Today’s businesses must offer their employees the greatest training to ensure excellence, innovation, and success.
A cost-effective, practical, and easily available LMS is a cloud-based LMS. The best part of an LMS is that you may develop these modules without needing any additional technical expertise. One prime example of such a learning management system is Thought Industries, which comprises features and tools that make training convenient.
In this article, we’ll review the top seven benefits of a cloud-based LMS, which has significantly outperformed conventional LMS in the eLearning sector.
Understanding The Cloud-Based LMS
The days of demanding web hosting, requiring extra software and powerful servers to operate eLearning courses, are long gone. If you want to gain access to, upload, and maintain a variety of eLearning resources, monitor user progress, etc., cloud-based LMSs provide a seamless and effective solution.
You don’t need to install anything else on your devices using a cloud LMS. Mobile device users who must maintain mobility can easily install and download an application. It is not necessary to install any special software or hardware to access and utilize a cloud-based LMS as a remedy. A cloud-based LMS will allow the company and its learners to enjoy the true benefits of cloud-based LMS systems by just logging in.
7 Benefits Of Cloud-Based LMS
Low Cost of Startup
There isn’t any software to buy along with a cloud-based LMS. Implementing a cloud-based LMS also has a relatively cheap initial investment. No additional skills are required to implement programs comprehensively throughout the knowledge economy. You only need to register with an LMS solutions company and start writing your training content. With cloud technology, users are not required to purchase software or go through the updating procedure required when software is installed. By doing this, users are guaranteed to save both their finances and the significant time required to go through the entire procedure of software installation problems and debugging.
Cloud-based LMS systems don’t require a difficult or drawn-out installation process. There aren’t any in-depth, protracted, and occasionally fruitless discussions with managers to go over the setup and deployment of the system.
Simple to Assemble and Manage
The quick and easy deployment and management of cloud-based LMS software are among its most significant advantages. Installing extra software is unnecessary because the LMS provider will continuously upgrade the system to include new features and improve browser compatibility.
Implement a responsive design when creating cloud-based LMS to guarantee that the user interface adjusts to the size of the screen. This software may be used on any gadget anywhere because it is mobile-friendly. You may connect to the LMS using the same device you employ to visit your portal.
It is economical
A key benefit and a deal-breaker for decision-makers is cost-effectiveness. Instead of spending money on things that businesses will never use, you pay simply for what you can use. Purchasing software as an eLearning solution is significantly more expensive than buying a cloud-based LMS platform. The cloud-based LMS includes updates and setup fees at no further cost. You pay for the practical use of the cloud LMS because the pricing depends on usage indicators like users or portals. This merely emphasizes the fact that cloud-based LMS systems are generally more affordable. In the long run, organizations do not incur extra costs for upkeep, assistance, or management.
Web apps are becoming commonplace and essential to any company’s software, especially LMS. This suggests that a cloud-based LMS satisfies the more popular user preference, making adoption easier. It’s simple for trainees to use because it feels familiar. Falling back to the old ways is impossible after the user has logged in and viewed the dashboards from any screen.
Since many businesses need an LMS solution that is highly personalized, they benefit from having a high level of configuration. Typically, these solutions let you alter colors, layouts, turn characteristics, and designs. You won’t be able to modify ready-made hosted software, and you’ll also discover that some of its functions are useless for your needs. A cloud-based LMS can be configured in any way you like. Additionally, it is expandable, making adding and removing features following market needs feasible.
Cloud-based LMS solutions are dominating the eLearning sector. Companies are compelled to upgrade their LMS operations and join the cloud due to the focus on mobile learning and eLearning tools. The affordability of a cloud-based LMS is one of the significant benefits.
Edtech websites are undeniably crucial for modern education in 2022. Of course, there are no one-size-fits-all approaches to teaching different subjects. However, the world of education has definitely changed. Both students and teachers must adjust to those changes now. Education involves technologies that are not called to make the lives of teachers more complicated though.
On the contrary, they facilitate the process of studies for both professors and learners. Thanks to learning management system development and the latest technologies, there are a few platforms and tools that are very helpful for a hybrid model of education. All institutions should look for flexible solutions due to the growing popularity of remote learning and work.
Therefore, launching the top LMS solutions in your business is a must in 2022. Below, you will find the top tools that will help you cope with this task.
