What’s an E-Learning Authoring App?
New to e-learning? If so, you may be a little perplexed by all the different apps for creating and using e-learning in your organization. As you’ve probably learned by now, there are apps for creating or “authoring” e-learning, and other apps for hosting finished e-learning courses online. And then, there are all-inclusive training systems like Rise that give you everything you need to author, distribute, and report on training. How do you know what you need if you’re not even sure what all of these apps do?
Let’s fill in some blanks by zeroing in on what you can create with an e-learning authoring app. We’ll walk you through the kinds of learning content you can create with them. Then, we’ll give you some more considerations to keep in mind.
What can you do with an e-learning authoring app?
Here are a few things you’ll want to be able to do with any app you use to author e-learning:
Create media-rich and interactive content
Many people create training content that can be viewed online from a website using tools like PowerPoint, Google Docs, or even PDF. We wouldn’t classify those as e-learning, and we wouldn’t call those tools e-learning authoring apps. That’s because e-learning courses are interactive. They use media that invites learners to engage with content.
For example, you’ll want to be able to create interactions where folks can tap on images to explore information, click on a video to watch an example of a new process, or drag to sort and prioritize content or images. It’s this emphasis on media-rich, tactile interaction that makes e-learning more enticing and memorable than simply reading static text on a screen. Any app you choose for authoring e-learning should make creating this type of content quick and easy, and it should work flawlessly on any device your learner uses—laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Create self-paced e-learning
If you’ve ever delivered or attended a training webinar, you’ve experienced one type of online training. But e-learning is different from a webinar. It’s self-paced and asynchronous—meaning there’s no set time for training to take place. With e-learning, there’s no instructor or presenter setting the pace. Training can happen any place, anytime, and at the learner’s pace.
Create e-learning that can be tracked
It’s tough to make a clear connection between training and business results. How do you know if your training is actually working?
A stand-alone e-learning authoring app doesn’t give you the ability to track or report on your learner’s progress. You’ll still need to purchase a separate hosting app known as a Learning Management System, or LMS, for that. We’ll touch on LMSs more in a moment.
But if you use a comprehensive training system that includes both e-learning authoring capabilities and analytics, you can choose the type of data you’d like to collect to help make those insightful connections between training activities and business outcomes. Training systems like Rise have features that allow you to track and report on how learners engaged with your training content. Did they complete the course? Did they pass the quiz with flying colors? With the help of the right training system, you’ll know how well people understood what you’re training them to do.
These are just a few key traits of e-learning content. But with these in mind, we can define an e-learning authoring app as software that includes features for creating interactive, media-rich content that learners can take at their own pace. Sometimes these apps are stand-alone apps, or they’re included in a training system that can also track learners’ progress and scores, like Rise.
LMSs are stand-alone platforms for hosting content, delivering it to learners and tracking the e-learning you’ve created with your stand-alone authoring app.
The alternative to two separate stand-alone apps is an all-inclusive online training system like Rise, which includes modern, web-based course authoring, templates, and ready-to-use content. It also has features that let you deliver, track, report on, and analyze the effectiveness of your courses.