Rapid e-Learning development (or authoring) tools are simple software applications which are used to develop the learning material. This material is then published and made accessible to learners via laptop, computer, or even mobile devices. From the developers’ point of view, these authoring tools significantly minimize the cost of a conventional training program.
If you belong to eLearning industry, wishing to develop an online course in short time frames, you might need a rapid eLearning development tool to create the learning content. Not surprisingly, you need to invest in these software tools but the initial cost of acquiring a license is much lower than budgeting for the extensive training sessions or workshops.
Consideration in Choosing the Right Rapid eLearning Development Tool
Not every learning course is same. While some need more information, others might require a more interactive course outline, depending on the audience and preferences. That is why rapid eLearning development tools also vary in their offered features.
A Few Considerations in selecting the right rapid eLearning authoring tool:
- Ease of use/user-friendly interface
- Screen recording and quizzing features
- Types of media that can be imported
- Level of accessibility
- Compatibility with learning management software
- The types of publishing options such as iOS, standalone HTML5, AICC, Flash etc.
- Design limitations in terms of your course requirements
While the options for rapid eLearning development tools are myriad, you must align yourself with a couple of tools discussed below. After all, they are the most popular tools being used in the industry today.
Our Rapid eLearning Development Tools Top-Picks
As we discuss these rapid eLearning development tools in detail, you will find them extremely easy in terms of functionality. Let’s have a look!
iSpring Suite 8.7
If you aim at developing an all-inclusive online course, incorporating quizzes, lectures, interactions, dialog simulations and other interactive features, then you must go with iSpring Suite 8.7.
iSpring is a full-stocked content development toolkit that helps in creating excellent video lectures and conversation simulations right in PowerPoint. With that, the development tool also offers flawless integration with regards to LMS. The software tool offers the benefits of HTML5 output that runs smoothly on every desktop and mobile device.
iSpring Suite 8.7, has already set a new ground by providing the features to produce exceptional mobile courses that can easily be tracked in learning management system (at a deeper level). As you use this amazing software tool to develop your learning content, you don’t need to initiate the process with a blank slide. In fact, you may browse through a range of design and templates, looking for that perfect outline that best meet your course outline.
Some of the best features of this rapid tool:
- Enhancing the PowerPoint capabilities such as the use of triggers and animations, beautiful slides, slide transitions and adjustment of complete presentation in just one window;
- Adaptive design with courses preview on different devices;
- Availability of different course templates along with photographic characters to interact with the audience on a personal level. Advanced set of buttons, icons and navigation controls;
- Add audio/video narrator, built in editor with the special player to support video lectures;
- A flexible scoring system with adjustment of feedback and question design.
Lectora Inspire helps you create an interactive and sleek course. This is referred as a powerful tool that makes the content development faster than ever. It provides an easy access to wizards and tools. The software tool offers a great responsive design that helps in viewing the content on primary devices. The tool rescales content and objects automatically to fit various devices.
Some of the features of Lectora Inspire Includes:
- Publish and create Experience (xAPI) titles which meet the standards of xAPI’s cmi5;
- Streamline the process of publishing by saving your FTP settings;
- Include events to files (audio/video), and with the use of the same dialog, sync the actions to events;
- Seamless and smooth option of play publish;
- Auto-play media file feature for all mobile devices;
- Persistent audio in the background that can be controlled with stop, play and pause actions;
- Responsive page layouts and title themes allowing developers to create technology-enabled content;
- Use the full potential of SVGs (Scaled Vector Graphics) for better learning experiences on all devices;
- Develop branching scenarios and convert the classroom content into interactive courses.
Nonetheless, Lectora Inspire is a remarkably simple software tool for content development. When Lectora integrates with the built-in application Camtasia, it enables screen recording and content capturing. Also, you may add synchronized zoom, audio, pan and another transition effect to create professional content. Moreover, if you integrate the tool Flypaper (that helps in creating quick Flash animations) with Lectora, you can easily import various Flash animations into your course material, designed with the help of Lectora Inspire.
Articulate 360 comprises two great apps Rise and Storyline 360. Both of these apps offer amazing functionality to create mobile and online courses. With this content development tool, you create a highly interactive and responsive material. With this tool, you get an access to the content library. This library is continuously growing and offers the collection of various course assets including templates, stock photos, videos, characters and more.
This cloud-based software tool comes with six apps including Replay, Rise, Studio, Preso, Storyline, and Peek.
Some of the great Articulate 360 features:
- Huge templates collection that can be customized easily;
- Ability to create responsive eLearning courses;
- Ability to create videos with the help of iPads;
- Ability to create software simulation and screencasts seamlessly.
Needless to say, this is a highly interactive and rapid eLearning development tool. The tool is not only simple but also powerful for both beginners and experts.
So; if you want to design all-in-one content then use Articulate 360 and create an interactive course that may include slide layers, quizzes or even characters. Also, make the most of some other advanced features such as touch screen gesture feature as well as mobile-friendly playback.
Claro is excellent to create compelling content. It not only allows sharing and collaboration with the learners but also the distribution of content and its time tracking.
Following are the most distinguishable features of Claro:
- A cloud-based platform that is easy to use;
- With the help of fully integrated eSSential LMS, you get one step publishing;
- With the help of revision and feedback management tools, you can reduce email overload;
- Hundreds of design and templates, both eLearning, and mLearning for authoring rapid eLearning content;
- Real-time updates and asset sharing. Easy updates, at one time, and across all of your courses.
The course designed with the help of Claro reads the user’s action and perform actions accordingly. These actions may include key taps or mouse click. It also offers the preview option to view the animation before actually applying it. All the effects including shake, rotate, bounce, pulsate, transparency and move are used to create animated objects.
Claro enables the content developer to import PPT files and also to incorporate various online learning activities. You may also add assessments instantly and with fewer efforts. For this, the user makes the most of several inbuilt templates and a huge library of web-pages (ready-to-use), which provide great resources to create assessments in a most feasible manner.
Adobe Captivate is a smart tool that helps deliver highly interactive, engaging and device-independent eLearning content and that too, with minimum fuss. The software tool works great to create fully responsive material automatically. With Typekit integration, the tool offers tremendous viewing experience.
It also helps the developers to apply instant motion effects. You may easily move objects along curved, linear and custom paths. All of the animations can either be played continuously or set to play at a different specific time.
Following are the best features of Adobe Captivate:
- Multi-screen authoring;
- Auto-migrate from mobile to non-mobile;
- Integration of Adobe Typekit;
- Import slides of PowerPoint into Adobe Captivate;
- Generate various software simulations with different learning modes;
- Responsive themes, text support, and sliders;
- Design courses with customizable closed captions, meeting accessibility standards;
- Responsive motion effects and advanced shared actions.
With this software, you can easily convert the desktop course into a highly responsive mobile learning content.
In a nutshell
eLearning content developers have countless choices when it comes to content development tools. However, the authoring tools which are discussed above offer exceptional functionality. They allow developers to truly unleash the potential of technology-enabled eLearning.
While there is no shortage of rapid eLearning development tools, you must go with the one that best meets your budget and development needs. Pick all those features which resonate with your content outline and demo a couple of these software tools before you select the right one.