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What is an eLearning Authoring Tool?

Harvey Singh
Harvey Singh is the CEO and founder of Instancy, a web and mobile learning and knowledge platform and solutions company. He is a pioneer in the fields of eLearning, MLearning, Social Learning.
・6 min read

New tech solutions are revolutionizing the production and delivery of digital learning. eLearning authoring tools are transforming content digitization in organizations.

Many learning and development organizations and eLearning developers are abandoning tools that depend heavily on scripting (such as HTML5, Javascript, etc.) and software programming and focusing on eLearning authoring tools that simplify content authoring.

For trainers and instructional designers, designing and developing content is a large part of their workload. Content developers continue to produce courses that are shorter and more focused.

Learning flexibility and ease of use are paramount in an eLearning setup. To achieve this, trainers leverage eLearning authoring tools. Choosing the right tool for a business or organization is very critical. Read on to gain an in-depth understanding of eLearning authoring tools.

What is an eLearning Authoring Tool?

An eLearning Authoring Tool is a software application that helps trainers design and develops digital content using text, multimedia, and interactions.

Users do not require any programming expertise to use the software. These tools are pre-programmed to offer an interface that is ready to use in making digital content.

They come with tools, templates, and themes to manipulate and arrange content elements to create instructional material. 

What is an eLearning Course or Content?


An eLearning course is a sequence of pages or screens with multimedia content such as text, graphics, video, and audio. eLearning courses are interactive and enable users to engage in various ways.

Course content needs to be mobile responsive so that it can play on any device. One of the key features of authoring software is the capability to create lessons or microlearning modules.

When developing eLearning courses, it is important to include more than text. Besides adding text, adding and editing videos, images, animations, and other on-screen elements, course developers need robust authoring tools. With these features, an eLearning author can bring a course to life.

Desktop Vs. Cloud-Based eLearning Authoring Tools


The evolution of eLearning authoring tools

In the past, organizations depended on traditional software known as desktop or installed authoring tools. These tools are downloaded on a desktop and then installed. They were the best option for organizations creating eLearning content until the spread of cloud computing and mobile devices.

Cloud-based tools are now standard in the eLearning industry. Today, more and more authoring tools are available as cloud-based web-applications. These systems provide much more capability than the installed or desktop authoring tools.

Unlike the installed tools that require downloading to installing the software and subsequent updating, cloud-based applications can be accessed instantaneously and updated more frequently with new features or updates.

Related Read: Importance of LCMS and eLearning Authoring Tools, Explained!

No downloads, installations, or updates are required. Learning teams can work remotely and collaboratively. Desktop authoring software offers little to no flexibility. Updates on content take time before they reflect.

Cloud-based tools offer flexibility because they can be used on any operating system or device. Instancy Content Management System is an example of a cloud-based application that provides a complete solution for an entire team in an organization.

Learning Content Management System

Every learning organization needs a learning content management system at the center of their learning infrastructure in order to provide a blended eLearning curriculum and personalized, and on-going learning experiences to the customers. 

Instancy Learning Content Management System, or the iLCMS, is a one-stop repository of learning objects that can help you:

  1. Create multiple content workspaces for designers, authors, reviewers, and publishers. 
  2. Provide collaborative access and version control for your digital content. Collaborative content publishing workflows allow you to coordinate the tasks of multiple contributors and reviewers across the content supply chain.
  3. Publish the content to Instancy Learning Management System with a single click.
  4. Export the content to eLearning content standards (SCORM, xAPI, or AICC) based course package of your choice from a single source of content.

With built-in and integrated authoring tools integrated right into the iLCMS, you can create different content types in multiple languages, all while ensuring that your content plays on desktop browsers and any mobile device. 

In addition to helping you create new content, the iLCMS enables you to upload and manage external content files or packages and combine them with content created within the iLCMS to build your blended learning programs. 

The iLCMS facilitates the reuse of content objects within other larger objects. For example, images, videos, audio files, or webpages may be used within multiple Learning Modules. Similarly, supplementary content resources such as Glossary, Certificates, or Discussions may be linked with multiple learning modules.

iLCMS Key Features Include:

  1. Learning object repository (LOR) where you can identify existing content resources and reuse and assemble them into courses for multiple businesses. 
  2. Embed learner progress tracking based on modern Experience API (xAPI).
  3. Collaborative and web-based access
  4. Author and reviewer commenting 
  5. Meta-data search
  6. Reusable multimedia asset library 
  7. Version control 
  8. Upload and deliver documents (PDF, Word, PPT, etc.) 

Instancy Web-based Authoring Tools


Are you looking to empower your learning design and development team to create personalized learning that can keep your customers' demands in line with the speed of your business?

Instancy cloud-based authoring tools  enable you to speed up your eLearning content development and maintenance process by allowing collaboration among geographically diverse teams.

Using the eLearning Course Module editor to create multi-media and rich interactive content is easy. You can accomplish that without writing a single line of code. You can also:

  1. Create multilingual content 
  2. Enable full-text search 
  3. Auto-convert existing documents into eLearning 

Instancy provides assessment and survey tools with simple drag and drops options to create and reuse many types of questions. These help to measure your online training's effectiveness by gauging your learners' skills and knowledge. 

You can create branded certificates with dynamic data fields and attach them to any eLearning course. You can also develop or edit supplementary and reusable content objects like webpages, glossaries, forums & reference links to external sources and reuse them within your microlearning courses or classroom programs. 

Whether you want to create an eLearning course with a pre-requisite structure or create a blended one, combining classroom events with social collaborations, the Instancy learning track editor has got you covered! 

You can also separate your content presentation layer from the content by selecting a theme from our theme library, branding it, and applying it to your content. The best part? You can change your theme anytime without needing to rebuild the whole course from scratch! 

Instancy eLearning Authoring automates responsive and adaptive course development using the latest web design techniques used only by the pros so that you can create your content once and deliver it to your learners on any device of their choice, whether desktop, tablet, or smartphone.

You can protect your investment in content by leveraging Instancy’s automated publishing of content to your chosen eLearning technical standards. So if you’re looking to create micro-learning courses or quickly personalized learning paths for your customers, Instancy eLearning Authoring will put all the required tools at your disposal. 

Customers have experienced over 50% time savings in creating an eLearning library with Instancy compared to traditional tools and methods.

Key Features:

  1. Rapid content creation using templates and WYSIWYG interface
  2. eLearning content themes 
  3. Embed classroom training within courses 
  4. eLearning Standards (SCORM, AICC, xAPI) support
  5. Multiuser and collaborative authoring
  6. Multiple output and publishing options
  7. Media resource management
  8. Sequencing rules to personalize content delivery 
  9. MS Word Conversion Tool
  10. MS PowerPoint Conversion Tool
  11. Content localization 

Online Assessments and Certificates

With Online Assessments and Certificates, create online tests/assessments, exam preparations, or surveys using web-authoring templates. Automate randomization, scoring, and reporting using a single web-based environment.

Link certification with learning and assessment completion, and customize your own certificates using built-in templates. Learners can view their certificates online or print them. 

Key Features:

  1. Various question types: True/False, Essay, Multiple Choice, Fill-in-the-blank, Single Correct, Single/Multiple Matrix Questions 
  2. Timer-based assessment
  3. Single page or multiple page questions rendering
  4. Instant feedback to enhance learning
  5. Easy authoring through WYSIWYG editors
  6. Managing questions in topics and sub-topics
  7. Randomize presentation of questions and choices
  8. Built-in tracking and item analysis
  9. Create text or exam preparation solutions providing students the ability to practice.

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