Professional elearning software for Windows. Top 3 most popular, cost effective authoring tools for business and schools.
While you are looking for an elearning software, you may sometimes feel confusing about recommendations from software review websites with hundreds of tools: free and paid. It is really a difficult task to figure out the right tool with your limited budget.
In today post, I want to introduce to you about top 3 professional elearning software for creating learning courses effectively. First of all, I would recommend you to spend 5 minutes read about key features of elearning software that We wrote in another topic. I am sure it is useful for you.
Professional elearning software for Windows
The first and most professional elearning software must be ActivePresenter, developed by Atomi Systems since 2008. It has almost everything you need for creating learning courses at no cost. It doesn’t matter you are small or large enterprises, we still recommend you to try ActivePresenter. It has a high quality screen recorder, a feature rich, built-in video editor as well as annotation tools for adding interactivity, quizzes into your courses. Once you finished the project, the software can help exporting it to various formats inlcuding HTML and HTML5, support in SCORM or xAPI (Tin Can). ActivePresenter can work on Windows and macOS X and free to download and use its full options. The interface is really simple to learn.
Added to that, Atomi also has a great YouTube channel that presents hundreds of tutorial videos as well as a crowded Q&A community to discuss related topics. This is how ActivePresenter look like:
Updated information: ActivePresenter 7 with many new updates is going to be released this year according to Atomi’s blog. We have looked at their blog and wrote a review about new features in ActivePresenter 7. Take a look here!
Key features – From Atomi Systems
Screen Capturing tools
- Smart Capture : Capture screen when mouse clicked or key pressed. Each action is captured as a slide which explains in details what the viewer/learner should follow to master the lesson.
- Full Motion Recording : Record screen as a full motion video and embedded in a slide for further editing with annotations, voice-over, zoom-n-pan, closed captions and animation effects.
- Microphone & Speakers Recording: Record system audio and audio from microphone simutaneously while recording screen.
- Smart Annotation: Automatically generate the description from the action and target application and insert to slide properly. This makes the content almost ready to publish for a quick tutorial.
- Lossless Quality: The video is recorded with the lossless codec to ensure the highest quality (100%) in the overall editing process. H264, MPEG-1,2 lossy codecs are also available.
- Configurable Hotkeys: Some target applications already registered the common hotkeys. In that case, configurable hotkeys are vital to make a complete recording session.
Video Editing Features
- Audio & Video Editing: Edit audio and video instantly without quality loss. Supported operations inlcudes: cut, delete, crop, join, split, blur, change volume, insert freeze frame.
- Shapes: There are dozens of shapes to choose from. Changing the form and hotspot of a shape just by dragging mouse.
- Style (Color & Effect): Create polished and high quality screencast videos and training simulations with various line/fill/text styles and shadow effects.
- Interactivity: The flexible event-action mechanism with rich event and action types allows defining different learning scenarios based on viewers’ responses at each step.
- Quizzes: Create virtually any kind of assessments or surveys by using 9 quiz types.
- Slide Pool & Randomization: Create professional random quizzes with slide pools & random slides to avoid viewers from remembering and predicting answers.
- Multiple Media Layers: Insert multiple videos, audios onto a slide.
- Blur: Hide the sensitive information in video or image with Blur effect
- Text To Speech: Convert text in any shape/object or closed captions to speech using installed SAPI 5 Text To Speech engines on Windows. Add more voices to make attractive tutorials.
- Zoom-n-Pan: Guide the viewer to different parts of the screen by using Zoom-n-Pan. This makes a smoother transition when changing focused area.
- Cursor Path: Emulate the cursor movement with flexible cursor path. Add more visual to cursor path with highlight and click sound.
- Closed Caption: Provide more information, make audio transcriptions, support for people with disabilities with Closed Caption.
- Spotlight: Draw viewer/learner attention to a specific region with Spotlight. It is possible to apply shape and style to a Spotlight.
- Image Editing: Built-in image editor with transparency support allows modifying any image quickly and easily.
- Transitions & Animations: Attract viewer/learner by applying effects to slides and objects. There are several transition effects to choose from: Fade, Fly, Wipe, and Peak.
