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What to look for in an authoring tool


January 25, 2019



authoring tool

The authoring tools that learning management systems (LMSs) are equipped with are key to creating useful and engaging eLearning content for your staff. The more sophisticated the authoring tool the easier and less time consuming it is to create content. A good authoring tool will also make it easy for you to update this content and have it redistributed to the end learner. So here are some tips for what to look for in an authoring tool.

The authoring tool has built-in templates

One of the easiest ways to save time when authoring lessons for your staff is to use an eLearning authoring tool that has integrated templates. This will both save you time and ensure that you have a library of curated designs which have proven the tests made by thousands of users. The use of templates also have another, perhaps less-obvious, advantage. That is that they provide differing ways to present information to your learners. This is a key to battling the boredom that is generally associated with workplace learning.

Using different templates to present the same information in multiple ways both keeps the learners engaged – rote memorisation in disguise – and allows them to encounter information in different contexts. Both of these are great for retention of information.

It has a delivery method that’s business appropriate

Not everyone learns in the same way. And, of course, not every authoring tool has a delivery system that is business appropriate. Ever tried to get a salesman that spends the majority of their day trying to get in front of as many customers as possible to sit down and read a thirty page PDF on a new product range? Not only do they not have the time to do this but sitting in front of a laptop isn’t the most productive way for them to spend the limited time that they do have.

Mobile learning is a great delivery method for business cases like this. They allow learners to take lessons, which are delivered on their mobile, on the go. Coupled with microlearning – short, bite-sized lessons – this is a great way to deliver content and subsequently, what to look for in an authoring tool.

Rapid Authoring

One of the core issues with learning content for employees is keeping the content up to date. We’ve all been in a company which has handed us a learning manual and been subsequently told that, ‘Sections of it are outdated, so please ignore.’ The constant battle to keep this material up to date is one that has a very large time and financial cost to it. Most of this can be contributed to slow authoring tools and antiquated distribution methods.

Online rapid authoring tools allow you to make changes on the fly and have these pushed to your learners’ mobile devices at the click of a button. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to keep lessons fresh while keeping costs down.

If you’d like more help with what to look for in an authoring tool, get in touch at enquiries@edapp.com. You can also try SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s Mobile LMS and authoring tool for free by signing up here.

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Scott Whitaker

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