- Moodle — For Learning Globally
Moodle is a great tool designed for educators, learners, and administrators. It creates a personalized learning environment. The platform is really genius. You can even download the software on your own web server. However, using it online is also very convenient.
The tool is created by Moodle HQ. The platform has gained a great reputation all over the world. Top universities are using it for effective distant learning. Lots of businesses use it for the corporate education of their employees. The platform has over 213 million users all over the world and this number is impressive.
It is truly one of the best edtech platforms since it was guided by social constructionist pedagogy for more than 10 years. It is great for education, and collaborative learning, and suits both teachers and learners perfectly. Moodle is very easy to use. Its interface is simple, and the platform has well-documented resources and drag-and-drop features. It can be used in 120 languages, so it is a truly global platform.
One of the best features of Moodle is that it is totally free. Educational establishments do not have to pay any licensing fees. The platform can be adjusted for both commercial and non-commercial projects totally for free. Moreover, Moodle can be used for both 100% remote learning as well as for hybrid education. It is truly a unique, flexible, and one-size-fits-all educational platform.
Moodle can be used on any device by teams of any size. There are no limits or restrictions. The only disadvantage of it is that there is no built-in online conferencing feature. For having an online class, you will need to use Google Meet, Skype, Zoom, etc. However, this is not a problem at all. Moodle covers the rest of the features necessary for fully online or hybrid learning.
- 360Learning — For Collaborative Learning
360Learning is one of those edtech platforms created for boosting and upskilling the hybrid workforce with the help of collaborative learning. You can help your learners upskill much faster. They can choose a convenient format of education that suits their hybrid schedule. It meets all the needs of learning.
All learners can not only be educated but also grow together regardless of where their lessons are held. 360Learning always catches up with time. The platform became hybrid just as the world around us did. Creating hybrid courses takes minutes instead of months. Thus, the platform saves plenty of time for everyone.
- Absorb LMS — For Flexible and Powerful Training
Nowadays, over 1400 businesses use Absorb LMS. It is one of the platforms connecting educators and edtech companies and offering great learning solutions worldwide. The platform is created to boost productivity for learners no matter where they are. You can use it at work, at home, while driving, etc.
Absorb offers flexible learning tools and connects people. Thanks to it, learners can feel inspired and engaged. With Absorb, you will enjoy personalized learning experiences, informal spaces, and mobile support.
- CALF™ — For Behavior and Business Impact
Calf is created by NuVeda and allows users to combine the most convenient and beloved learning models online with the offline ones. It makes it one of the top edtech platforms for hybrid learning. Moreover, you can enjoy gamified iOS and Android apps, as well as wise analytics. The platform makes learning very effective.
The platform is not free, however, you can get 10% off for eLI subscribers if you book a call with its eLearning strategists. This software can be used anytime and anywhere. It is very light and very fast. Conducting traditional and online learning processes under the guidance of a professional instructor is very convenient.
It happens with the help of web applications, Android and iOS apps that are highly appreciated by both learners and educators. It allows you to understand your students and boost the results with the help of expanded reports and NuVeda analytics about reactions, teaching, behavior, and results.
LMS NuVeda is customer-oriented. Even if your internet connection isn’t stable and your RAM and storage are not big, you will have a very pleasant user experience. Their pricing plans are very budget-friendly. Moreover, you can enjoy quality customer support.
- TalentLMS — For Developing and Launching Hybrid Learning Courses
This LMS will be perfect for the development and launch of hybrid learning courses. TalentLMS collects only the best features of online and offline educational processes. It is created for success. Over 70k teams trust it and use it successfully. It is one of the best hybrid learning solutions.
The platform allows you to unite digital and traditional learning and manage both processes from one central platform. The learning process is very convenient. It is easily integrated with the chosen tools for video conferencing and thus, all teachers can communicate with learners in real-time mode regardless of their locations.
The Bottom Line
Although students keep coming back to their offline classes, we cannot deny the efficiency and necessity of online courses and technologies. Hybrid learning is not an innovation and now, there are no doubts it will remain a global tendency in the modern system of education.
For that reason, it is crucial to find the right solutions and the most convenient platforms for effective learning models. All of the enlisted edtech platforms are very efficient and bring the best user experience and boost students’ results.
Enterprise learning management systems (LMS) help corporations and big online learning platforms provide and manage their curriculum in an efficient and convenient way. With a huge demand for such software, a lot of solutions emerged. We have gathered the top Enterprise Learning Management Systems on the market in 2022.
