Top 10 Authoring Tools

Let’s face it. Most instructional designers are not techies. And with so many authoring tools doing the rounds in the present elearning market, its practically impossible to keep a tract of all or even be able to work with all to understand the intricacies involved in each one. Though the coming of WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) authoring tools has made life much simpler, there are other issues like the browser compatibility or system requirements that still baffle the simpler people.

One other thing that has been up and running and ruling the market is the HTML5 especially for mlearning. We wont delve into SWF or HTML5 debate right now. Mlearning is Mobile Learning for iPhones, iPads and most Android devices and is much more convenient than having a desktop set up or carrying a bulky laptop around. HTML5 is clearly a step ahead of the good old HTML as it is HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript combined together, which pretty much rules out any kind of code writing for developing elearning courses. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Here is a compilation of the 10 most used authoring tools in the market today along with the output they have, and the browsers they are compatible with. If the authoring tool you are using does not feature here, the best way would be to publish and view your courses in some browsers to figure out which feature is supported and which isn’t. You may have developed an uber cool elearning course for your audience, but if it doesn’t work when deployed, it’s useless.

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Many of the authoring tools, like Captivate, have options to publish courses in Flash (for desktop viewing) and HTML (for iOS devices). You can checkbox them according to your need. If you want to quickly get a feel of any of the authoring tools you have not used in the past but would like to, here’s a trick. For most of them 30-day free trials are available with an exception of some features ofcourse. So you can download that and see how it works or looks and what all it can do for yourself.

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