How To Compare eLearning Authoring Tools For SMBs
There are simply too many eLearning authoring tools to choose from. One might assume that makes it easier to select a platform that suits your SMB’s needs. But the truth is that eLearning software shopping is time-consuming and often stressful. From features to the price point, there are numerous criteria you must consider to get the best value for money. How do you weigh all the options to determine which system outshines the competition and warrants your investment? Here are 6 eLearning authoring tool comparison techniques custom tailored for SMBs.
1. Free Trials
Free trials are as good as it gets in regard to eLearning authoring tool comparison. They give you the opportunity to test the features, functionality, and ease of use. You can also determine if the software is worth the investment based on your criteria. Another perk of free trials is testing their support services. Email the vendor or submit a trouble ticket to see how quickly they respond. Do they answer all your questions and display in-depth knowledge of their product? Bear in mind that pre-purchase support is often a good indication of how they treat paying customers. If they take a week to reply to your message, that’s a tell-tale sign of poor customer service. It’s also wise to invite your development team to try the tool and offer their feedback. After all, they’ll use the software to create content and revise existing materials. If it doesn’t interrupt their workflow and make the design process even more challenging, that is.
2. Feature Checklist
Compile a checklist of every feature your new authoring tool for SMBs must include in order to improve ROI. Do you need to convert legacy or Flash-based content? Are you looking for a platform that includes image and video editors? Is your course content going to be non-linear and highly interactive or passive? Every eLearning authoring software vendor includes different things in the package. Thus, you need to determine what’s crucial for your design team to maximize resource allocation. They may not require a tool that produces 360 videos or VR content. So, why overspend on features you probably won’t use in your online training strategy?
3. Asset Library Evaluation
Yet another reason to sign up for authoring tool trials is to evaluate the asset library. Take a closer look at the images, templates, and graphics in the repository to see if they meet your requirements. Don’t just consider the number of assets but the overall quality. As well as the nature of the content. Do all the cut-out characters look the same? Or do they represent a diverse range of backgrounds and professions? Are the images in high resolution? Above all else, does the content align with your subject matter and online training objectives? There may be thousands of pictures and video clips but not a single one that you can use in your health and safety course.
4. Price Point Analysis
Most companies look at the ballpark estimate for every tool. However, you should evaluate what’s included in the price and how that compares to the competition. For example, one eLearning authoring tool has a lower monthly fee, but you don’t get as many support services. Plus, the software is more challenging to use and doesn’t have as many assets as another product on your shortlist. Would it be more cost effective to spring for the ‘expensive’ tool if it’s more robust and feature-rich? Additionally, consider the average pricing for authoring tools on the market today. Software vendors must include extra perks to charge more than the standard.
5. User Reviews
If the tool has been around for some time, there are bound to be user reviews online. Find a reliable site. Preferably one that requires basic information from users so that you know their comments are credible. Then evaluate reviews that align with your use case. What are the pros and cons for your top platforms? Did the product receive a high customer experience rating? Do the reviews consistently mention a flaw in the product that you need to know about? Are there any key selling points you overlooked? Free trials are somewhat limited because you only have so much time to explore the features. But reviews give you an inside look at how the platform performs in the real world over a long period of time.
6. Online Directories
Directories are a great place to begin your hunt for the perfect eLearning authoring software. As well as expand your current list by finding the tools you overlooked. Granted, you need to find a trustworthy site with unbiased reviews and product listings. Evaluate the pricing options and detailed features list. From types of interactions and quiz types to an online library and image features. Then compare your top 3 choices to analyze them side-by-side. Contact the vendor directly for a quote or to address any concerns you have before making the final decision.
These eLearning authoring tool comparison techniques are free and easy to implement. But they can save you the stress of post-purchase regrets. Not to mention, the cost of having to buy a replacement tool that does have all the features you’re looking for. Don’t rush into the process and evaluate as many platforms as possible. You may be on a tight timeline but hasty decisions lead to long-lasting consequences. So, do your homework and use directories, reviews, and free trials to make the right choice for your SMB.
If you are in the process to select an eLearning authoring tool, then you’ve undoubtedly noticed that there is a wide range of eLearning software to choose from. Download the eBook eLearning Authoring Tools Comparison Guide: How To Pick The Right Platform For Custom eLearning Content Development to choose the best platform for your online training program.