How to create interactive courses using authoring tools?

authoring tools

Needless to say, it is impossible to run an eLearning business/online academy without creating digital content. It beats the whole purpose of digital learning if you end up mailing study material to your students. Courtesy of technological advancements, creating digital content is now nowhere near as difficult it was years ago. You have a lot of flexible and robust authoring tools that let you do just that. 

In this post, we will understand what an authoring tool is and what are its must-have features if you plan to choose one. Also, we are going to give you tips and strategies to make your courses interactive.

What is an authoring tool?

Put simply; an authoring tool lets you create digital content. This includes something as simple as a Google document to something as complex as a video production suite. In the context of eLearning, an authoring tool refers to any software that helps create all the necessary content (including videos, infographics, eBooks, etc.) required to successfully run courses.

The main advantage of using some of the latest authoring tools is that it can gamify the online learning experience using interactive content like unconventional-yet-interesting calculators or interactive infographics

How to create interactive courses using authoring tools?

What doesn’t entertain or inspire, is not remembered. At a time when many online educators are flocking to the market, success-oriented educators need to stand apart from the rest. Creating distinctive courses using interactive content is one of the most effective ways to do that. Let look at some of the ways in which you can boost the interactive quotient of your courses with the help of your authoring tools. 

  • If you are heavily reliant on PowerPoint slides and work documents, your students might get bored of seeing the same format every day. Increase learner adoption and engagement by adding interactive elements like buttons, pop-ups, or drag and drop feature. Anything that can give your students more than just staring at the screen is a win-win situation for all. Make sure that each slide of your PowerPoint presentation has an interactive element to keep students engaged. You can even have an interactive quiz at the end of each chapter for them to progress to the next one. 
  • You can also borrow ideas used by other industries online. Leverage 360-degree images and videos for an immersive learning experience. Use virtual reality to take your 360-degree video one step further (smartphone VR headsets are so cheap that you can provide them for free as part of your course). Given the current scenarios, nothing can be as immersive as VR. When Augmented Reality (AR) becomes more widely used, it can and should be used for an even more immersive learning experience.  
  • Digital storytelling has evolved tremendously and is now more like a role-playing game (RPG) than anything else – the user takes center stage. It is very emotive as it lets them control the story and makes up for an extremely effective training method. 
  • With all the technology and authoring tools available online, you can create virtual environments/scenarios to simulate real-life situations where learnings can be implemented. This gives students the freedom to experiment with multiple scenarios, make mistakes, and learn on their own. This doesn’t just engage with learners better but also encourages exploration without the fear of any setbacks. 
  • Your end goal is to teach your students something. But that doesn’t mean you have to define a rigid path for them to take to reach the goal. That is not user friendly. Use branching scenarios to let the user control the flow of the course depending on their actions. Branching scenarios is one of the best ways to gamify online courses with different storylines and outcomes. This also has an added advantage that gives you the ability to assess your student’s critical thinking, decision making, and analytical skills.
  • Create a space where your students can get together and freely discuss ideas to learn from each other. This is much like the offline group study sessions that students are more accustomed to. 

Points to consider before choosing an authoring tool

We need a clear understanding of all the essential features that should be sought after in any authoring tool. More than one authoring tool serving different purposes have to be employed to create content in different formats. But some essential features are absolute necessities. Let’s have a look at them.

  • The tool must be easy to use, even for a beginner. The subject matter experts should be able to produce content on their own without any assistance from developers. This frees up time to produce more content, ensuring higher ROI for the tools.
  • The tool’s design elements must be flexible enough for you to incorporate your brand’s style and personality into the content. It should also restrict everyone from making any major design changes to any master templates. 
  • As your business grows, the tools should scale with it. People sitting in multiple locations should be able to access and work on the same project. 
  • As a quality control measure, the course authors will have to collaborate with other stakeholders. Therefore, a streamlined comment (much like the comment feature on Google Docs) and feedback system should be part of the authoring tool.
  • All content must be automatically responsive to whatever device the user prefers to use. Manually creating content for different devices is not feasible.
  • There should be no time lag between file upload and when it is user ready. Any changes made after publishing must also be made ‘live’ as soon as it is saved.
  • A set of prebuilt templates and user flows for each content format must be a standard feature on all authoring tools. 
  • Your authoring tools must also facilitate easy integration with your Learning Management System (LMS). This makes everything, including analytics and reporting, easier.
  • When your business crosses into other countries, you may have to provide course content in their local languages. Authoring tools must also have a built-in translations workflow.

Related post: Microlearning – The new norm in online teaching.

Benefits of using Learnyst 

Learnyst is an industry leader in the eLearning industry and is committed to making the learning experience as fulfilling as possible for both teachers and students, which is why we support all authoring tools on our platform. Here are a few reasons why you should choose Learnyst –

  • Content can be easily uploaded to the Learnyst server directly from authoring tools.
  • Maintenance of content is easy, and any changes can be easily implemented.
  • Increased security due to Learnyst’s high-end encryption. All your content is safe with Learnyst.
  • Build your own responsive website and app to market your courses.

What’s next? 

Content (no matter the purpose) must be entertaining. Basic PDFs and PowerPoint presentations are old-school and fail to entertain, which is why you need to create interactive courses/content using the latest authoring tools. 

Now combine the power of any course authoring tool with Learnyst to sell your course effectively. To know more, click the below button –

You can create your own branded online academy, upload, sell, and get 100% course sales credited to your bank account during this 14 day trial period.

So, go ahead. Create and Sell Courses online and make 10X revenue within months.

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