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Authoring tools to create e-learning content: which to choose?

Authoring tools to create e-learning content: which to choose?
Palmira Marchetti
 Palmira Marchetti
 Design
09/10/2019: There are different types of authoring tools. The two main types are authoring tools that can be installed on the desktop and authoring tools in the cloud. How to choose the one that best suits your needs?

Depending on your company's e-learning learning needs, you can opt for one of the two tools mentioned above. The best thing is to always use intuitive and easy-to-use tools, make room for the collaborative aspect of content creation and save time.

Authoring tools that can be installed on desktops allow users to create engaging e-learning courses that must be downloaded and installed on the desktop before use. With desktop authoring tools it takes a lot of time, from downloading the application to installing on the desktop to constant updating. In the case of cloud-based tools, instead, there are no downloads, installations or updates to be made. In addition to this, cloud-based authoring tools are accessible, as they allow remote access to content and enable content creation in a collaborative manner, thus allowing for additional time savings.

Moreover, in terms of ease of use, flexibility and collaboration, cloud authoring tools offer great flexibility as they are compatible with any device and operating system. In contrast, most desktop installable authoring tools are not compatible with some operating systems. In addition, cloud-based authoring tools are known for their usability. In fact, it is not necessary to be an experienced e-Learning Content Developer to use these tools. Furthermore, the authoring tools that can be installed on the desktop do not offer the possibility of creating content in a collaborative way. Authors can work independently, creating and publishing their own content before sharing it with others to allow them to see it. With a PC-desktop authoring tool, collaboration is very limited: it is difficult to share courses with other colleagues involved in production for re-using content, the materials folder is not centralized.

Instead, cloud-based tools allow you to manage collaborative content creation, as more people can work together to create and update e-learning training content.

With desktop-based tools, collaboration between multiple authors and the process of reviewing content by multiple contributors can impact the efficiency of the production process compared to cloud-based creation tools. Similarly, it may be time-consuming to update the content, fix a bug or make a change once the courses have been launched.

So which type of authoring tool to choose? It is not easy to answer, since there is no suitable solution for every type of business need. However, the advice is to use, in addition to the classic software that can be installed on the desktop, also a cloud authoring tool, a tool that allows new approaches to the production of e-learning courses and that reduces the time required to complete a course.

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