Top 7 Authoring Tools in 2022

September 23, 2022

An authoring tool is an eLearning software program that lets you create learning content. 

It gives you the option to create courses, lessons, and assessments using a variety of media, including

  • text, 
  • video,
  • images, 
  • PDFs, and
  • interactions (think mix and match activities, for example).

We talked about authoring tools in this article; now, let’s look at some authoring tools. etrainu has used/tested the authoring tools listed in this article, so we ranked them from 

favourite to least favourite based on our experiences.

Most of the tools mentioned below are cloud-based, so we did not have to download desktop apps to use them. Therefore, they are more convenient as they make course development simpler, faster, and more flexible.

We looked at key features of authoring tools that would meet our needs, such as:

  • Font (including custom fonts)
  • Navigation
  • Responsiveness
  • Accessible (WCAG 2.0, alt-text for images/videos)
  • Fully customisable design & function (e.g. font/colour/menu navigation)
  • Interactions (e.g. Drag and drop, hotspots, flip cards, gallery, accordion, tabs, sort in order)
  • Knowledge Check VS final Assessment/Quiz
  • Publish options (SCORM 1.2)
  • Completion tracking (e.g. by slides viewed, quiz result)

1. Chameleon Creator

One of our favourite animals, Chameleon Creator is a New Zealand-based authoring tool. 

At etrainu, we mainly use Chameleon Creator to develop and design our courses. We found it met most of our requirements and was a quick and easy authoring tool.

It allowed us to create responsive, navigable, accessible, and fully customisable courses that were engaging and interactive for our audiences. Our main reason for using Chameleon was its interactivity and customisation, especially regarding design and branding.

Chameleon Creator is also one of the more reasonably-priced options, starting from $1,200 a year. Click here for more pricing.

Pros:

  • Easy to use with accessible UI and fully intuitive
  • Has a library of multimedia assets—e.g. images, icons, and SVGs—as well as web-accessible fonts
  • Responsive
  • Multiple interactions, including quizzes, hotspots, click-to-reveal, drop-down panels, etc.
  • Enables fully customisable design

Cons:

  • Unable to preview content in Tablet or Mobile mode (have to check on a tablet or mobile phone manually)
  • Need to set up branching scenarios manually using custom buttons and linking to specific pages
  • Unable to export content as Word documents or PDFs

2. rise360

Another popular authoring tool, rise360, is the other tool etrainu uses.  It is an offering of the Articulate360 suite and has a wealth of features, including content building, a content library, and a review tool.

It also enabled us to create engaging, interactive, and responsive courses. The major downside of 360 is that it limits our design scope in terms of branding and customisation.

360 licenses start from USD 1,099 (approx. AUD 1500 at the time of writing), and you can view their pricing options here.

Pros:

  • Easy to use but requires some understanding/practice
  • Ability to preview content in Tablet and Mobile mode
  • Branching scenarios are made simpler but do not look as good
  • Multiple interactions, such as quizzes, hotspots, click-to-reveal, drop-down panels, etc.

Cons:

  • Limited ability to customise, so branding the learning is not possible
  • Limited formatting solutions
  • Quiz-builder does not allow you to retry a single question (you have to redo the whole quiz if one question is wrong)
  • Cannot add custom characters to branching scenarios

3. knowbly

A simple yet effective authoring tool, knowbly allows users to create simple, engaging, and customisable courses.

We loved knowbly for its simplicity, but it did not meet our requirements in terms of custom fonts and branching scenarios.

It’s also one of the more affordable options, which makes it ideal for freelancers and small businesses. Pricing is available on request from their website.

Pros:

  • Customisable templates
  • Easy to use
  • Easy collaboration

Cons:

  • Creativity is sometimes limited
  • Customised design is not always possible
  • Auto-hyphenates words when there’s a paragraph break

4. elucidat

As another authoring tool, eludicat comes with a library of templates. It met many of our requirements but did not offer editable HTML, which was a significant factor in our ranking. 

Not to mention it’s one of the more expensive options out there, starting from $11,550 for the basic annual package.

Pros:

  • Social polling
  • Gamification
  • Detailed data and analytics

Cons:

  • Lack of flexibility
  • Support is lacking
  • Needs training and practice to use

5. Gomo

Gomo allows you to create web-style content and has many customisation options. However,  etrainu did not resonate with Gomo because it lacked editable HTML and limited fonts.

Gomo provides pricing on request, so click here to get in touch with them if you are interested.

Pros:

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Can provide multi-language courses

Cons:

  • Needs a fast internet connection
  • Limited layout options which restrict creativity
  • Workflow is not as effective as it could be

6. Adobe Captivate

In addition to their creative tools, Adobe also offers learning tools. The Adobe Captivate tool helps you create courses.

With a wide range of templates and resources available, it’s an excellent option for users who want to make learning without focusing on design.

Pricewise, Adobe is one of the more—if not the most—affordable options on this list, starting at $48.99 per month for an individual license (roughly $590 per year). Click here for more pricing information.

Pros:

  • Responsive training
  • Wide range of ready-to-use templates
  • Accessible

Cons

  • Requires training and practice to use 
  • Can be slow/buggy

7. Storyline360

Coming in last in our ranking of authoring tools, Storyline is a sub-feature of Articulate360 (which also includes rise360).

It’s similar to Microsoft PowerPoint, so it's straightforward if you’re familiar with that software and even allows you to build courses creatively. However, we found that it is difficult to use and buggy.

Additionally, it has limited accessibility options and requires training, practice, and some design knowledge as you have to set everything up manually.

Pros:

  • Room for creativity and innovation
  • Allows for personalisation

Cons:

  • Time-consuming 
  • Lacks responsiveness

Remember, your requirements will be specific to your/your team’s needs. It’s all about finding an authoring tool that will engagingly achieve your goals, as well as something easy to use.

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