Ultimate E-learning software Guide – 7 Best Cloud-Based Authoring Software

If you have already done some research into E-learning Software and  Authoring Software, you will know that there are dozens and dozens from which you have to choose. Over the years, they have been allowing employers, trainers, and teachers to create and market their very own online courses. However, we can split the market down somewhat when we take into account how they operate. Today we will focus on Cloud-based Authoring Software For example, some will require you to download desktop applications for your E-learning and Authoring Software whilst others are cloud-based and it is the latter that we will be focusing on today. Examples of a comparison of such cloud-based tools can be found in our article on Articulate vs captivate.

As you will see in just a moment, we have compiled the top seven cloud-based authoring software but we haven’t just left it there. In addition to explaining what each of these E-learning Software tools does, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each before then reaching what may be the all-important factor – the price. Once you have assessed all of the information, you will then have an opportunity to compare and decide which Authoring Software suits your needs the best. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some E-learning Software!

Easygenerator – As an all-in-one Authoring Software solution, Easygenerator has attracted a lot of attention in recent times and it isn’t hard to see why. After signing up, users will have a number of tools to utilize in order to create an engaging end product. From defining the opening objectives to assessing the impact of the course, this is a great piece of software for beginners and experts alike. Although there isn’t a student management system in place, there is an opportunity to assess results from people who provide their own details before taking part in the course. Easygenerator also offers a free E-learning Software in the form of an  Authoring Software tool, for more information on free authoring Software have a look at our article on free and open source authoring software.

Benefits 

  • Some fantastic themes that users can use for an instant professional look and feel
  • Numerous options when it comes to sharing including SCORM, link, and HTML
  • Brilliant tutorials for beginners
  • Responsive for mobile use
  • Easy to use interface – no skill required to get started
  • Option to add co-authors
  • Feedback can be maximized through questions which can be added

Drawbacks 

  • If there is more than one author that needs access, the cost can become expensive
  • With the interactive elements of the software, many users complain of being limited
  • There are only nine templates (new ones can be created)

Price – After utilizing a free trial, you will have to pay and it comes in a number of packages. For the standard option, the price will be $39 per author whilst this rises to $59 with the more advanced package. For all educational institutions, a 50% discount will be available.

Recommended User? – If you would rather get stuck in straight away as opposed to learning new Authoring software, this is the option for you as it is simple and rather strict with design.

Overall – All things considered, this is a superb option because it is so easy to use and affordable with only one user. If you have used authoring software before and are looking for a little bit more, you may feel restricted with EasyGenerator. This being said, we should also point out that the ‘Pro’ package is expanding with new content including the ability to add custom templates.

Lectora Online – Next up, we have the second version of Lectora Online which boasts a whole host of new features compared to their first model. If you have used this tool before and know the interface, you will find this very easy (perhaps even easier than before) to use. An interesting piece of E-learning Software.

Benefits

  • LMS-compatible assignments are permitted
  • Program offers a trial for 30 days
  • For publishing, there are many options including Tin Can, HTML, and SCORM
  • Media Library can be expanded through integration with GoAnimate
  • Many other useful integration techniques
  • Publishing is easy as is previewing

Drawbacks

  • Can be expensive
  • Title explorer becomes complex and frustrating at times
  • No option for mobile
  • Every time you publish, you will need to check for errors
  • Components cannot be validated as they are served
  • For beginners, interactivity can be tough because it requires a lot of work ‘behind-the-scenes’

Price – As we said in the drawbacks section, this authoring software can be expensive and it falls in just under $2,000 per year; if you pay per month, this will come down to $159 each time.

Recommended User? – If you have already learned the program and have experience, this upgrade will be great. Furthermore, it is also worth learning if you are going to be using the program regularly in the months and years ahead.

Overall – Despite the creators saying that the interface is easy to use, we beg to differ and this is where you could be held back. If we took this out of the equation, there wouldn’t be too many other complaints because titles can be collaborated on, publishing is easy, and it offers a free trial. Perhaps even the templates are a little weak, but it provides a solid option if you have used the version before it.