10 Top-Notch LMS for Enterprises
#1 LIMOS LMS
Litmos is a cloud-based enterprise training tool that is ideal for staff training, industry, and customer orientation in small enterprises. This powerful LMS includes classroom, virtual, and mobile learning as well as e-commerce and social features. Moreover, it has a convenient user interface and add-ons to extend functionality if needed.
#2 Adobe Captivate Prime
Adobe Captive Prime was created to provide personalized learning experiences across various devices. It is an easy-to-set-up, automated and flexible platform. This LMS provides you with wide customization options and extended analytics. In addition, it enables dividing users into groups and providing them with different interfaces and curriculum.
#3 Talent LMS
Talent LMS is suitable for any business size or type. Being a cloud-based LMS, it has an easy to use intuitive interface with an ability to customize everything to your needs. What’s more, it has course selling, video conferences and gamification features with is adaptivity to work on any device, suitable for your students.
#4 LearnUpon LMS
LearnUpon LMS helps you train your employees, partners, and customers—otherwise known as your extended enterprise—all in one system. This platform is built to deliver high-quality corporate learning experiences in a scalable way. Manage, track, and achieve your learning goals through a single, powerful solution. Trusted by over 1000 businesses worldwide, including Zendesk, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Intuit Quickbooks, Logitech, and Twilio, LearnUpon is one of the fastest-growing LMSs in the world.
Cloud-based Docebo LMS is a cutting-edge solution that works on artificial intelligence. Such technology enables extreme personalization for learners and automation for administrators. Moreover, Docebo supports such content types as SCORM, Tin Can and AICC.
- Keep your partners engaged, aligned with your brand, and current with your products and services.
- Boost your customers’ adoption and renewal of your product.
- Increase the value of your membership programs by providing continuous learning opportunities and certification programs.
Modern and powerful Northpass LMS is based on the cloud too and can be used to create and distribute online training to employees, partners and customers. Its extensive, easy-to-use features allow delivering exceptional, modern learning experiences as well as measure the performance of the training. Furthermore, the interactivity of training increases engagement and motivates learners to stay on the platform.
Mindflash is also among top LMS on the market. It provides tools to create, manage and measure external training in an easy, fast and effective way. It is a reliable solution for big companies that require efficient management system, global reach, data security and real-time reporting.
#8 Thought Industries LMS
Thought Industries is definitely one of the top LMS out there. With more than 25 content types that can be delivered in a highly interactive, engaging and modern way, it opens huge opportunities in a learning experience. What’s more, this learning management system is 100% mobile friendly with the ability to fully white-label front-end look. In addition, Thought Industries provide powerful commerce solutions as well as a full reporting and analytics tool.
D2L will be a good choice for enterprise companies as well as for K-12 and college campuses. This powerful and flexible enterprise learning management system provides students with a personalized digital experience that works fine on mobile devices. From educators perspective, the system allows strong management, customization, and rich analytics to evaluate learners success. In addition, ecommerce functionality and sales forces can be enabled.
#10 KMI LMS
With an is an easy-to-use interface, KMI LMS provides companies of any size with an efficient learning management platform. This system allows to create, sell, and deliver custom training programs as well as run reports and track analytics. Being responsive and mobile-friendly, it can be accessed from any device. KMI LMS and LRS allow to easily create interactive, engaging online training courses branded according to your company.
Choosing enterprise LMS depends on your business needs and requirements. For some companies training creation and learning experience are the most important, others pay attention to design and cloud hosting. Whatever you are willing to create, you probably need a dedicated development team to help you with the technical part and consult on which LMS to choose.
Regarding the pandemic situation, stationary education became difficult in any educational facility and any industry. Medical education differs from other faculties by its lack of opportunities to miss classes or skip the topic. The healthcare industry demands the highest quality of teaching and knowledge for future or current doctors. That’s why most medical facilities turned to online learning for their workers or students. There is a wide range of ready-made platforms that can be customized according to a particular course or establishment’s needs. However, many establishments are used by these platforms, and they can not cover all the required issues. The common problems that appear during online learning are:
- absence of a single database for students documents and all courses;
- there is no opportunity to gather students for practical pieces of training or lectures in the classroom, and it makes the studying process harder;
- poor knowledge verification;
- ready-made solutions are expensive for a vast number of medical workers or students.
