In my never-ending research in the eLearning tools market, I make it a point to ask a lot of questions of tool vendors. Most of the time they relish the opportunity to brag about the features of their tools. Other times they seem to resent some of my more pointed questions on whether their tools are able to address key elements required by excellent instructional design.
That’s okay—sometimes the non-answers tell me more than the by-the-sales-book pat responses. It’s especially useful when I talk with them face to face at conference expos, such as the one coming up at The eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2014. I make it a point to do so each time.
What about the less well-known eLearning tools?
I’ve written about several tools, most of which are well known, over the last four or so years, usually focusing on one tool each month. However, there are so many other tools that have little market recognition but that have passionate fan bases. Why do they stir up such dedication in their users?
The best reason for this dedication is this: The users perceive that these products fit a need. It’s important to remember that eLearning is not a one-size-fits-all industry. There are aspects of each project that are unique. That is, developers must deal with a combination of the needs of the learner audience, the content, the context, the amount of training that has to take place, the budget, the deadlines, and more. So a tool that may work perfectly for one project may fail totally on a different project.
Another reason for user dedication is a lack of awareness of other tools that may fit a need even better. Nobody has time to review all eLearning development tools and keep up on each new version (not even me), so it’s no surprise that once someone takes the time to learn a tool and becomes proficient with it, that person is reticent to give it up for another.
Which tool do you want to learn more about?
My intention for the next two months is to shine a light on lesser-known tools that you may find useful. I’ll give you a short review of what I consider the best of the bunch, and try to give you a quick rundown of the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Do you use any of these tools? Is there one or more of these tools you’re dying to know more about? Take my three-question survey, now through March 31: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/W57Y8HP. If you like a tool you want me to review, and it’s not on the survey list, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a list of the 77 tools I’ve gathered—these are the ones included in the survey. Some of these are free and some are expensive. Remember that a free tool that is weak and takes a long time to use may prove expensive over time. An expensive tool may pay for itself if it fits your needs very well.
- ActivePresenter by Atomi Systems
- Atlantic Link by Assima
- Articulate Online by Articulate
- AuthorExpert by ITWorx
- authorPOINT by authorGEN Technologies
- BRAVO! by C3 SoftWorks
- Classmarker by Classmarker Pty Ltd.
- ClickClass by ClickClass
- Compendle by MyKnowledgeMap
- Course Toolkit by Psychologist World
- CourseAvenue by CourseAvenue
- CourseLab by WebSoft
- CoursEVO by CoursEVO
- DazzlerMax by Dazzlersoft
- Dipity by Underlying, Inc.
- EasyProf by Itaca
- easy TestMaker
- e-doceo content manager by e-doceo
- eLab by E-learning Group
- e-Learning Authoring Tool by e-Learning Consulting
- eLearning Course Builder by eLearning247
- Elicitus by Harbinger Knowledge Products
- Elucidat by Elucidat
- eNetAuthor by eCom Scotland
- EQUELLA by Pearson Education
- eXeLearning (Open Source)
- Expert Author by Knowledge Quest
- GLOMaker by London Metropolitan University
- ICE Rapid Course Development by Knowledge Anywhere
- iSpring Quizmaker by iSpring Solutions
- izzui by Izzui
- Jackdaw by e-learning WMB
- Knowledge Presenter by Kookaburra Studios
- KnowledgePresenter by Research House
- LeanForward eLearning by LeanForward
- Learning Edge by Intrafinity
- LearningStone (Open Source)
- Lecturnity by IMC
- Lersus by DELFI Software
- LessonWriter by LessonWriter
- Liquid Authoring by Landmark eLearning
- Luminosity Studio by CM Group
- Metamorphosis by Easy Authoring
- Mobile Learning by M-Learn On the Go
- MOS Solo by MindOnSite
- myBrainshark by Brainshark
- Odijoo by Lambda Solutions
- O-LAS Author by EssentialSkillz
- OmniSocial Content by Mzinga
- Openworld Presenter by OpenWorld Learning
- Opus Pro by Digital Workshop
- Perception by Questionmark
- ProProfs by ProProfs.com
- Question Writer by Question Writer Corp.
- QuickLessons by QuickLessons
- QuidPro by Quid Interactive
- Quiz Creator by Wondershare
- RightCourse by Right Reason Technologies
- Savv-e Express by Savv-e
- ScateIgnite by Scate Technologies
- Scratch by MIT Media Lab
- Seminar Author by Acteon Communication and Learning
- SoftChalk by SoftChalk
- SOWISO Platform by SOWISO
- Stratus by iTrain
- SyberWorks Web Author by SyberWorks
- The One Minute Learning Tool by International Safetyware
- ToolBook by SumTotal Systems
- Total e-Learning Solution by FlexTraining
- Udutu Online Course Authoring by Udutu Online Learning Solutions
- Uperform by Ancile
- Versal by Versal Group
- VIDIZMO Interactive Video by Vidizmo
- WBTExpress Enterprise by 4system
- Xerte (Open Source)
- Zembl by Can Studios
- Zenler Studio by Zenler