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6 questions to ask before choosing an e-learning authoring tool

With literally hundreds of options available, it can be tricky choosing e-learning authoring software that’s right for your needs and those of your employees. So, to make your decision, ask yourself the following questions.

Kasper Spiro
6 questions authoring tool

1. How much of an e-learning expert are you?

Most e-learning software is specifically geared toward professional e-learning developers, offering plenty of functionalities. They come with a high price tag and require a level of training that can be bewildering for most novices. If you’re new to e-learning software and authoring tools, you may be better off using the limited, but relatively straightforward authoring functionalities that might be built into your LMS. Or you can switch to our tool.

Our tool: You can switch to Easygenerator, which has a user-friendly interface and a zero learning curve for its users.

2. Will you be the only author?

Probably the most important question to ask is how much you want to collaborate. Collaboration can happen in two ways – co-authoring and reviewing. The former offers two or more authors the option to create a course together. The latter allows other subject matter experts (SMEs) to go over a draft course and provide input.

Our tool: If collaboration is important, then a cloud-based tool like Easygenerator is essential. Specifically designed with co-creation in mind, it allows you to assign co-authors, add comments on each other’s work, and request input from outside reviewers.

3. How will you share your courses?

The decision on how to share your courses can have serious cost implications. Sharing them via your LMS often results in a charge per individual user, which means costs can rapidly add up. Publishing courses on your website or intranet is also an option, although this often doesn’t allow you to track usage.

Our tool: Easygenerator’s cloud-based system allows you to track your learners’ results at no additional cost. As part of your subscription, it can host all your courses directly on the platform so users can easily access them.

4. Do you require a separate LMS?

An LMS can certainly be helpful when it comes to the reporting, tracking, and general administration of your e-learning modules and development programs. But their usefulness is often undermined by their sheer complexity which makes many LMS systems quite resource-heavy.

Our tool: In addition to hosting courses directly on the platform, Easygenerator also exports in LMS-friendly formats like xAPI and SCORM. That means you can create your courses in your specialized authoring tool and still reap the benefits of an LMS, should you want to.

5. Which devices are your learners using?

Users will be accessing your courses from a multitude of devices and across different operating systems. Whichever e-learning authoring tool you choose, it needs to be responsive and compatible with all of them. Easygenerator’s built-in responsiveness means it automatically adapts content to screen size. It also avoids the use of Flash because it is not supported on many tablets and mobile devices.

Our tool: Easygenerator’s built-in responsiveness means it automatically adapts content to screen size. It also avoids the use of Flash because it is not supported on many tablets and mobile devices.

6. Do you prefer a license or a subscription?

Most cloud-based e-learning authoring tools work on a subscription basis, while most software requires a license. The subscription model offers more flexibility as it allows you to pay on a monthly or yearly basis. Easygenerator’s subscription model for example also includes regular free software and feature updates, both of which can become very expensive when part of a license model.

Our tool: Easygenerator’s subscription model for example also includes regular free software and feature updates, both of which can become very expensive when part of a license model.

Choose the right authoring tool

Our experts created the ultimate guide to help you select an authoring tool that fits your organization’s needs.

6 questions to ask when choosing an authoring tool

Other factors to consider when choosing authoring tools

In addition to the questions mentioned above, there are three more important factors to consider when choosing e-learning software:

  • Content creation functions

    Good content creation functions are a must when choosing an authoring tool. After all, you’ll be using the tool to create e-learning content. Keep an eye out for the types of content you can add to your courses, like whether you can include images, videos, and audio files. Most importantly, make sure you can add interactive elements. The whole point of creating e-learning is to facilitate an interactive and engaging learning experience. Without interactivity, your course will appear static and PowerPoint-like.

    Our tool: Easygenerator not only enables you to add your own media files to your content but also to make them interactive, like with a hotspot question. And with 10 question types to choose from, you’ll have plenty of ways to add interactivity while assessing your learners’ progress.

  • Scalability

    Evaluate whether the authoring tool can help scale your e-learning output. One way to tell is how user-friendly the interface is. A user-friendly authoring tool makes it easy for anyone in your organization to create courses, even without a background in instructional design. The benefit is not having to go through a central learning department for every training request, speeding up the content creation process. This then enables a peer-to-peer approach to knowledge sharing – also known as Employee-Generated Learning (EGL).

    Our tool:
    Easygenerator is an authoring tool built for subject matter experts. Our simple drag-and-drop interface enables a seamless course creation experience, making it easy for anyone to start sharing their knowledge in the form of engaging e-learning. This makes Easygenerator the ideal tool for implementing EGL.

  • Compatibility with Windows and Mac devices

    Lastly, it’s just as important to ensure your authoring tool is compatible with the device you use. Many e-learning software is primarily available to Windows users. If you’re a Mac user, you’ll want to be on the lookout for e-learning software for Mac devices. Cloud-based authoring tools are among the best e-learning software for Mac users because all you need is an internet-connected device to access them.

    Our tool: As a cloud-based authoring tool, Easygenerator is easily accessible from both Windows and Mac computers. All you need is an internet-connected device and you’re ready to access your content. That also means you can start creating your content on one device and continue on another, whether it’s a Windows or Mac device.

Does Easygenerator sound like a good solution?

If Easygenerator’s services resonated with your needs, we’d like to invite you to a free 14-day trial, during which you’ll have unlimited access to our features.

Our authoring tool is built with subject matter experts in mind, meaning you don’t need a background in instructional design to use it. Between our seamless drag-and-drop interface and our personalized customer onboarding and support services, it’s easy for anyone to start creating engaging and effective e-learning content.

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About the author

Kasper Spiro is the Co-founder and Chief learning strategist of Easygenerator and a recognized thought leader in the world of e-learning. With over 30 years of experience, he is a frequently asked keynote speaker and well-renowned blogger within the e-learning community.