Main features of Learning Management Systems
Learning management systems (LMS) have a basic range of features that are necessary for each e-learning platform. These platforms should be accessible for all members, simple to use, and suit the latest tech updates. Looking at the Capterra statistics below, you can see which healthcare facilities implement custom LMSs.
Medical, educational platforms differ a lot from simple educational services for schools or universities. Healthcare training is more complicated and has a comprehensive structure containing a lot of diverse modules and tests. Usually, the entire course is divided into several parts for qualifying the information. The topics’ logical organization creates a learning path that can contain learning videos and compendiums, a combination of several courses, quizzes, and tests to check the knowledge. Each module also has deadlines and specific criteria for marks. After finishing the learning path, students usually get certificates to prove their qualifications.
Due to the pandemic situation worldwide, webinars have become the most popular way of e-learning for many industries, and healthcare is not an exception. Even before the quarantine, the practice of hosting webinars for studying medical workers was successful. This type of e-learning is flexible and available to everyone. Students can listen and share videos, pictures, or presentations in real-time, interact with a tutor, and ask questions if something is unclear. If the future doctors can not attend a particular lecture, they can watch it on the record. 🔎E-LEARNINGCheck more articles about e-learning and the digital era of education on our blog.
Reporting and analytics
E-learning platforms not only provide online courses for employees but also track their attendance and progress. It is essential to know the level of competencies of the medical workers. LMS provides custom reports and analysis for each course participant. Usually, reports contain valuable information like:
- activities of all participants – their performance, grades, and tests completions; it also tracks time spent on learning and doing tests, the level of qualification, and the deadlines for finishing the course;
- availability of certificates and tracking compliance requirements;
- satisfaction with course – this option helps to improve or change the course or the learning system in case of need.
Flexibility in the learning process is not a wish but a noticeable feature. Medical students have the most complex and stressful studying program among all other faculties. Due to e-learning systems, the educational process can be flexible and available for everyone. Each student or employee can independently choose the time for learning and create their schedules. It is also an excellent option to synchronize the course with the web platform and accessible from any devices like tablets or smartphones. Moreover, such a feature can attract and involve students more as it is flexible and convenient to do some tests anywhere.
As the number of students for one system can be vast, a cloud-based solution is the best choice for developing a healthcare e-learning platform. It makes access more effortless as all users have to do is type the address in the browser. Cloud deployment also simplifies the process of system improvements and maintenance.
Healthcare e-learning is not just a simple language course. Medical learning platforms have to be highly qualified and professional systems that give the same knowledge level as a class studying. To make all these systems unified, there is a range of standards that should be considered during the development and implementation of such a platform.
- SCORM or Sharable Content Object Reference Model includes the range of technical requirement for e-learning platforms; it is a guide for developers on how to integrate a new system with the existing ones;
- xAPI – it helps to unite all information that will be available on the course and make it accessible for all users; it also provides sharing the data between different systems;
- LTI or Learning Tools Interoperability is an educational technology developed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium; it lets users host the course tools and content from external systems or websites.
Medical education is impossible without practice, so it means that online platforms for the healthcare industry are not enough. Some courses need offline learning, and Learning management systems has to support blended learning.Performance Management
The main aim of online continuing medical education is to keep a high level of studying performance and knowledge. The rank of management is beneficial for tutors and professionals who teach medical students or employees. LMS provides a set of needed features for the entire medical facility like:
- insert data for documentation for state officials;
- assigning additional training for employees with low qualification;
- automatic tracking the assessments.
Game elements are implemented to increase the motivation of students. It can be virtual awards and badges for completing the tests or course. Gamification shows the positive results in LMS as it involves the students more, and the learning process can bring more enjoyment as students have to complete the task to get a reward.
Why do you need to implement custom LMS?
The most compelling variant of implementing e-learning service is developing custom Learning Management Systems considering particular medical facilities’ needs. LMS or Learning Management System makes all learning, testing, and grading processes easier, accessible, and productive. It replaces the real-time educational process and provides the same level of quality of studying.
Custom LMS contains the range of functions that are obvious for your medical facility and fit its rank. All medical courses have to follow the standards of studying that we have counted above, but the content and information interpretation methods can differ. For example, each part of the information can be provided in diverse interactive ways to make it easier to learn and remember:
- text, video, and audio-based seminars;
- learning games;
- availability of online discussion and forums;
- different types of final tests or quizzes;
- availability of sharing the info between students and tutors.
