Until a few years back, eLearning content development was strictly a customized process, that too handled only by specialists or developers. However, as organizations and its eLearning requirement increased and the eLearning budgets started shrinking, there came in a new wave of learning development in the form of rapid authoring tools or eLearning authoring tools.
As mentioned in an earlier post authoring tools have both benefits and pitfalls, depending on the actual eLearning requirement. Authoring tools with intuitive design, asset libraries, animation and interactivity presets and a plethora of other features have made eLearning authoring a lot easier. Authoring now no longer requires in-depth software skills, which is why Instructional designers can directly develop content from their home turfs.
However, now that users and content creators have growing affinity towards smaller devices and seamlessly switch between 2-3 devices in a day to complete certain tasks. The same expectations are being pushed on eLearning authoring tools too. eLearning authoring can no longer be restricted to a desktop or laptop and is multi device.
While authoring tools like Articulate storyline 360, Adobe Captivate, Lectora17, Elucidat, etc. have mobile compatible versions, there are many limitations that fail to make eLearning authoring on the go a reality. The scopes are still restricted, multiple logins-collaborative content editing etc. being one. This is where cloud-based authoring steps in. As discussed in the post- 7 Reasons for Opting Cloud-based Authoring Tools, the benefits of cloud-based eLearning authoring are still being explored.
Cloud-based authoring tools are not restricted by the organization’s IT policies. While cloud-based tools bring down the hassles pertaining to installations, it also allows updates additional app integrations in a jiffy gain outside the envelop of IT policies. The security measures are taken care of too. Scalability too is easier with a good cloud based system in place.
The various reasons discussed above are actually the yellow-brick road towards cloud-based authoring. As discussed in the post- What’s New: Analyzing the Top 3 eLearning Authoring Tools of 2017, have cloud versions too, making eLearning authoring an anywhere, anytime thing.
Other authoring tools are following the same suit. While Gomo, Easygenerator, Claro, ZebraZapps, SmartBuilder are similar to other cloud-based authoring tools. There are a few that have unique features like:
- Cameo - Delivers Scenario-based learning reinforcement via email.
- Composica (social eLearning authoring) - allows real-time collaboration between team members
- EasyProf - Allows creation of presentations, integrating audio, video, animations etc. with assessments and interactions.
- QuickPresentations - For creating, running and exporting presentations on iPhones or iPod touch devices.
eLearning authoring tools come with the primary aim to make eLearning creation easier, faster and cheaper. The pre-requirement of less expertise is an added plus. As the global level interactions, and community based-learning keep growing. The requirement for mobility, flexible use etc. cannot be undermined which is why the adoption of cloud-based authoring tools will continue to increase by and by. L&D service providers need to keep exploring and innovating in the ways of utilizing such tools that are not limited by organizational policies and size.
What are your thoughts on this? Do share your comments.