Smart Sparrow – After creating your very own lessons and courses, you will have the opportunity to share it with the world and analyze it too with Smart Sparrow. Depending on what the student is doing or has done, the lessons can be adapted which is a great benefit. With this in mind, e-learning software courses can be personalized whilst paying attention to feedback and the learner’s input.

Benefits 

  • For publishing, options include SCORM, public links, and embedding
  • Product is clean which makes learning enjoyable
  • Interface has been made with the user in mind
  • Gives great information regarding the student and where they excel/struggle
  • Thanks to powerful editing tools, interactive scenarios can be built and adapted

Drawbacks

  • In order to sign up, a valid EDU email is required
  • No options for mobile use
  • Some elements can be tricky
  • Some screen layers and elements can get the user lost
  • Although adaptation is great, it can be difficult to implement at first

Price – With one author, the price stand at $39 per month and this covers a class of 30 students. However, this can increase to 200 students for three users and the price reaches $199 per month. If you have a larger request, quotes can be given if contacted directly for Authoring Software licenses.

Recommended User? – Sadly, Smart Sparrow isn’t the easiest that we have in this list despite its fantastic design. If universities have a dedicated e-learning team, the tool could be used to great effect and the students will enjoy world class courses. However, it is very hard for the non-specialist and will take some time to learn.

Overall – Of all the customers that Smart Sparrow has attained, the vast majority are universities and this is completely understandable. As long as you have someone who can use it correctly, it can be an unbelievable piece of e-learning software. With real-time analytics, teachers can watch student behavior to then learn more about where they are going wrong. With this, learning can be improved dramatically which is great news for the education system. Furthermore, Loops can be used to share lessons and courses with the internet.

Litmos Author – Next, we have Litmos Author, focussing specifically on authoring software. The company themselves have said that they are the leader in the cloud-based E-learning software and E-learning authoring market when it comes to collaborating authoring. With this in mind, the whole platform has been designed for the collaboration between staff when it comes to storyboarding, managing media assets, and developing the final product.

Benefits

  • Customized templates can be used
  • Clients can be added as official ‘reviewers’
  • Numerous publishing options including Tin Can, SCORM, 2004, sharing links, and more
  • Media Manager allows for resources to be organized

Drawbacks

  • Templates can be tricky to use since they are form-based – trial and error required
  • Although trial versions are available, a full request is needed for a demo
  • Regular errors messages which leads to confusion
  • Interface seems a little outdated when compared with others
  • Visuals can be simple and unwelcoming

Price – For education purposes, there are two main options with one at $1,999 and the other at half the price (this is separate to the LMS from Litmos).

Recommended User? – Above all else, we have pinpointed the recommended users to being HR teams in the corporate world; with a little experience in tow, the resources can be used in a team environment.

Overall – Although some enjoy this e-learning software, others find it too dull, confusing, and just plain disappointing. However, there are some useful features such as the Manager tools as well as the number of accessible templates. Furthermore, we should also point out that publishing is available with several different formats without any limitations.

Ruzuku – In truth, we could probably open this E-learning software by stating that it isn’t quite authoring software – perhaps more learning repository. With no tracking of any data besides the participation figures, you will also have to rely on your own information and files. After courses have been built, you will be allowed to share with anyone and even sell it on to other users.

Benefits

  • Very easy to use
  • The ‘health’ of the course can be viewed at any time
  • Lots of information available for the software and support articles are helpful
  • Through a number of integrations, courses can be sold
  • Custom enrolment and other sign-up pages are easy to create

Drawbacks

  • Lack of creativity in terms of engagement and interaction
  • Many outside tools are required such as for questions
  • Very little options for styling
  • No previews
  • Many users have complained of slow loading times for pages

Price – For a total of 25 enrollments, the price will be at $49 per month. However, complete access can be bought for just under $1,000 for one year. Also, a free trial can be utilized.

Recommended User? – All things considered, we think that external consultants could use Ruzuku for tasks such as training calendars and other simple registration activities. Additionally, we would also suggest people who haven’t got a main focus on being online so this could include blended training, workshops, and seminars.

eCoach – Compared to the other authoring software we have for you today, eCoach is relatively new and it is the only option we have that is available for free besides easygenerator; eCoach say that its E-learning software will be ‘Free Forever’. According to the company themselves, the main idea is to build quick lessons and courses using resources found on the internet.

