e-Learning content authoring tools Series 2

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Recall that in my pre­vi­ous arti­cle ‚I pointed out that there are hun­dreds of e-Learning author­ing tools in the mar­ket today. Select­ing the proper tool for devel­op­ing con­tent is not a triv­ial task.

e-Learning content authoring tools Series 2

e-Learning content authoring tools Series 2In this arti­cle let us look at some dom­i­nant fac­tors that should influ­ence your deci­sion while choos­ing the best con­tent author­ing tool that is right for your Learn­ing Man­age­ment Sys­tems.
What type of train­ing are you pro­vid­ing?Here is a list of ques­tions you should ask dur­ing the eval­u­a­tion process of con­tent author­ing tool. This will save you time and money.

  • Is it a blended learn­ing (partly online and partly class­room) expe­ri­ence?
  • Will you pro­vide train­ing on CD/DVD or other media?
  • Do you aim to get your learnerscer­ti­fied on a prod­uct, ser­vice, or pro­ce­dure?
  • Is a cer­tain soft­ware appli­ca­tion being taught?
  • Do you have the resources to sup­port the type of online train­ing you wish to develop and con­duct?
  • Do you have graphic design­ers?
  • Do you have appro­pri­ate sub­ject mat­ter experts?
  • Does the train­ing needs to be refreshed peri­od­i­cally? Say, any­where from 6 months to a year or beyond?
  • Do you have resources for ren­di­tion of voice over?
  • Do you have video pro­duc­ers?
  • Do you have mod­els to ani­mate the con­tent that you want to develop?
  • Do you have pro­duc­tion Design­ers?
  • What hap­pens after the train­ing has been devel­oped?
  • Will any tests be asso­ci­ated with the train­ing changes?
  • Will you have the right resources and sup­port in place for any ongo­ing e-leaning con­tent devel­op­ment needs?
  • Does the author­ing tool sup­port all mul­ti­me­dia file for­mats which are required by your e-Learning course con­tent?
  • What level of inter­ac­tiv­ity is required for the train­ing?
  • Sim­u­la­tions and other dynamic learn­ing activ­i­ties are great to have, but are they really appro­pri­ate or needed for the type of Com­puter Based Train­ing that you are devel­op­ing?

Flash has become the stan­dard tool used for many inter­ac­tive e-learning activ­i­ties. Do a rain check to see whether your tools are com­pat­i­ble with Flash.

  • How much is bud­geted for the project?
  • What things are spe­cific to the type of train­ing and may be com­pro­mised if out­sourced?
  • How steep is the learn­ing curve asso­ci­ated with the tools you are think­ing of using for the project?
  • What plat­forms will the train­ing be deliv­ered on?
  • Does the online train­ing have to work across a com­bi­na­tion of plat­forms such as Win­dows, MAC, Linux or oth­ers?
  • Does e-learning con­tent have to work across a vari­ety of browsers?

Total sys­tem cost

It is always best to eval­u­ate any soft­ware by look­ing at the total cost of own­er­ship (TCO). TCO is a finan­cial esti­mate. Its pur­pose is to help con­sumers and enter­prise man­agers deter­mine direct and indi­rect costs of a prod­uct or sys­tem.

The TCO would include the cost of the appli­ca­tion, train­ing, upgrades, main­te­nance, and any other costs asso­ci­ated with the own­er­ship of the prod­uct over its life­time.

Some Sit­u­a­tional Para­me­ters: Be mind­ful that not all tools are appro­pri­ate for a given train­ing deliv­ery method. It is impor­tant to con­sider the con­text in which con­tent author­ing tools will be used. As you gather infor­ma­tion, keep in mind that as long as your com­puter based train­ing (CBT) is founded on good instruc­tional design prin­ci­ples, the inter­ac­tiv­ity pro­duced by the author­ing tool you choose will strengthen the learner’s expe­ri­ence. So con­sider train­ing objec­tives while choos­ing the author­ing tool.

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