Today’s strong demand for simple authoring tools is due to the popularity of web-based learning. Learning using the internet as the platform enables teachers to reach more students even outside their own country. Educators wanting to move their traditional courses to elearning online are stomped most of the time from lack of technical know-how or internet savvy. Fortunately, software applications especially designed for educators are easy to use and efficient in translating traditional courses to e-courses.
PowerPoint is the best known authoring tool a teacher uses. The interface is user friendly but the animation and other features are limited. An educator would be hard-pressed to find tools for creating interactive game activities in PowerPoint’s menu. For a classroom setting, a PowerPoint presentation is enough to complement the speaker’s lecture but for an ecourse, where most of the time, all the distance learning student can see is the screen itself, more specialized software is needed. In determining which authoring tools to use, an educator has to consider:
For web-based elearning websites, educators have to consider if the application would load correctly even if the broadband connection is inconsistent. For example, distance learning for developing countries with little access to broadband connection, it would be quite hard to teach students when the lecture is often interrupted by buffering videos. It may be necessary to limit media to make sure the student downloaded the page successfully.
Uploading data on the internet or a Learning Management System needs compatibility with both the site and the content. For interactive games, flash is the standard or most widely used but not it is facing competition with HTML 5.
Games and Learning Activities
For young students especially, games are important tools for learning as they are fun and can transform boring lectures into exciting learning activities. Virtual learning environments like the Second Life Elearning project can also be applied when learning new skills. Included in this area are role playing and simulations. When considering software, be aware of who would be using it and how the software features apply to teaching your learners.
PowerPoint animations were created to project a more dynamic look to an otherwise boring text. Specialized authoring tools must have their own set of animation templates that are ready to use and easy to apply.
Cloud based authoring tools is an important innovation just lately being realized. With a cloud as the server, students will be able to access the website or learning portal where your ecourse can be found in any computer. Since no installation is required, there is easy implementation and there is no need to worry when technical difficulties are experienced since that will be the cloud server’s responsibility. There are a lot of authoring tools to choose from but some of the recommended are: Captive and Presenter from Adobe. Captive includes animations, quizzes, presentations, etc. that are fully customizable. ProForm by Rapid Intake includes screen cap and Rapidcam video recording among other innovations. Animations can be converted to Flash movies to be uploaded on the internet for elearning online interactive games. A computer graduate and loves to travel. Reading current news in the internet is one of his past times. Taking pictures of the things around him fully satisfies him. He loves to play badminton and his favorite pets are cats and walk with them in the park with some dogs.