- Backup: Prevent losing data when the power failed or system crashed with backup capabilities.
- Protection: Protect the project in the shared environment with a secure password.
- Spell Checker: Ensure the quality of content by using spell checking feature. It is very necessary when working with text.
- Video Export: Export content to popular video formats including AVI, FLV, WMV, WebM, MP4. Balance between output size and video quality with frame rate, key frame, and quality options.
- HTML5 Export: Export content to HTML5 Simulation which can run on any modern web browser and device (desktop, tablet, smartphone).
- SCORM & xAPI: Support SCORM and xAPI, two most popular eLearning specifications which are widely supported by many Learning Management System.
- Player Skin: There are several templates (player skins) to choose from and each also has more options to customize.
- Report & Tracking: Even without using LMS, the learner result can be tracked by using HTTP method. The report data is in form of well-known standards such as XML, JSON, CVS,..
- Document Export: Export to most popular document formats. Further editing with Microsoft Office. Custom layout with Microsoft Word.
Editor’s notice: It is a good new that ActivePresenter 6 Professional Version is totally free to download and use full features without any limitation. You are able to test all feature before purchase it at $249/ license, perpetual.
2. Adobe Captivate 9 – The most professional elearning software
Captivate 9 is absolutely one of the most professional software in the e-learning industry. Although, there are rumors that this new Adobe’s product Captivate 9 may generate “not responding bugs” and is not as stable as Captivate 8. However, it is not that bad when you dive into the new features like I did.
Adobe Captivate 9 you can go seamlessly from storyboarding to responsive eLearning design. Dip into the exclusive 50,000+ asset store or use assets from Adobe Stock to enrich your content. Create elearning courses that run seamlessly across desktops and mobile. You can also create storyboarding to responsive eLearning, create virtually any kind of professional looking and instructionally sound content using a single tool. Add interactive elements to transform static content with just a few clicks. Call on the power-packed functionalities from within an intuitive UI that makes authoring easy and efficient.
For better look, I suggest you spend some minutes watching Captivate 9 tutorial down here
Key features – From Adobe
Adobe Captivate Draft [New]
Convert your ideas into storyboards complete with eLearning elements such as content and question slides, branching logic, and more. Create storyboards in minutes using the all-new app*, and share them for real-time, collaborative reviewing on the cloud; reviewers do not need to have either the app or Adobe Captivate. Simply import your storyboards into Adobe Captivate 9, and publish them, to seamlessly generate responsive projects.
Roundtripping with Microsoft PowerPoint : Import your PowerPoint slides, including PowerPoint 2013, into eLearning projects. Bring in objects, animations, and multimedia, easily update the content, and keep your PowerPoint and Adobe Captivate projects in sync with the dynamically linked import options.
All-new, intuitive user interface [New]: Call on the power-packed functionalities of Adobe Captivate 9 from within a intuitive UI that makes authoring easy and efficient. Enjoy authoring with an interface that is simple enough for subject matter experts and powerful enough for experienced users.
Multistate objects [New] Power up your eLearning with less elbow grease using object states on steroids. Improve retention by enabling learners to interact with objects in ways never seen before. Make complex workflows achievable with just a few clicks by triggering an unlimited number of custom or in-built states, for each object, including smart shapes, images, text, buttons and more. Easily edit states using the States timeline.
Object styles: Define styles and apply them to selected objects for quick and consistent formatting across a project.
Equation editor : Easily add complex mathematical equations with operators and scientific symbols to courses using the multipurpose equation editor from [Math+Magic].
Master slides : Use master slides to easily create and maintain well-formatted and consistent-looking content that meets your corporate guidelines.
Professional project templates : Use attractive project templates that help make it easy for subject matter experts to contribute content without compromising structure.
Interactions library: Create stunning interactions effortlessly without programming, by customizing any of the templates from our library such as in-course YouTube video streaming and web browsing, Millionaire, Hangman, Jigsaw, Process Cycle, Glossary, Accordion, Pyramid, Animated Rollover, and Accelerometer-based interactions. Also enable learners to add and edit notes as they take their course.
