Using eLearning to train employees on soft skills, policy updates, or even highly technical content has become a routine practice in business training today. Some topics will be generic in nature, making the use of “off the shelf” third-party courses easy and affordable. Other content will need to be customized to the specific requirements of your organization. In that case, you will either need to hire a professional to create the courseware, or do it yourself by learning and using an eLearning authoring tool.
Given that there are so many eLearning authoring tools to choose from, it may be difficult to even know where to begin. You will want a program that has the features you need, that is reasonably priced and easy to use. You’ll also need to determine whether your software will be installed and run locally, or if it will be a cloud-based service that can be accessed through a web browser. Let’s take a look at two of the top tools available today, to better understand the pros and cons involved.
Articulate Storyline 2
Articulate Storyline 2 is a locally run tool, which means that you don’t need internet access to log into your account. You simply download the program and run it from your desktop. It has a reasonably rich multimedia functionality, comes with a vast image library, and is easy to use. Current pricing is around $1,400 for a one user license. That may seem expensive, until you consider what you are getting for that price. It is designed with Microsoft PowerPoint in mind, making course design easy to pick up for someone who already knows PowerPoint (don’t we all?). You can also import existing PowerPoint content into Storyline. One other important feature is the ability to record video directly from a webcam and insert it into your course.
TechSmith Camtasia Studio 8
On the other end of the scale is TechSmith Camtasia Studio 8, which has a comparatively low price of under $300 for one license. It also allows you to record a video from your webcam. In fact, it’s primarily a video-based tool. If that’s what you are focused on doing, then it may be the perfect solution for your eLearning needs. However, while it’s easy to set up, it lacks many of the features available with higher priced tools.
Making a Decision
When making your decision, you’ll need to consider the unique requirements of your organization. This brief overview will just get you started. Remember, you don’t have to go it alone. Using professional help is not a sign of weakness!