Training companies, Content development companies and organizations that need digital content developed for their learning requirements are all well aware of the perks of Tool based eLearning Development. Today Authoring Tools are constantly advancing with each update bringing in new additions that make eLearning Development simpler and adaptable to the growing technology. The boons and banes of tool based eLearning Development have already been discussed and why it is used is undoubtedly a known fact.
Every authoring tool in the market has different feature sets that differentiate it from the rest. The process of selecting an authoring tool tends to be quite difficult each time, which is why it is important that we keep a watch on the factors that can affect it. We have spent a considerable amount of time observing the market and the changes based on which here are 7 key future trends in tool based eLearning development.
1. Responsive Design
It is already here, and that doesn't come as a surprise. Responsive design has been the talk of the town for some time now. Most tool-based learning today is either responsive or multi device and that too designed without in-depth knowledge in coding. All you need to do is create a single file which can be published for the specific devices or as responsive course. This will surely metamorphose into something else with the demand for different learning experiences.
2. Interactive Multimedia
Most authoring tools come with a plethora of assets that can be utilized in the course. Images, Videos, Animations, quizzes (templates), and even interactivities are available as presets. Most authoring tools offer the feature of on-screen recording, making it easier to add video snippets within the course and in addition some tools have also started to offer the feature of adding Hotspots to the videos to make them interactive.
Most Instructional designers prefer Word or PPT for storyboarding, but as seen from the coming of feature of storyboard in Storyline, storyboarding in an authoring tool offers assistance in better visualization of the course' design. The course flow can be judged better and it can even be imported directly into the authoring tool for actual development, hence saving a lot of time and reducing rework too.
Reporting and analytics have always been crucial in eLearning, but xAPI offers more. It helps in analyzing the learner behavior and hence can help in modifying the courses and the overall learning experience accordingly. However, its potential is hardly used by most authoring tools. At present its use is limited to utilization of built-in xAPI statements to export the course to xAPI and to replicate some tracking mechanisms of SCORM. However, authoring tools now have to gradually evolve into making better use of xAPI to provide performance based analysis and improve overall performance, and making eLearning more engaging and effective.
5. AR & VR
Augmented and Virtual Reality is set to reach $150 billion disrupting the mobile market by 2020. Though authoring tool developers are yet to see its scope, the demand is soon to grow with the increasing availability of low cost VR devices. Currently there are some independent AR-VR development tools available in the market that can probably be integrated with authoring tools to get such output. Take EON Creator AVR for instance that comes with the promise of allowing anyone with a mobile device to create, share, and experience Augmented and Virtual Reality in their own personal way.
Some authoring tools are already available in form of Software as a service. The freedom to create learning from anywhere, make edits from anywhere is what SAAS offers. With internet availability spreading across the globe too-based eLearning development need to be more mobile, and with similar features available on most devices too. With SAAS option the license cost is also kept under control and the multiuser licensing can be managed better. Cloud authoring toll is gaining pace due to multi geographical spread of various teams and SAAS offers the great flexibility in that case.
7. Integration with LMS
Many organisations are evaluating an option of integration of an authoring tool with their LMS directly. This allows them to push the output developed using authoring tool directly into LMS. This helps in smooth integration of LMS and Authoring tool.
Tool based eLearning Development has a long way to go. But, as it does so will the requirement for better knowledge in programming to get the best results. The ease of use may be compromised, but the level of output will be 'n' times better. At present however, the tools available are adequate, and deliver satisfactory results based on the current requirements. Here are 10 top authoring tools to choose from.
Are there any other trends that will affect tool based eLearning Development? Do share your thoughts.
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