The 8 best SCORM authoring tools to watch for 2021

If your plan for 2021 is to create awesome SCORM-compliant elearning, you might be wondering what are the best SCORM authoring tools available right now. Whether you’re starting out in course creation or looking for an upgrade, our guide gives you an overview of some of the top SCORM authoring softwares. There are many platforms out there, so make sure you choose a SCORM course builder that’s right for you and your team!

The best scorm authoring tools for 2021

What are SCORM authoring tools?

Before you take a look at our top tools, let’s get clear on what we mean by a SCORM authoring tool.

An authoring tool can be used to create and maintain web-based content. It’s created in a standardized course structure that can be exported in several different formats. Although there are alternatives like HTML5 and xAPI, SCORM is the most common output when it comes to elearning. SCORM stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model. It means your content can run from any LMS that’s compatible with SCORM. Simply upload your zip package and you’re ready to go.

There are a few versions you can choose from when you’re exporting from SCORM content authoring tools. SCORM 1.2 has remained the go-to standard for elearning.

If you need to go back to basics, find out what is SCORM in our blog. Want to find out more about the different versions of SCORM? Check out SCORM – the complete guide on sharable content object reference model.

Remember, SCORM tools aren’t your only option. There are other outputs worth considering. Assess which option is best for you in these SCORM vs xAPI and SCORM vs AICC articles.

Types of SCORM authoring tools

SCORM authoring tools come in all shapes and sizes. There are two key types:

  • Cloud-based authoring tools exist entirely online. They’re hosted on an external server. No download and install are needed.
  • Desktop authoring tools are installed on your desktop. They may or may not require the Internet to work.

There are pros and cons to both types of SCORM-compliant authoring tools. Here are the things you should keep in mind when choosing the type of SCORM creation tools.

Internet access

Cloud-based SCORM content authoring tools can be accessed anytime, anywhere – as long as you have access to the Internet. From building to publishing, user management to storage – it all happens online. Everything is saved to the cloud.  You don’t have to constantly back up your work, and there’s no chance of losing it. Software updates are automatic, so you’ll always work with the latest features and bug fixes.

If you have limited access to the Internet, a desktop SCORM authoring tool might be best for you. As the tool is installed on your device, you can access it wherever you’re working – even without an Internet connection. Everything is stored on your hard-drive. There’s only one copy, so remember to back up your work. You’ll also need to manually check for software updates when you go online.

Ease of use

Cloud-based SCORM authoring tools are generally less complicated than desktop software. Complex layouts and advanced features mean desktop tools can have a steep learning curve.

If you need customized interactions or complicated branding, you may need intensive training or to hire an expert. Publishing content is time-consuming. Once published, it can also be hard to update.

Cloud-based authoring tools are more user-friendly. An intuitive interface means you can start building content straight away. Sharing, duplicating and updating content is easy with these flexible tools.

Collaboration

If you’re working alone, a desktop SCORM authoring tool might be for you. But even for the smallest project, collaboration is key. It’s likely you’ll need to involve subject matter experts and stakeholders to input on your online training. With a desktop tool, content needs to be created, converted, and published before it can be shared. This can make your feedback process longer and more laborious.

In contrast, collaboration between multiple people is easy with a cloud-based tool. Authors and reviewers can work on the same content at the same time. Effective collaboration speeds up content creation and produces better learning courses.

Find out more about the benefits of a SCORM authoring tool in this case study from a global drug manufacturing company.

Top 8 SCORM elearning authoring tools

Ultimately what LMS authoring tools you choose depends on you and your team’s needs. Are you:

  • Building alone or collaborating?
  • Keeping it simple or highly customized?
  • Using open source SCORM authoring tool community support or intensive training?
  • Using a free SCORM authoring tool or bigger budget software?

There’s clearly plenty to consider and lots of SCORM compliant elearning software that will meet your needs. Here’s our guide to the top eight SCORM authoring tools.

 1. Elucidat

  • Type: Cloud-based
  • SCORM support: 1.2 / 2004
  • Platform: Windows / Mac

With Elucidat, you can crowdsource your elearning from hundreds of colleagues. Whatever your level of expertise, creating interactive, mobile-friendly courses is easy. Packed with features and ready-made learning blueprints, you can get up and running fast.

