Elucidat and Lectora; two authoring tools, both recognized for outputting some of the world’s best elearning courses. But what makes them unique? What’s included with the Lectora package? And how does this compare to Elucidat’s offering – particularly when it comes to working at scale? Let’s find out…
How will we compare these authoring tools?
- Ease of use
- Quality output
- Production speed
- Who it’s best suited for
- Pros and cons
Lectora vs. Elucidat: At-a-glance comparison table
|Cloud-based authoring tool||Traditional desktop-based authoring tool with a cloud-based option|
|Digital learning formats||HTML5, SCORM (1.2, 2004), xAPI (TinCan)||HTML5, xAPI (TinCan), SCORM, AICC|
|Easy to use?||Easy||Somewhat|
|Perfect for||Large teams looking to create high-quality, business-critical training quickly.||Small teams of experienced authors who are looking for a highly functional tool and have plenty of time to invest in their course development.|
|Price||Contact us for pricing.||$1,398 USD billed annually per user for the ”Gold” authoring suite.|
Is Elucidat a good alternative to Lectora?
What is Elucidat?
Elucidat is a multi-award winning, cloud-based elearning authoring tool that organizations can use to produce high-quality courses at scale.
Ease of use
Anyone can pick up Elucidat and start authoring. It has a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) interface, so you can see exactly how your course is going to look as you build it. And the layout of each page will automatically adapt according to different devices, rather than just re-size, providing a truly responsive experience for your learners – without additional effort from you.
Novice authors might choose to start with one of our expert-designed templates from Learning Accelerator, for instance to create a quiz, game, or case study. These templates come with all the pages and interactions required – all you need to do is add the text and images.
But it’s also pretty easy to build from scratch in Elucidat – simply pull in your brand style, and then combine any of the 25+ pre-built interactions and question types to create a unique learning experience.
For teams looking to expand their production to new authors and SMEs, the Guided Authoring workflow will help ensure quality outputs. With this approach, your L&D team can set up pre-approved, branded company templates, and pack them with inline guidance written specifically for your authors, meaning best practice and consistent learning design will be baked into all the courses your organization churns out.
In terms of what you can expect from an authoring side of things, Elucidat ticks all the boxes, providing staple interactions like click-to-reveals and drag and drop activities – plus carousels, timelines, and more. But you can also use Elucidat to break the mold of traditional elearning…
You can personalize your courses using a role-selector, diagnostic quiz, or interactive video, putting the learner at the center of their experience. You can also encourage them to reflect on their personal journey by including Text Input Clips, requiring them to input their thoughts and ideas, which you can play back to them later.
Courses can also be gamified by adding features like badges and point systems, adding a competitive element to your content.
You can even encourage your learners to think more deeply about your content by embedding social polls, where they answer a question and see how their response compares to their peers’.
The whole development workflow in Elucidat is designed to be quick and hassle-free.
For a start, the simplicity of Elucidat means your course creation process can be as rapid or as thorough as you want it to be. In fact, Learning Accelerator means you can create and publish courses four times faster than building a course from scratch.
Once a course is ready for review, you simply send an email to reviewers, inviting them to add comments directly to your content – they don’t even need to set up an Elucidat account. Multiple people can review and amend the course simultaneously, without encountering version control issues – meaning you can reduce your turnaround times in a risk-free way.
And because all content is hosted in the cloud, any updates you make to a published course will feed through instantly to your learners– regardless of where that course is hosted. This makes it super quick to correct typos, replace images, and update your text.
If you need to reach a global audience, Auto-Translate also speeds up the localization process, with the ability to translate your content instantly into one of 75 different languages, without the need to export and import anything.
Elucidat is designed for organizations who need to create and manage vast amounts of content. For instance, you can also use Variations workflow to create and edit multiple courses at once. With this function, when you make changes to a “Parent Course”, these changes will be instantly pulled through toits Variations (for instance, localized versions of that course).
What’s more, the centralized Asset Library allows you to make mass updates to images and videos that sit across several courses, for instance, if you need to update a company logo.
Working in large teams is supported by multi-language authoring and a pricing structure that becomes more competitive the more users you have. And there are no hidden fees for things like storage.
Finally, you can remove the risk of opening up your production teams using Advanced User Management. This allows you to customize the User Roles for each person in your Elucidat account, determining who can, for example, edit your brand styles, delete projects, or upload assets, ensuring your users work to their strengths.
Who it is best for
Elucidat is designed to be used by content creators, SMEs, and instructional designers of any experience level. It’s most beneficial for large teams looking to create a lot of content quickly, without sacrificing quality.
Main pros and cons of Elucidat
What is Lectora?
Lectora is an authoring tool by ELB Learning. There is an online version and a desktop version of Lectora, which both come as part of ELB’s Course Authoring Gold Suite, along with ReviewLink, their online course review tool, and their inbuilt Asset Library, so we will be reviewing these products as a package.
Ease of use
The jury is still out on just how easy Lectora is to use. On the plus side, it has a WYSIWYG interface, where everything in the middle of the screen – or “on stage” – represents what’s visible to the learners, and everything around the edges – or “off stage” – will stay hidden. This gives a full picture of what you are building as you go.
