2. Plan

2.3 What tools will you need?

You may have a compelling course ready for viewing but without a Learning Management System, you won’t be able to share with your colleagues. In fact, investing in an LMS is a priority for every learning organization. TalentLMS is such an LMS. Research through your organization’s learning needs:

If yes, then an LMS will serve two core purposes for your knowledge management needs:

What is important?

What are the most desirable features in an LMS? The ability to upload format independent content. This means, if you have material in pdf, ppt or doc form, you should be able to upload your files without any compatibly issues. If you need to add videos, audios or images, you should be able to add without any issues. Your multimedia should display seamlessly with your content. If you need to add interactivity, buttons, actions, animations and branched scenarios, you should be able to do so with ease and finesse. Cloud-based LMS like TalentLMS provides these and many more capabilities for novice users. The user interface and dashboard is easy to navigate and maintain. The support system reaches out when you need a technical help. There is also a community of subject-matter experts who add to your instruction design process. Is the concept of LMS new to you? A LMS is simply a platform of online courses and other resources that enables easy access and utilization for the user. It has activity tracking features that report performance and enable effective and timely communication between learners and facilitators. An LMS is the vehicle to transport your learning materials to multiple learners.

What to choose?

Cloud vs. deployed:

Consider purchasing a completely cloud-based option for your training environment. TalentLMS has great features that will enable you to get started without getting bogged down in details. A cloud-based LMS has several advantages over a deployed LMS. With limited educational technology skills, and lack of instructional designer in your organization, a cloud-based learning management system will go a long way in keeping your team engaged. TalentLMS has excellent server speed as well as short response time from both technical and mentoring support. TalentLMS will free you from programming and integration complications as compared to a deployed LMS. Deployed LMS require regular version update and an on-site support for break downs and other issues. They also prove to be expensive in the long run. With a lower monthly payment and a freemium start-up advantage, TalentLMS has all your learning and technical interoperability needs covered. Cutting-edge technology from the semantic web enhances collaboration between learners.

Free vs. commercial:

Free tools available as trial versions or with basic features. Commercial LMS that are supported and developed by a growing community of software developers.


Before selecting an LMS, consider the following characteristics:

E-Learning Course Authoring Tools

The best part about developing courses is the variety of tools and options available to create them. Simple tools like a graphics editing software (GIMP or Adobe Illustrator) can make a world of difference in modifying the graphics to be integrated in the course. Audio editors like Audacity offer the capability to record voice overs for a demonstration. They are simple to use and add a layer of interactivity. Similarly, video editing tools like Camtasia are popular. They enable a software simulation capture via screen recording. Again, easily integrated in your learning content. Another effective feature to add to your courses is the human-cutout figures. Register in sites like these to avail the free cut-out download options and use them to add a layer of realism in your courses. After determining the content organization of your e-learning course, you are ready to develop the content using a course authoring tool. There are several available in the market as a free, community supported tool, as a commercial license software or as a SaaS (software as a service). How do you choose from an overwhelming list like this? For a first time e-learning developer, use the following points to narrow down your choices:

Some Good Examples of Course Authoring Tools

While competition in selling course development tool is a tie between several “best” tools, there are a select few that have made it at the top of the list and continue to remain at the top! We will discuss a few to help you get started. Remember, the best tool for an organization cannot hold the same value for yours. Determine your learning needs to arrive to your own best choices.

While features and functionalities of these tools may differ, but they offer pretty much similar options in course development and deployment. Basically, if you have worked with one tool, it is easier to work with others, because you begin to understand the logic and work flow of the program. Also, most programs are WISIWIG – what you see is what you get – which implies that they have user-friendly interfaces. The learning curve associated with most is relatively lower, as there are minimum programming skills required. What’s more, the above-mentioned course authoring tools (and many others) come with a strong network of supporters, developers and users. If there is an issue that needs to be resolved, you can easily reach out to the support community and expect a solution within twenty-four hours. The other factor that helps determine the right choice is the monthly price. We suggest you try the tool for some time before purchasing a yearly membership, which is much cheaper in the long-run. Some tools also come with options that reflect different prices. The highest price comes with more functionalities. The trial version usually has all the functionalities. The trial period for some authorware lasts between two weeks to one month. It is a good time to note down all features that you will use frequently and purchase the membership accordingly. Simply look into your learning needs before finalizing an authoring tool. Good luck!