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Elearning Authoring Tools for eLearning Professionals

Elearning Authoring Tools for eLearning Professionals

The eLearning industry is one of the fastest-growing, with a 900% growth since 2000. Online learning platforms gain momentum, providing an excellent way of organizing training and learning materials in the online format. However, this would not be possible if instructors and course editors cannot convert standard forms of education into an online format.

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Member of the Board, Raccoon Gang

Sergiy has 18 years of experience in eLearning and management. Creating educational programs, career paths, online and offline courses he is making the educational world better as a co-founder of RG.

Elearning Authoring Tools for eLearning Professionals

The main tools that help course editors in the content delivery process are the eLearning authoring tools. By the end of this article, you will know which tools transform everyday learning activities better and which popular eLearning solutions can help you. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

An eLearning authoring tool is a software package that eLearning developers use to create learners’ material and deliverables. A range of programs can be considered the authoring tools, such as PowerPoint and Flash, but only a few programs support the standards of eLearning content, such as AICC or SCORM.

Any educational materials created with SCORM compatible authoring tools can be easily integrated with Open edX. The eLearning authoring tools that provide such standards are  Adobe Captivate,  SHIFT,  Articulate Storyline,  Lectora Inspire. 

Elearning Authoring Tools to Digitize Standard Class Activities

Modern LMSs, in most cases, are the ultimate platforms for establishing online learning, and the eLearning industry would not be as booming if it didn’t provide educators and instructional designers with various ways to transform formal classroom lessons into online learning. The most common tools to bring your classes online are: 

  • Chat and instant messaging

  • Polls

  • Whiteboard animations

  • Audio and video conferences

  • Application sharing

  • Forums

  • Rapid authoring tools

  • Problem builders

  • LTI extensions

Such tools can significantly support your course delivery activities. So, let's look at the most popular eLearning authoring tools that will help you digitize standard classes and what popular solutions can leverage your online course. 

Chat and instant messaging

Instant messaging (IM) is one of the most popular applications on the Web. It allows two or more people to exchange text-based messages in real-time, using a Web or desktop application. A group of people can start a text conversation online in a space called a “chat room.” In a typical chat session, everybody sees all the messages. However, some chats allow private messaging between two session members. Some popular chat and instant messaging tools are Slack, Rocket, Chat, Ryver, Fleep.

Polling

Polling is an essential part of the decision-making process. Instructors can ask learners to respond to a displayed poll, usually consisting of a question and two or more possible answers. Here are the most popular polling tools that can help you out: Typeform, SurveyMonkey, Vizzual, Wufoo, MySurveyLab, LeadQuizzes.

Whiteboard animations

Whiteboard animations allow instant visual communication between educators and students. They allow instructors to display content and learners to interact with that content which significantly increases the learning engagement.  Educators often use the following eLearning authoring tools to create whiteboard animations: SlideRocket, VideoScribe, Vyond.

Application sharing

Application sharing lets the presenter share programs, windows, or screens with learners. Learners can watch the presenter’s actions and take control of the display with permission from the presenter. The most popular application sharing solutions are BoostHQ, EdCast, GSuite, Evernote, Zoho.

Audio and video conferences

Audio and video conferences are audio and video sessions between two or more users at different locations in real-time. They are primarily used for meetings and project updates. If your online training requires audio or video conferences, we advise you to use these solutions: Zoho Meeting, Zoom, Join.me, Google Hangouts, BigBlueButton, Vimeo.

Forums

Forums in eLearning allow learners to connect and collaborate in online learning environments. Forums give your audience a place to share their ideas and explore the subject matter outside the traditional eLearning environment. For example, you can create Google, LinkedIn, or Facebook groups and invite your learners to share their ideas.

LTI extensions (Learning Tools Interoperability)

LTI extensions give the ability to integrate multiple communication tools from different program vendors. It means that using such an extension, your platform can be embedded in any  LTI-supporting software like LMS (Moodle, Open edX) or Facebook apps. Raccoon Gang partnered with Harvard to simplify the whole adaptivity implementation and build LTI-compatible "Adaptivity Bridge.” This tool connects LTI-compatible content sources, adaptivity engines, and LMSs.

LTI-compatible "Adaptivity Bridge"

 Problem builders tools

You can create a significant number of exercises for your course using problem builders tools. Modern LMS platforms include various types of such Problem builders tools. For example, you will find more than 30 exercise and problem builders tools to deliver your content through Open edX LMS.

Appropriate eLearning Authoring Tools for Learning Objectives

Now is the time to discuss when the abovementioned eLearning authoring tools should be used, namely to transform normal class activities. In the table below, we gave you examples of content types applicable to some Action Keywords (directly connected to the course’s Learning Objectives). Here we’ll provide some examples of tools that are applicable to deliver those types of content. 

Action Keywords Applicable types of content Suitable content delivery tools
Recall, Define, Repeat In-video quiz; Infographic; “check yourself” quiz Audio and video conferences, polls (Join. me, Google Hangouts, BigBlueButton, Vimeo)
Explain, Describe, Discuss Explainer video; group task; group discussion Application sharing, chat, and instant messaging (EdCast, GSuite, Slack, Rocket Chat)
Use, Solve, Choose Workplace simulations; scenario-based game eLearning authoring tools (Adobe Captivate, SHIFT)
Distinguish, Compare, Test Interactive Whiteboard; graph builder Whiteboard animations (SlideRocket, VideoScribe)
Justify, Select, Value Case study; group discussion; scenario-based game Application sharing, forums, chat, and instant messaging (EdCast, GSuite, Slack, Rocket Chat)
Create, Write, Formulate Project task; group project task Problem builders tools (Articulate Storyline, Open edX LMS)

Evaluating The Outcomes of the Course

You should clearly understand the standard classes' digitization effectiveness and whether you chose the right eLearning authoring tools or not. We recommend using the Four Levels of Training Evaluation from industry expert Donald Kirkpatrick:

  • Level # 1. The reaction is the first stage of assessment, where you should assess your student’s response to your online course. What did participants think about the course? What did they like or dislike the most? You must have answers to all these questions.

  • Level # 2. Learning. To have a complete picture, you must test students before and after completing the course. You should assess whether the students received the knowledge and skills they wanted to receive at this stage.

  • Level # 3. Behavior. The third stage is devoted to the assessment of students' behavioral changes. You need to understand whether the students are using the knowledge gained in practice. In addition, you need to know if students are sharing their experiences with other students.

  • Level # 4. Results. The final stage helps assess whether the planned organizational results have been achieved and to what extent. For example, did the course help increase productivity, increase sales, reduce errors, etc.

This grading algorithm will help you analyze the results of your work and the correct selection of eLearning authoring tools for your online course.

Wrapping Up

So, we have told you about the most crucial eLearning authoring tools so that you can digitalize standard classes and embrace the power of eLearning. With their help, you can transform any class activity into a modern online learning format that improves student experience thanks to new technologies. You may hire a team to help you implement eLearning authoring tools and transfer all educational material to the online format.

Here at Raccoon Gang, we specialize in the Open edX platform and transferring standard classes into the format of online courses. Our instructional designers and technical specialists will create an online course from scratch and implement all the necessary delivery tools to ensure that your online course fully conveys your vision and fulfills its objectives. All you need to do is drop us a line, and our managers will contact you within 24 hours to discuss the digitalization of your educational material.

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