In the first part of this series we looked at how to overcome the challenges of learning distribution and reach your learners wherever they are.
With so many solutions on the market, let’s now explore five of the key elements you should be looking for when deciding which eLearning authoring tool is right for you.
1. Dynamic video capabilities
Video learning has become a phenomenon, and it’s only going to become more widely used as organizations latch on to its engagement potential.
Organizations such as the Khan Academy provide learning content to vast audiences worldwide, while LinkedIn spent more than a billion dollars to buy the online learning platform Lynda.com.
With ever-rising mobile usage and learner expectations driven by their familiarity with high-quality tutorials on platforms such as YouTube, the right authoring tool for your enterprise needs to make it easy to record, repurpose, enhance, and deliver video content.
Your L&D team should be able to rapidly create video content and get it into the hands of learners who need it. It’s all about facilitating an on-demand, accessible experience that modernizes your existing content.
Among many other benefits, video is also a great way of encouraging shared social learning, giving your sales team just-in-time training, and driving up retention and completion rates.
2. A range of publishing options
While organizations usually need to deliver content to learners via a corporate LMS, many are now looking to reach learners via more informal channels such as websites, social media platforms, intranets, and more. With traditional eLearning tools, the whole distribution process can be complex and slow.
Your hosting and authoring tool should give you the broad range of options you need to reach your entire workforce and make the provision of their learning easy.
Using a cloud-based learning portal gives people instant access to content in a central space. From there, publishing to your existing LMS should be a matter of just a few clicks, with your learners seeing new courses instantly.
If you want to give your learners instant access to content wherever they are, a direct link is a supremely straightforward way of providing this.
As simple as it sounds, some authoring tools don’t give you the option to send people a direct link by email, intranet, social media, LinkedIn, or any other method you choose. But it is one of the easiest and quickest ways to get courses to learners.
3. Enhanced collaboration potential
Trying to work as a team is a frustrating process if you use the wrong tools—especially desktop authoring systems. Keeping track of who’s made changes, what changes have been agreed upon, and which version of a course is the latest one are familiar headaches for many L&D professionals.
That’s all changed thanks to the editing capabilities offered by leading cloud-based authoring tools these days. In fact, your choice of eLearning authoring tool should take into account its ability to enhance your teamwork, rather than just worrying about whether it creates barriers to collaboration.
Permissions, for example, should let you put the right people into editing and reviewing roles without requiring any extra software, while the review process should allow you to add review notes, fully manage the team workflow, and assign tasks within a central course preview.
Trawling through email chains or spreadsheets makes managing the progress of content production tricky, and part of the role of an authoring tool should be to remove these inefficiencies and make everything clearly visible in one place.
4. Powerful, insightful learning analytics
Improved use of data, as we know, is rapidly changing the way companies work and helping L&D teams to truly prove the worth of learning programs to entire organizations.
In order to align learning outcomes with business objectives, it’s absolutely essential to be able to build a broad, detailed picture of how your learning is landing. Leveraging these data insights allows L&D teams to continuously improve their courses and position themselves as a central business function.
Producing a rich set of learner data is important, and your authoring tool should let you track each user event, whether you want to know how long learners spent on a course, how they fared in assessments, the device types used, or a wide variety of other details.
However, this data only becomes valuable if you can access it easily and visualize it clearly. That’s why you need to make sure your authoring tool provides an effective reporting dashboard and built-in xAPI analytics, which allows you to continuously track and compile advanced learner data.
5. Customized design and branding
Your unique branding is an important part of your learning, and customization means you can match that branding to your courses and create learning content that’s unmistakably yours.
With that in mind, your eLearning authoring tool needs to be flexible enough to fully encompass your visual brand while making it easy for your L&D team to implement consistent, eye-catching design.
Themes are one option you definitely want to look for in an authoring tool. These should be configurable enough for you to adjust them to your specific requirements, but also offer you multiple templates that you can easily tweak and reuse when you want to refresh your layouts.
The ability to customize your content quickly cuts out the time demands you might once have faced in shaping distinctive courses that engage your learners. To see how gomo’s cloud-based authoring, hosting, and video suite can save your organization time and money, contact us today.