If you are unfamiliar with elearning authoring tools and wondering how to use them. You are not alone. Corporate learning has had to shift over time to keep pace with workplace trends. One of the biggest workplace trends today is flexibility. According to a report by the Society for Human Resources Management, 69 percent of organizations allowed employees to work from home at least some of the time in 2019 and 27 percent of these companies offered full-time telecommuting arrangements.
Michelle Armer, chief people officer at job site CareerBuilder, says this benefit will expand in 2020. So what does all this mean for corporate learning?
Basically, businesses need to cater to this fluid workplace style. No longer do you have someone working in the office all day. Some may be working at home, some on the road traveling and others may be working different schedules. Because of this learning needs to also be flexible and e-learning fosters this flexibility.
What is an e-learning authoring tool?
So when we talk about elearning authoring tools, what exactly does that mean? Basically, this tool is a software program used to create learning modules and training sessions. While more traditional classroom learning still has its place, we live in a digital age with flexible work options and there need to be tools to facilitate this online learning. Another way to think about it as a digital platform or vehicle to disseminate your training sessions to the employees.
Who can use content authoring tools?
Next, you may wonder what skill set is necessary to use elearning authoring tools. The short answer is you don’t need to be a computer programmer to use one. Most of these tools have built-in templates, support and features to make it easy to create your own courses. You can either create these from scratch or download pre-existing content. But with that being said some are more user-friendly than others and different tools have different functions.
Best practices for creating content using an authoring tool
Before we jump into comparing five great elearning authoring tools, let’s talk about creating content using one of these tools. If you are used to more traditional classroom training or are relying on PowerPoint presentations for your e-learning, how do you take your training to the next level? Here are six steps to get you started creating content.
1. Use the right e-learning authoring tool
The first step is to incorporate an e-learning authoring tool. While you can certainly create online courses without one, it will simplify the process and also organize your training program for your employees. So think about what features are more important to you? Also, think about what will work best for your learning team.
2. Research your learning audience
Before you can create new or refined learning courses, you’ll want to survey your employees. What are their learning needs? How do they feel your training program can be further improved? It’s important to ask questions around e-learning and how you can cater to workplace flexibility. Besides talking to your employees, look at your industry trends. What new skills and trends do your employees need to know in order to stay competitive within the industry? You may want to even consult an industry expert to get their thoughts. The more research you can do before you start your new e-learning program the better it will be once it’s rolled out.
3. Utilize e-learning templates
Like we’ve said before PowerPoint works fine for creating e-learning courses, but there are also various e-learning authoring templates available. You can either tweak these templates to fit your needs or by using one of the e-learning authoring tools you’ll have access to several templates. These are user-friendly and don’t require programming experience so it’ll be easier to get up and running quickly.
4. Choose cloud-based e-learning authoring tool
By choosing a cloud-based learning management system, it will offer an easy migration of current materials. Any training courses you have can be input into an LMS and modified. Plus, several offer branding and customization options. You can even create or input quizzes and other assessments as well as create a learning schedule for your employees.
5. Incorporate multimedia elements
The great part about content authoring tools is they offer endless options. Learning is no longer static presentations, but they can become robust by adding elements like video or podcasts. Not only will your learners by more engaged, but it will keep all your training materials organized. Employees can simply click on one training module and the links to other materials will be found in the same lesson. It will streamline the process.
6. Keep video, audio and graphics simple
On the flip side, you want to use video and other graphics to a happy medium. Too much multimedia can drown out your key learning takeaways. But you do want to include enough of these elements to break up large blocks of text and to keep the employee’s attention.