Themes: Spend less time and effort to liven up your courses. Choose from attractive themes that blend backgrounds, styles, fonts, and layouts. Apply them across projects to maintain a consistent look and feel. Change the look of your content in a jiffy by choosing from palettes of professionally chosen theme colors. Customize themes and theme colors to suit your requirements.
Multiscreen responsive eLearning authoring [Enhanced]: Author as you always have—content rearranges itself for the new tablet and mobile views. Tweak content for a specific device, and use the in-product preview to see how your project will appear on various screens using five breakpoints. Publish as a single project and automatically deliver the most appropriate experience for your learner’s device.
iOS device capture [New]: Now record your device screen as a full resolution HD video. Make your video richer by adding mobile-specific gestures such as swipe, tap, and pinch to zoom. Select from a range of audio sources, such as system audio, device audio, and microphone input, to customize your video demo.
Multidevice previews [Enhanced]: View exactly how your content will look on desktops, tablets and mobile phones. Preview your project on stage or browser selecting from five resolution breakpoints, or use the free Adobe Edge Inspect* app to see how it will look on a physical mobile device. Check how your courses will appear on various screens, vertically or horizontally, using the in-preview scroll functionality.
Gesture-enabled mobile learning: Use the multi-touch technology embedded in current user interfaces to allow learners to tap, scroll, pinch, and swipe their way through courses. Leverage gesture support to enable more instinctive interaction between the learner and the content.
Geo-location support [Enhanced]: Utilize the GPS capabilities of mobile devices to deliver timely, location-aware content to learners. Create assessments that require learners to be at a particular geo-location. Set location parameters easily using the integration of Google Maps with Adobe Captivate 9.
Relative smart positioning of objects: Easily define the relative position of objects with respect to screen borders or other objects, maintaining content and layout integrity across devices.
Device-aware eLearning delivery: Publish your responsive project to leading LMSs as a single project. The project will automatically detect your learner’s device and deliver the most appropriate experience for it.
Native support for HTML5 objects: Import HTML5 animations into your Adobe Captivate project without requiring any plug-ins. Place animations exactly where you need them, resize if required, and publish effortlessly in the HTML5 format.
In class HTML5 publishing: Import your PowerPoint project into Adobe Captivate 9 and retain text, shapes, audio, and animations, when you publish them directly to HTML5. Make your eLearning content more mobile with full support for scalable HTML5, mobile themes, play bar, and the ability to pause and resume anywhere, anytime, and on virtually any device. Also publish HTML5 courses directly to Adobe Captivate Prime or Adobe Connect.
Responsive themes: Choose from a selection of out-of-the-box responsive themes to render differentiated content for multiple devices. Customize themes to meet your requirements or create your own. Save themes for reuse across projects.
MinMax object sizing: Fix the minimum and maximum size of objects so that they do not rescale across device views. This is especially useful for images such as logos, which need to look consistent and be legible at all times.
That’s all about Adobe Captivate 9 (updated 2017). Want to find out more. Click here!
3. Articulate 360 – The most professional web-based elearning software
Articulate 360 is a combination among four famous products from Articulate which are Rise, Articulate Review, Content library and Articulate Live. Simplify and speed e‑learning development with Articulate Review. Gather and share feedback on all Articulate 360 content in a simple web app—no download required. The ability of stakeholders to give feedback is invaluable – From Articulate.
Our reviews criteria
- Easy to use, intuitive user interface with logical arrangement of the tools will gain highest score in our reviews.
- We take screen recording capability as one important factor to evaluate the software since it has great influences on your courses.
- We consider the ability to create interactivity as a key point of the software which includes quiz templates, flexible event-action mechanism, scenarios based on viewers’s responses or what we so call “interactivity level”.
- Exporting to Html5 possibility is a Must and compatibility with modern web browser, devices capability will earn more point from us.
- Learning Management System support or not.
- Purchase price is the last, but not least, factor we dive into.
There are more hidden facilities that We are not able to list out in this post. But, you can be sure that our review is carried out independently and carefully.
No matter which software you choose, remember that these are PROFESSIONAL ELEARNING SOFTWARE not FREE. It will take time for you to get familiar with all their functions. So, make use of free trial if possible.
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