Many medical centers want to turn their offline training online. The custom solution accurately matches all requirements with no excess functions for an e-learning platform. It also easily can be synchronized with other internal systems in a less expensive way and include as many users as it is needed.
Victoria – Sales manager
Basic functionality for custom LMS
When you come up with the development of a custom Learning Management Systems, it is vital to reveal the weak sides of the existing learning system or accurately define the main objectives for a new solution for your medical facility. Each LMS contains a standard set of critical features. However, along with the required options, you can add any function you think is needed for your custom solution.
We want to bring to your attention the basic functionality for the development of LMS.
This function lets you set the responsible persons for definite courses or organizational tasks. Administrators usually have full access to all data and can add course information, change or delete it. They also create and add quizzes for each course, set hours and deadlines, upload required video, audio, or text documents for the learning process.
Range of courses
Each LMS provides a full cycle of education for different groups of medical workers or medical students. It consists of a fundamental and obligator program that has to be completed by each student. The programs usually contain several main courses with a final test for every course. You can also put additional courses that all workers or students should complete during the year.
As admins are responsible for the flow of the educational process, they have to provide reports for the headers of each student’s medical facilities and certificates for governmental establishment. The number of medical workers can reach several thousand. Is it possible to handle all the data manually? The answer is clear – no. The probability of mistakes and mix-ups is huge, but admins have no right to errors in documents and certificates.
Learning Management Systems generates custom reports and certificates automatically and accurately for each course or student.
Absence of skipping
This function is critical for healthcare e-learning systems. The students have to go through all learning stages, watch all videos, read all documents, and listen to all lectures or seminars. There should be no availability to skip any part of the course, including tests or quizzes in the end.
Healthcare educational programs contain a lot of specific terms and titles. It is essential to make e-learning available for all students and workers and the process as simple as possible. The multi-language function is required to make the learning process highly qualified and clear for all participants.
All medical students and workers who complete a definite course need to be notified about any updates or changes like test results, grades, upcoming lectures, or quizzes. Due to many people, the notifications should be set and sent automatically via email or internal system between medical workers.
How to develop a custom LMS?
The development of custom solutions has a stable workflow and main stages. Among them, we would like to define:
- building a business plan considering customer`s need and aims
- writing specifications of the project
- creating the design
- writing the code
- testing the systems
- release and maintenance
For building own Learning Management Systems from scratch, you need to find and hire a dedicated team of developers with experience in developing and implementing LMSs. Each phase of development involves a particular specialist. Each stage’s time and cost depend on the set of functions required for your custom LMS, including the number of potential students, various courses, grade system, etc.
For starting developing a custom LMS, you will need a full team of DevOps to build and successfully implement the new system to the medical facility:
- Business Analyst – a key person who helps to reveal the objections that will be resolved with the solution thanks to marketing research in the industry and build the strategy of reaching the goals to boost the productivity of healthcare e-learning;
- Scrum master – a specialist, is responsible for constant communication with customers to keep them up to date on the progress of development and organization of the workflow of DevOps;
- Designer – this specialist aims to make your system interface user-friendly, creative and recognizable simultaneously;
- HTML\CSS, PHP backend – these developers are responsible for writing clean code for the solution;
- Manual QA – testing is a crucial part before the releases, as QA specialists make stress tests for the solution to reveal any error or bug during the usage.
We want to bring to your attention an MVP estimation of developing an LMS system with basic functionality mane by our team of developers. The total cost and hours for each developer can vary depending on your custom solution’s specifications and aims. The approximate total cost of development of an LMS is $53730.
We also would like to say a few words about the importance of your system maintenance.
Once you have decided to build and integrate your internal system with a custom solution, the development process doesn’t stop at the phase of release. A custom system needs constant support from developers if needed for updates, changes, or widening the platform. Our developers’ team is also available for maintaining your project after the release stage and usually picks the suitable package with different conditions for your needs.
The price depends on the number of specialists involved in your solution:
Basic – It involves a Business Analyst, a Scrum master, Backend developers, and QA. The cost is $1740 and can vary depending on the required hours of work.
Optimal – This package engages Business Analyst, Scrum master, Frontend developer and tech lead, QA specialist. The average price is $3232, and it is not fixed as it depends on the duration of work.
Advanced – This maintenance package involves the same specialists as the optimal, but it provides more hours spent on your solution and more options as a support team. The price is about $14400.
📌Why is custom LMS better than ready-made system?
