Top 5 E-Learning Software Programs for Online Courses
Whether you want to create your own online course or to build multiple courses for a client, use the best elearning software can make a huge difference.
The truth of the matter is that not all of these solutions are created equal. Ideally, you need to find a good balance between an elearning development tool that has a rich feature-set, but is not overly complicated.
This can be easier said than done. Today’s market has been flooded with bare-bones software offerings that will leave you frustrated when you can’t accomplish seemingly simple tasks. On the other hand, there are also options that have so many features that the user experience is flat-out terrible. You won’t use 90% of the features available, and all of the clutter will make it difficult to do the simple tasks.
So how do you know which options is best? Depending on your project needs, the following tools should be considered.
5 Best Rapid ELearning Software Programs
1. Articulate Storyline – This is the tool of choice for many because it is fairly easy to use and comes with some pretty nifty features and an extremely active support community.
2. iSpring – If you are new to the elearning industry, you might have to dig a little before coming across iSpring. That said, it is a solid offering. It’s very easy to learn since it is an add-on for Microsoft PowerPoint.
3. LearnDash – A budget friendly yet feature-packed solution for creating elearning courses. Nominated as a Top ELearning tool by ELearning! Magazine, use it by itself or with any of the tools that are included in this list.
4. Adobe Captivate – Along with Articulate, this piece of software is the workhorse of the industry. It has been around for quite some time and evolved (in a good way) in recent years. It has a bit steeper learning curve that Articulate, but it is just as powerful.
5. Lectora – This is a web-based tool that is best if your course is heavy with text. It’s not very common but does have a loyal following and worth a serious look as you compare your options.
All of the options above have their pros and cons. Personally, most of my experience has been with LearnDash (naturally), Adobe Captivate, and Articulate products.
Even since this article was originally written (approaching six years ago now), these are many of the same players in the elearning software game. Each provider has evolved quite a bit to keep up with the times and overall growing use of elearning across all industries. If anything, this has benefited consumers. My personal view is that each platform has become significantly easier to use.
But when it comes to your project you don’t want to sacrifice functionality for ease-of-use. In the end you need to pick something that has enough functionality to help you meet your learning program objectives, but built in a way that helps you create content efficiently.
If you are new to elearning development, then LearnDash, iSpring, and the Articulate Suite of tools are a good starting point. You can then expand from there as needed. Articulate and LearnDash both have a very active community. LearnDash in particular has a thriving Facebook Group where people share ideas and help one another. LearnDash is built on the most popular content management system (WordPress) in the entire world as well, which means you will have no shortage of resources available to you.
In the end though, the best program for elearning development really comes down to personal preference as well as the type of content you are creating. For example, when it comes to software simulations, I am a fan of User Productivity Kit by Oracle (not included in the list above but still worth looking into for certain projects.).
Perhaps you have another favorite that didn’t make the list. If so, then feel free to mention it below!