Authoring Tools – Features to look for

When I started creating content and went on to look for authoring tools I was so confused like you. With over 200+ authoring tools available online the real challenge turned to be choosing the right authoring tool that suits my need rather than the content creation itself. I went through huge range of these authoring tools and finally was able to figure out my needs. So,  I thought of sharing these tips with you.

  1. First decide whether you want to go for free authoring tools or the paid one is just OK for you.
  2. Do you want the cloud based authoring tools or the HTML5 authoring tools? or Doesn’t it really matter?
  3. Are you looking for Individual desk-top tool or web-based collaborative tool? Check if it really support the kind of collaboration you are looking for.
  4. Are you a designer and learner? Doesn’t matter. Your authoring tools should have Intuitive user interface for both. A new person looking into a new tool should be able to start using it easily on the first run.
  5. It should have a Design Model that you are comfortable with. Especially when it’s a new tool you take time to adjust with the design interface.
  6. Will it work well with your LMS? Is it a tool recommended by your LMS provider? Have they demonstrated the integration?
  7. About SCORM/AICC Standards complience. Will it allow you to go outside of SCORM if necessary?
  8. Inclusion of standard templates and also allows to create your own.
  9. Allows you to publish to a variety of formats including HTML, XML, Flash, HTML5, etc.
  10. Blended learning – Will it suit with scenarios where learners are also accessing other models such as classroom courses, virtual classes, etc.?
  11. Multi-media – video, audio, animation, avatars. Does it have built-in tools for these or do you need external tools? Are these authoring tools easy to use? There are many formats used for these – what are your preferences?
  12. does it have screen capture video for software simulations?
  13. Ability to create social simulations as well as software simulations.
  14. Can you import from or export to other authoring platforms that others may be using?
  15. Can you customize the look and feel of the output ? – themes, styles, colours, branding,text etc a creative person always wishes to customize the content with his own ideas rather than using templates.
  16. Check if there is a print and save option available in the authoring tool? A few authoring tools might not provide save option.

Please drop in a comment to share any more features you would look for in the content authoring tool you choose.

About Ranjan