The following article provides a brief overview of the tools used to create eLearning content.
Creating Interactive Content
One of the challenges when offering self-paced eLearning is the development of good quality content that is engaging to the user and retains their interest. This is especially true in today’s environment where people are exposed to exciting media through devices such as iPhones, video games and the special effects seen in movies. Their expectations are very high. For this reason we recommend using specially designed and purpose-built tools for creating eLearning content (commonly referred to as authoring tools). These tools allow you to take static content (e.g. a PowerPoint) and easily add interactivity such as animation and sound to make the elearning more entertaining. They also allow you to add quizzes that a user completes during the learning as feedback or as means to capture the users skills level.
We recommend using one of the following tools to create good quality eLearning.
- Articulate Storyline/Studio http://www.articulate.com/
- Camtasia www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html
- Adobe Captivate http://www.adobe.com/products/captivate.html
Standards Based Learning Objects
A key advantage of using an eLearning authoring tool is that they can save your eLearning content to a format that other learning systems support. For example, you can create your content (learning object) in an authoring tool and then upload it to a Learning Management System (LMS) such a Moodle.
Traditionally Learning Management Systems (LMS) allowed you to create eLearning content in a proprietary format that only they could support. As the market has evolved and support for standards based content has become common, specialised authoring tools such as the ones listed above are now preferred. These tools offer better functionality and are easier to use than tools offered in traditional LMS.
The most commonly used industry standard for saving content is currently SCORM and AICC. Authoring tools which use these standards can support creating eLearning content (learning objects) with advanced tracking options. For example, they can track whether a person has started the eLearning activity, when they have completed it, and potentially how they scored on quizzes included within the learning. The learning objects can also be configured so that a person can attempt the learning activity only once or potentially multiple times.