell and whistle you can think of, and other engaging experiences. Output to multiple different formats like Flash and Video, including SCORM for delivery via LMS. Available for PC only.


Rapid Intake
 Rapid Intake offer a few different products, their most popular authoring tools being Unison and Proform. Unison is a web-based authoring tool to collaboratively capture, storyboard, develop, review, test and publish Flash and HTML5-based courses which are SCORM compliant for easy delivery via an LMS. It goes without saying that the cool thing about Unison is being able to have multiple authors collaborate on one piece of content. Proform is a single user authoring tool for desktop use to create Flash-based eLearning courses. Courses published are also SCORM compliant for delivery via LMS.


Camtasia Studio 7
 Use Camtasia to quickly get started recording your interactions with the screen be it on a PowerPoint or on-screen demo. Record or overlay audio, add effects and Picture-in-Picture (PIP) to produce high quality, professional looking videos. Once you get used to the timelines lay-out, they are easy to edit, cut and add to. You can also create assessment questions to intersperse throughout a presentation. Output to multiple different formats like Flash and Video, including SCORM. Available for Mac and PC..


Screen Recorders
The screen recorders mentioned below all happen to be free to use which is a bonus:


JingProject (Mac or PC) Free 5 minute screen recordings with audio and a little Jing branding, which can be exported to SWF. You can also take screen shots which produce as .png. Plus, there’s a Pro version with no branding, and more options including upload direct to YouTube and produce as MPEG-4 (or .swf). Super easy to use but you’re restricted on editing and adding effects.


Screenr Articulate’s web-based screen recorder. Nothing to download and you can publish to anywhere on the web or straight to Twitter and it plays on the iPhone.

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I am the Director of Technology at a K-12 School system.