Run a Successful Online Classroom with the Best E-Learning Authoring Tools

By Megan Marshall, Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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The way that we learn is constantly changing. In the same way that businesses have had to shift their workflows online, so have educators. If you want to provide students with a sophisticated learning experience, there have to be well-executed digital components. Building an online classroom requires you—or, more technically, your developer—to have a good understanding of e-learning authoring tools. These are used for the creation and manipulation of multimedia learning content. Follow along as we provide expert insight into the needs of an e-learning website.

6 Criteria for E-Learning Authoring Tools

What are your objectives when it comes to your online classroom? Don’t dive into your research on specific e-learning authoring tools until you have decided what it is that you need. Every classroom situation is unique. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t overlap in terms of the quality of education that you wish you provide. Efficiency and scalability are a must for any authoring tool. Here are some of the other boxes that you should be able to check off.

  • Interactive Elements: Your authoring tool needs to offer powerful, engaging elements that include text and graphics. The goal of any educator is for their students to retain the material that they have taught. Gamification succeeds at this because it encourages students through meaningful goals and social learning.
  • Multi-Device Accessibility: Online classrooms have to be capable of being used on both desktop and mobile. This way, more students can access the material from the convenience of their personal devices. Focus on the responsive design of your content, according to all screen sizes and orientations.
  • Multimedia Assets: There are some e-learning authoring tools that boast thousands of multimedia assets. Consider whether having an online library is a priority, or whether you can find the necessary resources yourself. Make sure that, overall, you are customizing these visuals to fit your brand.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Being as fast as possible with publishing content is a must in e-learning. But, in order to do that, you have to have a user interface that is easy to navigate. This could be as simple as a drag-and-drop system for adding and editing pages.
  • Feedback System: It may be the case that you have multiple educators who are collaborating. Because they will be working alongside other stakeholders, they need their comments and feedback to be streamlined. This way, your e-learning authoring tool will be easier for remote teams to work with.
  • Support Services: Perhaps you believe that you won’t be able to handle a problem with your authoring tool when it arises in the future. Luckily, some come with extensive tutorials and round-the-clock assistance. The level of support that you need will depend on your e-learning development experience.
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How Does an Authoring Tool Differ from an LMS?

Learning management systems (LMSs) are software applications that organize digital learning content. You use an LMS to house and deliver that content. So, essentially, they give students a single place to access it all, almost like a virtual bookstore where every educational piece is in its right place. This makes LMSs very resource-heavy. Plus, they are beneficial when it comes to reporting, tracking, and general administrative tasks involved with course modules.

While the LMS is a platform for publishing content, an e-learning authoring tool is what allows you to create that content. Several LMSs come with authoring tools built in. That being said, these will often be very basic versions, so they restrict more experienced authors.

2 Categories of E-Learning Authoring Tools

Where your e-learning authoring tools are being hosted matters. On the market today, there are cloud-based and desktop tools. They differ in terms of complexity, collaboration, and effectiveness. Cybersecurity is also a matter that you should be thinking about. It isn’t the case that one type of authoring tool is necessarily better than the other, but the type that you use should more appropriately respond to the needs of your classroom. Let’s dig into the pros and cons of both of them.


One of the best parts about the cloud is that collaborative authoring is made easy. Multiple users at once can access cloud-based e-learning authoring tools. It’s a great option for classrooms that don’t just have one educator making content. This collective authoring is achieved through web technology allowing for tasks to be performed over the internet. With this in mind, it’s true to say that cloud-based authoring tools provide greater flexibility than desktop ones. They are modern, responsive, and easy to work with. Not only that, but the automatic updates save lots of time for those involved. The downfall is that not all cloud-based authoring tools can add complex programs. So, if you need rich gamification features, you need to look into whether a tool has those capabilities.


An internet connection isn’t required when you use desktop e-learning authoring tools. Instead, you just have to download and install them on your computer. This means that you won’t have to worry about slow processing that comes from connection lag. There will be specific versions that are compatible with different operating systems. Not all of them are equipped to handle both Windows and Mac. The best part about desktop authoring tools, though, is that you can’t beat its skill-leveled e-learning courses. On account of them being run locally, you are able to add a greater number of custom interactions that have sophisticated features. Those that want a truly customized e-learning experience will appreciate having a wide range of resource-heavy additions.

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Who Uses E-Learning Sites and Applications?

Since 2000, the e-learning industry has experienced a major boom. And it doesn’t have to just do with the pandemic. Two decades later, the growth of the industry was clocked at over 900%. As e-learning has expanded into a multibillion-dollar empire, several million learners have joined online classrooms around the world, year over year. This number is expected to continue to grow alongside technological advancements. Right now, the majority of the industry is made up of educational institutions across the United States and Europe.

It isn’t just traditional academic classrooms that benefit from e-learning. Businesses of all sizes use it for training purposes. Especially in an age of hybrid and remote working, in-person training has been found to be outdated for corporate jobs. Employees are able to work on training materials at their own—faster—pace.

Take a look at the custom e-learning web application that WEBii developed for Online Driving Professor!

E-Learning Authoring Tools to Consider

With so many e-learning authoring tools available, it can be a challenge to narrow it down to the one that will be the right fit for your organization. A professional web developer will know which ones offer the best functionalities. However, as an e-learning novice, you may find yourself struck by the prices and levels of training required. You need something simple, yet effective. These are six of the most popular e-learning authoring tools today.

  • iSpring Suite Max: This is a desktop authoring tool that is PowerPoint-based. That PowerPoint content is taken and converted into e-learning courses. iSpring is good for users that don’t have previous experience in course development.
  • Elucidat: As a cloud-based authoring tool, Elucidat is known for its contributions to businesses. It is a user-friendly option that offers flexible permissions for learning and development teams. Users can build their own pages with the library of prebuilt templates.
  • Adobe Captivate: Offered for both Windows and Mac, Adobe Captivate is a desktop tool for experienced authors. You are able to create complex interactive content and simulations. As one of the most feature-rich e-learning authoring tools, it is well-suited for general educational development.
  • Camtasia: It helps to have an all-in-one suite for instructional video content. Camtasia is a desktop tool that is often integrated with other e-learning authoring tools. This highly accessible and affordable option offers quiz insertions and the chance to improve your PowerPoint presentations.
  • Lectora Online: A cloud-based version of Lectora, an early authoring tool, Lectora Online works well for SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) content. It includes both content authoring and e-learning development tools. There are endless possibilities for customization.
  • Easygenerator: Considered a top choice for newbies, Easygenerator has a drag-and-drop experience. Learners are able to create content themselves through this cloud-based tool. There is no coding necessary and the process is quick.


Once you have decided that an online classroom is right for you, don’t hesitate to start up a conversation with WEBii! We have been leaders in the e-learning space for several years. Our team has completed work in real estate, defense driving, continuing education, and special designations. With our expert knowledge of e-learning authoring tools, software, and necessary features, we can get your new educational environment on the right track.

Posted in: E-learning, Responsive Web Design, Web Development, WWW Learning Center

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