Learning Management Systems should respond to all needs of your medical facility and be synched with the existing internal systems accurately. There is a huge risk that ready-made would not fit all your requirements. Moreover, custom LMS is less expensive as you invest in the development and maintenance despite the number of workers and amount of data. Ready-made solutions are not scalable and very expensive for a vast number of students.
📌How much does custom LMS cost?
We provided a detailed MVP estimation of custom LMS for medical training in our article. The average price of the development process is $53730.
📌Does the level of students` engagement stay the same?
Medical e-learning is more complicated than studying in other faculties. The educational system should convenient and accessible to all students. That’s why each medical student should have access to courses from any device and any place. there is also a need for adding game elements to studying courses to make it more involving and attractive.
All in all
The need for custom educational internal systems is urgent for most medical facilities and faculties. All of them want to achieve the same online education level as it was at the stationary variant. Ready-made healthcare e-learning can not cover all specifications of this type of education as Learning Management Systems must be accessible for each medical worker.
Supporting many users and huge amounts of data and information is a complicated and expensive task. Usually, ready-made LMSs provide learning for a small group of people and demand a month or year subscription paying for each member of a system. Instead of coping with these complexities, we recommend building and integrating your own custom LMS considering the medical facility’s specifics, its audience, directions of learning, and methods on how to reach the qualification goals with online education.
Course authoring software products allow organizations to create engaging and interactive multimedia content for educational purposes. Course authoring software is used by to develop training courses and content that can be consumed in either a corporate or more traditional educational setting.g2.com › categories › course-authoring
So you need course authoring software like Udemy.
Maybe because I keep whining at my readers that it’s a necessity (it is), or because you want to go freelance and sell courses for other businesses. Perhaps your boss finally caved to your requests for it, or maybe you are a boss and know that your trainers and content designers have been requesting it.
Whatever the reason, you’re seeking the perfect software fit and you’ve found yourself in a tricky spot. You know you need something, but you’re not entirely clear on what that something is.
Videos would be cool, wouldn’t they? And a forum, maybe, because social learning is important. And what’s the deal with gamification?
Whatever the feature, wherever you’re starting, this guide will let you know what’s on the market and what key features to look for.
We break each feature down by explaining how it works, what questions you should ask when considering each software type, and why we think it’s a must-have.
Let’s get started!
How it works
Gamified course authoring software awards points for completion, displays scoreboards to compare learner performance, and establishes goals for learners to reach at the end of each section.
This is an increasingly common feature for learning management software (LMS) systems. If you want to gamify your content, you have to create space for gamification in your course. Look for course authoring software that allows you to create native gamification throughout the design process.
Why it’s a must-have
Gamification has been proven to help users understand complex processes. It allows you to track users’ progress and analyze their performance.
Questions to ask
- How does it break up the material to make it easier for learners to retain the information?
- Does it have a point system?
- Can you track their progress?
- What exactly does the software bring to the learning experience?
How it works
Test and quiz creation is essential to tracking learner progress. If your course authoring software does not have a built-in method for creating assessments, you should look for another system.
Almost all course authoring software offers some type of assessment feature, so you’ll want to focus on the quality of that feature. You want a quiz creation system that’s easy and intuitive to use, and preferably pushes live in your LMS.
Why it’s a must-have
Quizzes are crucial to knowing how well your content is getting through to your audience. If you can’t measure your content’s efficacy, you have no way of knowing whether you need to change it.
Questions to ask
- Does the software include a test/quiz creation feature?
- Does it allow you to share a test or quiz with your learners?
- Can it be accessed via mobile devices, and is it user-friendly?
- Does it allow you to track user progress?
How it works
Interactive content allows some level of responsiveness to learner input. This can take the form of in-app answers for learner questions, or exploratory games and simulations.
When you’re creating content, keep in mind how users will engage with it. Interactive content is more entertaining and helps learners retain information better than static presentation. Much like gamification, you’re not looking for course authoring software that is itself interactive, but rather software that gives course designers the space to create such content.
Why it’s a must-have
Interactive content will stick with your learners longer than classic presentations. It allows users to engage with courses more thoroughly, think more critically, and apply learned information to real-life situations more easily.
Questions to ask
- Does your course authoring software include a user-friendly interface for dashboards and discussion?
- Will it integrate with communication software, or does it come with its own communication component?
How it works
Templates are a great asset in course design. They take away the pressure of coming up with a format from scratch, and typically look cleaner and more professional.