Lectora also offers over 3,500 pre-built templates for you to select and populate to create out-of-the-box courses, as well as a PowerPoint convertor, making it relatively simple to turn a PPT file into an interactive course – albeit with some manual editing.
The challenges with Lectora tend to crop up when creating more bespoke content…
Lectora’s authoring interface has been criticized over the years for being hard to navigate. Whilst ELB have been making improvements to this, it can still feel quite overwhelming; The drag-and-drop workspace and layers panel are similar to traditional design applications but aren’t intuitive for the average author. Plus, it’s easy to get lost in the numerous tabs and menus that sit “off stage”, so working from scratch and customizing content can be tricky.
And while it can be used to create fully responsive courses, authors can expect to invest more time and effort into tweaking layouts for mobile and tablet devices than with Elucidat.
There is a wealth of online guidance about using the tool on the ELB website, but finding the right information only adds to the complexity of onboarding.
It could be argued that what Lectora lacks in usability, it makes up for in scope and functionality, which help ensure good quality courses.
For a start, the tool boasts a unique “error check” function. This handy QA feature runs before a course is published and highlights issues such as missing or repetitive content, helping to ensure quality across all your finished courses.
In terms of design options, authors can create personalized learning experiences through BranchTrack, which is used to construct branching scenarios. This gives learners the chance to apply their knowledge to role play scenarios or system simulations, allowing them to carve out their own learning journey.
Other personalization options include role selectors and diagnostic quizzes – though notably, there is no equivalent to Elucidat’s Text Input Clips.
Similar to Elucidat, lectora offers out-of-the-box games for you to populate, helping you turn dry content into fun quizzes.
Whatever you create, your pages are highly customizable and can be made to look however you like – once you have got the hang of the tool.
Because of its complex interface, authoring in Lectora will typically take longer than in other tools. However, there are workarounds; You can use the ‘ModDev’ toolkit to assemble a response course in half the usual time, or select a Course Starter template, which will provide all the pages needed for a course, ready for you to populate.
The built-in Asset Library also helps speed up the authoring process, offering icons, cut out characters, audio, video, photos and more, saving you time digging around company files and libraries to populate your course.
However, once the first draft of a course is complete, collaboration and publishing can be a little clunky; To share the course for review, you’ll need to publish it to ReviewLink, which adds an extra step in the workflow. And when it comes to involving additional authors, simultaneous editing is not properly supported – instead, it’s recommended that authors “check in and out” their course each time they pass it on for amends. What’s more, publishing the final product for SCORM (for an LMS) or HTML (for web) involves downloading and uploading files, which can start to feel cumbersome.
Finally, while the translation tool and multi-language publishing options are designed to speed up translations, there is no instant translation option, like there is with Elucidat.
Like with Elucidat, Lectora allows you to save and re-use templates and styles across courses. However, the more content you create, the harder it becomes to manage; There’s currently no asset management system in place, which means you can’t make global updates to the images or videos you embed in your courses. Plus, there is no way of updating multiple variations of a course simultaneously, for example if you have localized versions.
In terms of costs, Lectora prices are geared towards individual users and small teams, and don’t reflect economies of scale – especially when you consider costs for additional storage.
Who its best suited for
Small teams or individual users who have the time and budget to master the tool and create simulations, branching scenarios, or games.
Main pros and cons of Lectora
Summary – is Elucidat a good alternative to Lectora?
Lectora is a very functional authoring tool that covers a lot of ground. You can use it to create systems training, simulated roleplays, quizzes, and more, all of which can be customized however you like. And whatever you choose to create, the inbuilt Asset Library and QA checker can save you time in development.
However, Lectora is not the most intuitive tool out there – it can be fiddly to use and involves a steep learning curve and lengthy onboarding process.
Conversely, Elucidat’s simple interface makes expanding your production teams quick and easy. And, if in doubt, Guided Authoring will ensure all your authors are applying best practice learning design to every course.
Elucidat also makes working at scale simple, by way of centralized Asset Management and the Variations Manager, allowing you to make mass updates to content. And of course, you can breeze through your production pipeline with streamlined reviews, updates, and translations.
Unlike Lectora, Elucidat’s pricing structure reflects economies of scale. And there are no hidden costs for storing unexpected amounts of content. So, for enterprise organizations looking to create high quality learning experiences at scale, it’s a no-brainer.
How Elucidat shapes up against other tools
- 12 Popular Elearning Authoring Tools: A review of some of the best elearning authoring tools against quality of output, speed and efficiency, and scaling up of elearning production.
- Storyline & Captivate: An evaluation on how Elucidat stacks up against Articulate Storyline 360 and Adobe Captivate.
- iSpring Suite: An exploration as to whether Elucidat can be used as an alternative to the desktop authoring suite iSpring.
- Easygenerator: A review of Elucidat against the authoring tool Easygenerator, to see why organization may choose one over the other.
- Storyline & Rise: A comparison of Elucidat against Articulate 360’s two authoring tools.
- Gomo Learning: A comparative review of Gomo Learning and Elucidat.
- Evolve: A side-by-side comparison of Elucidat and the cloud-based authoring tool Evolve.
To explore the benefits of Elucidat for yourself, book a personalized demo with one of the team, and start a free trial.