Today we are moving away from conventional methods of learning and teaching. Methods that are new and innovative and make learning fun are being implemented in the entire learning ecosystem. Be it the school your child goes to or the way training is implemented in an office environment, today learning is all about identifying ways to make the content more engaging, absorbing and experiential. The eLearning industry too has been bitten by this bug and has hence been in a state of continuous change. We have seen the move from Flash to HTML 5 and have witnessed the move towards mobile and wearables. Conventional eLearning methodologies where learning was heavily textual, static, complex and required classroom training have moved over and ushered in the age of eLearning where content is smaller, bite-sized, personalized and can be accessed anytime, anywhere.
There are many components that go into designing a great eLearning module and unarguably the selection of tools and technologies are amongst them. The eLearning developers need the right set of authoring tools, ones that are flexible and versatile, with which they can create and design new concepts easily. As a general rule we are agnostic to tools and tend to work with the tools our clients favor but in this blog, we take a look at some tools that we have found interesting.
With Elucidat, you can create high-quality and highly engaging HTML5 based courses for any device. This web-based product is quite straightforward to use, and has dozens of themes to choose from, has a responsive output and a built-in image library. Further, it has the option to build in badge assignments and allows role-based collaboration that allows the authors and reviewers to work together.
Adobe Captivate 9
Adobe Captivate 9 allows eLearning developers to create amazing courses that can run seamlessly across desktops and mobile. It has a very powerful scripting capability, can easily define groups of actions that can be shared on multiple objects, can build interactive content and can import HTML 5 applications into the project without using plug-ins. This tool, however, comes with a slightly steep learning curve.
If you plan to create large volumes of eLearning courses based on HTML5 then Luminosity Studio may well be the tool for you. With this tool, developers can develop courses that amalgamate rich text with audio and video content. Developers can add assessment features, animations and dynamic graphics to the course material quite easily. It is one of the simplest HTML5 authoring tools and requires minimal training. This is a collaborative tool that offers comprehensive source control and support for online and offline authoring.
Most searches for an open-source eLearning authoring tool end with Adapt Learning. This tool helps design fully responsive courses that give the learner an exploratory experience. Adapt Learning tool is LMS compatible, provides a deep scrolling design that gives a web-like experience and is component driven. Further, since editing text files in Adapt Learning is very simple, this makes translation a much simpler task as well.
Articulate Storyline 2
Articulate Storyline is perhaps the most popular authoring tool in the eLearning circuit. The second version of Storyline called Storyline 2, while perhaps not a complete overhaul from the first version adds some major improvements to a great product that facilitates rapid development. With Storyline 2, developers can easily convert PowerPoint presentations into highly interactive and graphically rich eLearning courses and also create quick and customized assessments. Further, the auto recovery, dockable panes and windows and Form view toggle features work well to improve developer productivity. Storyline 2 is not backward compatible with Storyline 1 presenting an interesting challenge for developers to address. Storyline also publishes to Flash and Articulate Mobile Player, a native iOS application to optimize courses for iPads. This tool has a great online community, is a one-stop shop for eLearning assets and has virtually no learning curve.
With most of these authoring tools, there is often some overlap in functionalities. However, when selecting the right tool, it becomes important to assess the nuances of the tool, the pricing and the learning curve involved to assess which one suits your requirement.
To ensure that the eLearning course is of stellar quality, eLearning course developers need to keep in mind how the designed course will be consumed. With the devil being in the details, it becomes very important to assess ‘who’ the course is to be designed for to determine ‘how’ it needs to be designed. Today eLearning is all about customizing well-researched and industry specific content that leverages trends such as gamification and delivers it in a format that supports multi- device learning. New technologies have definitely changed the approach to learning. In this dynamic landscape, change is the new constant and it will be interesting to see what new trends and technologies will chart the course of its evolution.