Elucidat is cloud-based. People can work on the same project at the same time, while you stay in control. You’re able to clone your course, so reuse, rebranding and translation are simple. And all without version control, thanks to your master course.

Want to learn more about how Elucidat can help you create SCORM compliant content? Book a demo!

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2. Articulate Storyline 360

  • Type: Desktop
  • SCORM support: 1.2 / 2004
  • Platform: Windows

Articulate Storyline 360 combines a series of interactive slides to create elearning content. If you know your way around PowerPoint, you have a good base knowledge to build on. If you’re experienced, you can use the tool to create customized interactions and bespoke branding options.

It’s a desktop tool, so you’ll find it easier to build content alone. An export feature speeds up localization and translation. But remember to adjust text to fit when you import your new languages.

3. Articulate Rise 360

  • Type: Cloud-based
  • SCORM support: 1.2 / 2004
  • Platform: Windows

If you’re new to content creation, Articulate Rise 360 is a good place to start. An intuitive interface with ready-to-use templates means you can create basic mobile-friendly online training easily.

It’s cloud-based, so collaboration and review happen in one place. The ability to clone courses means you can speed up the localization and translation process.

Explore how Articulate Storyline, Rise and Elucidat shape up in this comparison and review – and decide which tool is best for you!

4. Adobe Captivate

  • Type: Desktop
  • SCORM support: 1.2 / 2004
  • Platform: Windows / Mac

Working like PowerPoint presentations, Captivate enables you to produce basic learning content. If you’re more experienced or ready for a bit of a learning curve, you can explore the advanced features. Its screen recorder can be used for systems demos and sandpits. Mobile gestures and geo-location can produce more innovative learning.

Captivate is a desktop app, so collaboration isn’t straightforward. Publishing, sharing, reviewing, updating is time-consuming. Translation can also be laborious.

5. iSpring Suite

  • Type: Desktop
  • SCORM support: 1.2 / 2004
  • Platform: Windows

The iSpring suite is based on PowerPoint. From simple text and graphics to more complex drag and drop questions, choose from a range of interactions to create responsive elearning courses. With a library of assets available, you have everything you need to produce content quickly.

The iSpring toolkit is desktop-based, so teamworking is inefficient. Reusing learning paths and courses can speed up your process. But if you need to update at scale, having no direct links to courses can cause issues.

See which tool best suits your needs in this full Elucidat vs iSpring Suite comparison and review.

6. Camtasia

  • Type: Desktop
  • SCORM support: 1.2 / 2004
  • Platform: Windows / Mac

Specializing in screen recordings and video editing, Camtasia can export content as a SCORM package. It may not be as powerful as the other tools, but this SCORM content creator is easy to use. Demo a system, record a narration, add in some interactivity – there are lots of excellent options with this tool.

As with other desktop tools, Camtasia is best if you’re working alone.

7. Gomo

  • Type: Cloud-based
  • SCORM support: 1.2 / 2004
  • Platform: Windows / Mac

Gomo is an authoring tool for mobile-first learning content. Ready-made templates and a quick-start wizard can help you get up to speed. Designed for content developers rather than novices, you may need to hire a specialist if you have grand plans.

It’s a cloud-based app, so collaboration happens in one place. With the option to deliver one course where people select their language, Gomo is worth considering if your organization is international.

Get the full spec on this tool in this Elucidat vs Gomo Learning comparison and review article. 

8. Knowbly

  • Type: Cloud-based
  • SCORM support: 1.2 / 2004
  • Platform: Windows / Mac

Knowbly is a simple but powerful tool for creating mobile-friendly learning content. A standard set of tools helps you build learning packed with interaction.

Knowbly is a cloud-based tool, so has a built-in review and real-time collaboration tool. A centralized source makes localization, translations and updates easier.

Looking for more choices? Check out our best elearning authoring tools blog.

In summary

Whether you’re new to SCORM-compliant authoring software or looking to upgrade your SCORM creator, there’s plenty of software to choose from. You’ve seen our summary of the best SCORM software out there; now, take a look for yourself.

Start creating compliant courses today with the help of SCORM-compliant blueprints. Book a demo of Elucidat and we’ll get your free trial off to a flying start!

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