Benefits 

  • First and foremost, it requires no cost to get started – just a simple login
  • Templates are wide and varied
  • Courses will work on all devices including mobile
  • Interface is easy to get along with but tutorial videos are available if needed
  • Resources can be shared through a course code and a URL
  • Format is consistent for all learners

Drawbacks

  • Lack of HTML and SCORM exporting
  • No tracking for features like the quizzes
  • Previews need to be used for each new piece of content as the templates are form-based
  • There are some tricky templates to find when it comes to questions

Price – As mentioned previously, this program is completely free and all you need to do is sign up to get started. With this knowledge, it makes some of the negatives suddenly seem bearable.

Recommended User? – As long as you are willing to go the extra mile to make the course work, this program is great for teachers, trainers, and all others. With the extra work in place, the end result can be promising.

Overall – When testing this software, many people note how fun it can be to use. After just a short period of time, lesson-making can be an enjoyable experience which is more than can be said for other options on the market. With ‘Quick Share’, this is likely to be very important for teachers and add another dimension. However, there is no student tracking which could be a deciding factor. At all times, you have to remember that this is free and it offers mobile compatibility which is impressive to say the least.

Versal – Finally, we have Versal which is an authoring software targeting the education industry specifically. This being said, there is an opportunity for other trainers to use the software and create interactive training. Since Versal like to focus on the education side of things, this is what we will be concentrating on throughout this review.

Benefits

  • For ‘challenge’ content and this sort of style, timers can be used which is a great way to keep the learner engaged
  • Students can be invited to Versal or websites can be used to have the courses embedded
  • Software comes with a mobile app which can be useful for on-the-go details
  • Courses can be added for an external source to then be submitted as gadgets
  • Editor is simple and enjoyable to use with ‘drag and drop’ features
  • When it comes to importing, there are numerous options from PDF to Google Docs, Quizlet to Educreations
  • Includes fifteen gadgets with varying abilities
  • Many different interactive elements including music annotation and even tools that teach how to play chess
  • Publishing and sharing are both extensive
  • For teachers, there is a marketplace for gadgets which have been licensed under Creative Commons. Essentially, this means that over 1,000 different gadgets can be downloaded and added to the tray

Drawbacks

  • Despite the many benefits, some users have had problems with the sharing option
  • Mobile player is needed to view the resource through a smartphone
  • Although some gadgets are easy and there is a vast array of options in the marketplace, others are too difficult to even attempt
  • In the course editor, many have experienced problems where it would skip lessons and jump to different screens for no reason
  • In a small amount of cases, people have even been signed out of their account for no reason at all which can be frustrating 

Price – For all public courses, the platform does work for no charge but it is just $5 per month for all teachers who want extra features such as student tracking. If you want to go one step further and step into the student management world, this increases to $100 per month and beyond because it is labelled as ‘Versal Pro’.

Recommended User? – Above all else, we think high school teachers because courses are easy to share with Google Classroom within seconds. Rather than messing around with different programs and even devices, it can be shared at the push of a button. Furthermore, the gadget marketplace also holds a variety of STEM content.

Overall – To sum up this final e-learning Software or more specifically authoring software, we would say that it is sophisticated yet simple. With the gadget marketplace, there is an opportunity to widen your experience and you will even find customizable applications for Javascript so that content can be added to your course in seconds. As you can see above, the list of benefits is extensive and this isn’t an accident. On the flip side, the lack of consistent formats can be disappointing because it means that authors need to learn each format for each device and resource. Also, a note if the makers of Versal happen to be reading, the resources need to be split up into sections to make searching much easier!

Summary – If you had question marks regarding the most popular and best cloud-based e-learning authoring software before today, these should now be gone because you can save this to your bookmarks and come back to compare whenever necessary. As you have seen, some cater to the beginner a bit more than others so it is important, as we have said many times before, to assess your needs and choose software that is right for you. Once you do this, you can move ahead with confidence and create yourself some superb lessons or courses!