Different Types of E-Learning Authoring Tools

Every economy’s growth has slowed during the last few months. Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, the eLearning industry has witnessed a significant rise. While organizations have been compelled to go digital due to the shutting down of physical offices, demand for eLearning authoring tools has skyrocketed. These tools allow organizations to create interactive online training courses using various multimedia elements with great ease.

Based on the tool you use, you can also include components like quizzes, videos tutorials, etc. Once finished all you have to do is hit ‘Publish’, and your course will be ready to be uploaded on your training platform

Thus, organizations are now actively seeking the authoring software that best meets their employee training and content creation requirements. However, achieving this is not as simple as it sounds.

The market is filled with thousands of options that provide varied solutions for different sets of problems. Therefore, it is important that you gain complete market knowledge before making any decision.

So to help ease up this research for you, here is a detailed list of different types of authoring tools that are generally available in the market.

1.Cloud-Based or SaaS Authoring Tool

SaaS stands for software as a service and a SaaS or cloud-based authoring tool can be defined as software that is hosted on the web instead of being installed on a particular device. In other words, it is a service that allows users to access the authoring tool as and when the need arises, without having to actually install it on a local server or hard drive. One can simply log in to their account using a browser and start working.

One of the biggest advantages of using a cloud-based authoring tool is that updates and maintenance are generally performed by the vendor itself. Another advantage of using these tools is easy accessibility. Users can access them from anywhere anytime and through all types of devices.

This feature is particularly important in the current WFH scenario. Designers and content creators can all collaborate remotely with any issue.

One of the leading examples of this type of authoring tool is iSpring Suite. It is a toolkit for developing content for onboarding, product training, assessment, and much more. 

2.Locally Hosted Authoring Tool

Well, a locally hosted authoring tool is the polar opposite of a cloud-based tool. Whilst the latter allows you to access the tool without having to install it, a locally hosted authoring tool must be installed on your company’s local hard drive or internal system.

Such tools are comparatively more flexible as the entire control is in the hands of the user. They also come with many advanced features which allow users to create content using rich layout options and a wide range of interactive elements.

However, a major drawback with this type of tool is that the user is solely responsible for the upkeep of the software. Thus updates or additional support may cost you some extra bugs.

3.Power-Point Based Authoring Tool

This is a category of authoring tools that act as PowerPoint add-ins. Using these tools, you may simply convert already-finished PowerPoint presentations into professional online learning courses.

The most significant advantage of using these tools is interfaced familiarity. Since almost every person is familiar with the functions and features of PowerPoint, creating courses using its add-ins makes the process even simpler. 

These tools can also enhance the basic functionality of PowerPoint using elements like quizzes, simulations, and other multimedia options.

4.Open Source Authoring Tool

An open-source authoring is a type of tool that allows every user to access the source code and make changes in the software. These tools are available free of cost and offer complete freedom for users to modify the software as per their needs.

Since the open-source model allows any developer to contribute to the source code, companies that utilise the software will be able to tap into their aggregate skills and experience.


We hope you found this article useful. Just keep in mind that every category has its own pros and cons. Therefore, you should compare and contrast all available options, in order to make the right choice.

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