As demand for online training increases, the pressure is on to respond quickly and produce effective learning experiences. If you’re looking to meet this need by building online courses, you need the right tools. But with lots to choose from, where do you begin? If you’re going to choose the right tools for you and your team, you need to know your options. Here’s our guide to some of the best interactive elearning software out there.
What is elearning software?
Elearning software comes in many shapes and sizes. Online training could be as simple a word document checklist or as complex as authoring software. These authoring tools enable you to create and maintain your own web-based learning content. Generally easy-to-use and containing ready-made templates, with this software anyone can produce highly visual and interactive elearning. From SCORM to HTML5, these tools offer a range of supported formats so you can choose whichever works best for your organization.
Why is it so important now?
Digital training has never been so in demand. As web-based learning changes, elearning software continues to be a popular choice. Whether you’re converting classroom training or responding to new business needs, these tools can help. Used effectively you can keep your people learning, developing and engaged.
Six examples of great elearning software available now
Building alone or collaborating with a team? Keeping it simple or customizing templates? Licensed or open-source course creation? There’s plenty to think about when you’re choosing elearning software. So, here’s a lowdown on six great tools and why you might choose them.
Elucidat is a cloud-based authoring tool packed with features. It empowers you to crowdsource your elearning from hundreds of colleagues. With a selection of ready-made learning templates (known as blueprints), it’s quick and easy to use. Create interactive, mobile-friendly courses – whatever your level of expertise.
Designed for scalability and collaboration, with Elucidat you build and review all in one place. This means people can work on the same project at the same time, while you stay in control. Cloning your course makes reuse, rebranding and translation simple. And keeping a master course avoids version control issues.
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A collection of apps, Articulate 360 uses PowerPoint as its base. If you know your way around PowerPoint, you won’t have much of a learning curve with this tool. There are two key apps in the suite:
Rise: If you’re a beginner and want to keep it simple, Rise is the Articulate app for you. With an intuitive interface and ready to use templates, you can get a basic course up and running quickly. It’s web-based, so collaboration and review happens in one place. The option to clone courses can also speed up translation.
Storyline: If you’re experienced in instructional design, Articulate’s Storyline app provides more flexibility. You can create customized interactions and have more branding and visual options. As it’s desktop-based, you’ll find it easier to build solo than in collaboration. There’s an export feature which helps you translate. But don’t forget, you’ll need to adjust new languages to make sure they fit.
Captivate is a desktop-based authoring tool with some great features. Working like PowerPoint master slides, you can produce basic learning content using the limited themes available.
The advanced features are where Captivate gets more interesting. It’s well known for its screen recorder which you can use for systems demos and sandpits. Captivate also offers mobile gestures and geo-location for more innovative solutions. Of course, simple content is quick to produce. But if you’re using advanced features you should get prepared for a steep learning curve.
As it’s a desktop app, collaboration isn’t easy. Sharing, reviewing, updating and translating can cause issues and is time-consuming.
The iSpring Suite is a desktop-based authoring toolkit. It’s based on PowerPoint. So, if you’ve ever created a presentation, you’ll have no problem with this tool. Choose a range of interactions – from standard text and graphic to drag and drop questions. Make use of the library of assets available. With iSpring, you can create basic, responsive elearning courses quickly and easily.
Collaboration isn’t easy with iSpring, which makes teamwork inefficient. Saving, copying and reusing learning paths and courses will speed up your process. But with no direct links to courses, updating at scale could be an issue.
Gomo is a cloud-based elearning authoring tool for mobile-first learning content. Designed for developers, its ready-made templates and a quick-start wizard soften your learning curve. You can use the themes and interactive templates to bring your brand and content to life. But, if you have grand plans for your visuals, you’ll need specialist development which can be costly.
As it’s a cloud-based app, collaboration is easy in Gomo. You build and review in one place. If your organization is global, translated courses feel seamless. You can deliver one course where people select their language at the start.
Lectora Online is a cloud-based elearning software that outputs in responsive HTML5. It comes with a graphics library and has a ton of templates that you can use as they come or tweak. This can be a straightforward change or more complicated customization which requires other software. Although Lectora can work across devices, this isn’t automatic. Creating new views for each device is very time-consuming. If you know what you’re doing you can create great-looking elearning. But, if you don’t, there’s a steeper learning curve with Lectora than some other tools.
As it’s cloud-based, the review process is quick and easy. Keeping all comments in one place. The translation feature helps you turn one course into many languages. But, as each language course is separate, this can cause version control issues.
Want to find out more about each of these tools? Read our full authoring tool review.
Coming in all shapes and sizes, you need to know what each tool can do before you choose elearning software. Let’s take a look at a summary of the top six tools and what they offer you.
- Elucidat – Cloud-based authoring tool that’s perfect if you’re a large employer looking to produce innovative, business-critical training quickly
- Articulate 360 – A suite containing:
- Rise: Cloud-based tool great for beginners who need to build quickly
- Storyline: Desktop-based tool that’s a good fit if you’re familiar with PowerPoint and want to add some customization
- Adobe Captivate – Desktop-based authoring tool that produces simple courses or customized elearning depending on your level of experience
- iSpring Suite – Desktop-based suite that’s great for beginners experienced in PowerPoint and looking to create simple courses that won’t need regular updates
- Gomo – Cloud-based authoring tool that’s best for experienced elearning designers who aren’t looking for too much customization
- Lectora – Cloud-based authoring tool that gives experienced elearning designers an effective tool for producing HTML5 content
Want to try out one of these tools? Book a demo of Elucidat to get started with a free trial.