The major eLearning authoring tools on the market today have strengths and weaknesses, depending upon your particular need. At the eLearning Network™ we recommend that eLearning developers acquire and develop skill using multiple authoring systems rather than selecting just one. This will help you become a better, more well-rounded professional and help you determine the right tool for the job at hand. The following is a high-level summary and comparison of three major eLearning authoring tools. Most of these tools are available for download as free 30-day trials. Note that this is not an exhaustive list of all features. For more information, we recommend that you visit the online product page for each of these tools.
|Item/Feature||Adobe Captivate||Articulate Storyline||Lectora Inspire|
|Price||$899 or subscription||$1,398||$2,495|
|Drag/Drop Activities||Yes – OK||Yes – Excellent||Yes|
|Custom Interfaces||Fully Customizable||Fully Customizable||Fully Customizable|
|XML for Localization||Yes||?||Yes|
|Screen Recording||Yes – built in||Yes – built in||Yes – with CamTasia|
So which tool is the best for your project? Here are some of our thoughts, but individual results and opinions may vary.
If you want to…
- add audio and animations to an existing PowerPoint and put it in my Learning Management System – Articulate Presenter
- create screen recordings for software demonstrations and simulations – Adobe Captivate
- create a branching scenario course quickly and easily – Articulate Storyline
- create your own custom interactivities with triggers, variables, and other programming techniques (advanced eLearning developers) – Captivate or Storyline
- buy the most features at the lowest price – Captivate
- acquire a tool that never shuts down unexpectedly and results in lost work – no such product exists!
Not all tools are created equally, and some perform the exact same task better than others. The key is to have a toolbox filled with several options so that you can pick and choose the best software for a given project. In our experience, there is no authoring tool available that is superior to all other tools across all features.
Do you agree with the above or wish to weigh in on the conversation? Log in and comment!