Importance of Authoring Tools in Digital World

Tarun Kumar Singh June 21, 2018
Digitization of education has completely changed the way how the students learn in the new era of education. Publishers and educators are investing heavily in making their content interactive, engaging and effective interactive elements like animations, digital learning content and assessment based learning. To facilitate this shift from the Print to Digital world, authoring tools are available to develop the content in a faster and cost-efficient way. Further, in this blog, we will discuss and evaluate the benefits of using the authoring tools in designing interactive and immersive eLearning content.   Overview about Authoring Tools Authoring tools helps the publishers in transforming their print product into digital Interactive products. Publishers have high volume of content and they want to get their legacy products converted into new age digital version in no time. This can only be achieved using authoring tools in a more efficient, productive and cost effective way.   One can choose from following types of authoring tools available in the market: Stand-alone Authoring Tools: They can work offline and do not necessarily require a network connection to function. These tools come with the integrated feature to make the content interactive and engaging. Some of the stand-alone tools available in the market are:
  • Lectora Inspire
  • Adobe Captivate
  • Articulate Storyline
Cloud-based Authoring Tools: Cloud-based authoring tools works online. One doesn’t have to install anything on the system physically; instead, users are given a login and can access their tool anytime, anywhere as long as users have access to the internet. Everything happens online from production, to publishing, and to storage. Some of the cloud-based tools are:
  • Inkling Habitat
  • Chaucer
  • Lectora Online
  • Elucidate
Why should Authoring Tools be used in an Organization? Many organizations are attempting to reduce their costs by developing e-Learning contents in-house. Some organizations want an authoring tool that is easy to learn and can be used by a large team of people with varied skill sets. Magic EdTech’s  ‘ Digital Content Services ’ offer the use of varied authoring tools/platforms to develop content easily, costing you less time and money.   Below are few benefits of using authoring tools in an organization.   Easy to Use: Authoring tools are relatively easy to use when compared to traditional programming languages. Whether you are from designing or don’t have any experience, you can easily create and develop interactive learning contents on any subject/topic for the end users. These authoring tools have easy-to-use features that can help you get your job done in no time. Anyone with some basic technical skills can figure out how to make interactive contents with this type of tool. You don’t need to invest much energy in learning HTML or any other programming language to make a fully functional interactivity.   Time-Saving: Authoring tool can decrease a substantial amount of development time. You just need to look over a couple of various choices available in authoring tool e.g. layouts, templates, and predefined interactive activity to cut down the development time as these can be effortlessly incorporated into new e-Learning substance. So you do not have to spend much time to designing and creating a layout for your e-Learning contents.   Cost Effective: There are two primary reasons why an eLearning authoring tool decreases the development cost. First and foremost, it eliminates the need for additional third-party software and media. Authoring tool comes with an inbuilt system of LMS (Learning Management System) so that the user does not have to rely on any third party tools.   The second cost-saving reason comes from the reduction in training time. Authoring tools allow you to create eLearning contents that are short and easy to understand for the learners. Hence, the training time of learners is reduced and they can dedicate more time to their work. Therefore, the productivity of your organization is maximized and you get the most out of payroll hours.   Accessible Anytime, Anywhere: The user does not need to rely on anything to access the authoring tools. Once installed on your desktop or through the Web, these tools can be used by anyone at any point to create interactive eLearning content. Whether you are at work or at home you can access your data anytime. You don’t have to pick a devoted work environment any longer. Basically, all you require is a computer, a browser, and an internet connection. Simply fill your username and password on the login page of your web authoring tool, and you are ready to create, design and develop e-Learning contents. Another great benefit of this feature is that you do not need to worry about using a Mac or a PC anymore. You can use both. This will end the eternal conflict in your workforce.   Conclusion: Many organizations need to develop a large number of eLearning contents, quickly and at low cost. We cannot meet this requirement using Flash and other tools, which require programming skills to work with. But, we can easily develop contents with the help of these authoring tools and meet the stakeholder’s requirements. By using authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, and Lectora, we can develop eLearning contents quickly and because of their shortened development time authoring tools offer a cost-effective solution to content development.  

Tarun Kumar Singh

The author, Tarun Kumar Singh, Associate Test Engineer at Magic Edtech, is engaged in testing of Digital Products and Platforms.