In some cases, LMS and fast authoring are in a neat little package. Although it is not always. Some organizations use their LMS to create content. Others use independent authoring software for development purposes, restricting administrative activities and tracking. But nothing lasts forever, especially software. Finally, you need to get billed for a new fast authoring tool that features the latest and greatest technology. Not to mention, it helps you realize the objectives of your online training rather than hindering your team’s workflow. What signs and symptoms indicate the need for a new authoring tool?
1. No mobile-friendly content
Smartphone training is probably the most popular model for today’s workforce development. It’s low cost because trainees have their own phones, so you don’t have to buy equipment. And their phones go everywhere with them, so you don’t need a central (provided) location or a synchronized schedule. This is the ultimate learning advantage. But modern smartphones were only introduced a few years ago, so older authoring tools may not be configured for mobile optimization. In this age where even trainers and course developers create via smartphones, an authoring tool that does not support mobile is a monolith that needs to be replaced.
2. LMS is not compatible
As I mentioned, your LMS can be doubled as a quick authoring tool, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, if your LMS does not have an authoring function, it may be a warning to upgrade. Although usually, especially for the purchase of older software, companies use two separate systems. An LMS was for administrative work and deployment while authoring tool was for L&D. If these two systems do not agree, you should replace the cheaper and less effective ones. In most cases, this is the authoring tool. It only contains previous training courses, while an LMS hosts your entire corporate database, including the cache of courses created in your current authoring tool. You have the option, if financially permitted, to purchase a system that combines both functionality (and works with mobile). You should use this opportunity to test consistency across the board. Every piece of software puzzle should fit, including CRM, eCommerce and other important business tools.
3. Insufficient built-in library
There is a lot to be said about the demise of the analog library. Looks like no one sees them anymore; We all have Google and no less on our phones. But today, we are focusing on the corporate digital library. Every quick authoring tool should have some kind of resource library, from templates and themes to cut-out characters and sound effects. In addition, it must allow you to create your own support repository. This in-house library can store supplementary lessons for more advanced students, or JIT resources can be called, used, and applied in seconds, or understandable references that can be shared with clients for marketing purposes.
4. Old imported equipment
Related, many authoring tools work by sourcing external content. An authoring tool includes templates, stencils and guides that you can easily create. But remember: your tool is only as good as its period. So, a tool you bought five years ago may have the ability to import PDF, PowerPoint slides or Flash videos. Today’s authoring tools will be more interested in Prezi, SlideShare, JPG, GIF, social media feeds or live embeds. If your authoring software can’t handle these formats, you probably need something more up-to-date.
5. Inadequate editing booth
In the past, online training courses were mostly text-based. Even if they weren’t digitalized photocopies, they were quite text-heavy. Today, audio, video and computer games play a big role, so you need software writers who can create these pieces. You want the ability to record a screen, voice, or human model Then, you’ll want an extensive editing booth that can split and overlay multiple audio tracks and video streams. Extra points if your authoring tool is part of an LMS that can host video and audio. On top of that, you want the ability to develop native mobile apps, or at least optimize your desktop content for portable devices.
6. Complex UI
All the resources in the world will not benefit your team if they cannot use a tool effectively. Today’s fast authoring tools typically feature a user-friendly UI with a central dashboard. Developers can quickly view content, update multiple resources, and collaborate with colleagues. They should be able to customize their personal dashboard to some extent.
7. Lack of support services
Even the most experienced quick e-learning authoring tool users sometimes need help. As such, you need to have helpful tools to maximize the effectiveness of your e-learning authoring software and help your team get into trouble. For example, some vendors offer in-app live support that gives their tech experts access. At a minimum, there should be a user community or resource library that you can use to master the features of a tool.
Quick authoring tools are not the same, and it’s not just a matter of budget and speed. Don’t rush for the fastest or cheapest. Focus on features. So, how do you tell when your current authoring tool is jaded and needs to be refreshed? If your authoring tool cannot create or promote mobile-friendly content, video, audio or gaming modules, this is a bad sign. This should be compatible with your LMS, especially after experiencing routine LMS routine updates (at the software level). The library should have adequate storage and building equipment and your editing booth should be spacious and top notch. It must be supported by user-friendly and vendor support services. The lack of any one of these factors is a warning sign to get a new tool.
When is it time to invest in new fast e-learning authoring software? Find the ideal replacement at the ideal price point using our free online directory. You can compare your top three choices to see which one offers the best value for money.