Templates are downloadable bases used to craft your content, which can be a bonus for the artistically challenged among us. A template management feature—which lets you create templates, and download and save pre-made templates from outside resources—will help you organize your content.
Templates are incredibly useful. Just fill in the blanks.
Why it’s a must-have
More likely than not, you don’t have the time to create your own templates. Having some to choose from within your course authoring software system allows you to focus on the content, rather than the cosmetic details.
Once you’ve amassed a trove of templates, you’ll have to keep them organized. Template management features will make this task easier.
Questions to ask
- Does the software offer templates?
- Does the software offer features specifically designed for content engagement?
- Does the software allow customization?
How it works
With the ubiquitous nature of FaceTime and Skype, video conferencing might not seem very exciting. It’s crucial for course authoring software, though, especially if you’re collaborating in your course writing or instructing remotely.
It’s unusual for video conferencing to be built in to course authoring software, but if you’re working with a remote team it might be an uncommon but necessary feature to look for.
Why it’s a must-have
If you’re instructing remotely, video conferencing is the way you’ll reach your learners. If you’re team-teaching, video conferencing can help you plan the course in real time.
On the user end, video conferences can be recorded, rewound, and replayed over and over, making content easier to remember and retain.
Questions to ask
- Is the software compatible with your laptop or phone camera?
- Does it work in-app, or does the software offer third-party integration with FaceTime, Skype, or other video software?
How it works
Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) combines content packaging—which allows software to run your content automatically—and data exchange (in which your content communicates with your LMS in real time).
SCORM is a comprehensive LMS set of design standards ensuring that all learning management systems can work together. SCORM compliance means your course authoring software creates exchangeable content that can be shared across compliant platforms.
Why it’s a must-have
SCORM has become the baseline platform for most LMSs. Being SCORM compliant will help you share your content with users, improve their experience, and streamline your LMS network.
Without it, you’ll need to make dozens of copies of your content that are compatible with multiple types of learning management systems. SCORM compliance ultimately saves you time and effort.
Questions to ask
- Does your course authoring software specifically state that it is SCORM compliant? (If it doesn’t, it’s probably not.)
How it works
Publishing your content means users can access it online, from a mobile device, or through a downloadable package, all without a problem. There are several types of publishing software (other than SCORM) that you can use, but course publishing itself is crucial for learner access.
You’ll need to determine whether your content requires course authoring software that pushes to a set LMS or if you want one that packages your content for use across multiple platforms.
Why it’s a must-have
Giving learners the option to access your content offline, via mobile device, or over the internet lets them adapt based on personal schedules and preferences, and ultimately engage with the content on a deeper level.
Questions to ask
- Does your course authoring software come with a course publishing feature?
- If not, does it integrate with a third party publisher?
- Is it SCORM compliant?
How it works
Content import/export features allow you to upload your content to an external location or bring other content into your course material. It’s a straightforward feature, but necessary: it gives you the ability to widely distribute your content.
Export to share content with learners and colleagues via email. Import interactive elements, infographics, charts, tables, designs, and diagrams. The options are virtually limitless, but only if your course authoring software systems offers a myriad of import/export choices.
Why it’s a must-have
Import/export functionality is vital for good content creation software. Without it, your content may never reach the outside world, benefit from the myriad of helpful elements available to import, or allow you to maximize its full potential. Being able to share and customize your content is essential to creating a diverse and dynamic learner environment.
Questions to ask
- Does your course authoring software offer third-party integration?
- Can it connect to the internet?
- Does it allow you to export your data or import external elements?
- Does it effectively work with the import/export locations you need?
How it works
Storyboarding allows you to visually organize your content. Telling stories with content is one of the most effective ways to help users engage with the information, especially if their learning style is more visual.
Storyboarding is also an excellent productivity tool when your schedule doesn’t allow for a lot of complex content planning. Look for this feature if you have complex visual material to communicate, or if you’re a visual thinker who needs to stay organized.
Why it’s a must-have
Without learner engagement, even the best content will fall flat. Storyboarding allows you to get creative with the way you present your content, which will give you better user results.
Questions to ask
- Does the software you’re considering offer content visualization?
- Does it allow you to personalize a dashboard?
- Are the layouts learner paced, or fixed?
- Does it allow you to present your content in a visually pleasing manner?
What are your must-have course authoring software features?
Did I miss any features you hold dear? Have software you want to recommend to other course authors?