E-learning software plays an important role in e-learning development. It is used to create online courses which are accessible from anywhere, anytime as long as you are able to connect to an internet connection. It is sometimes referred to as e-learning authoring software. Both concepts are widely acceptable by the community. Added to that, e-learning software can be used for many other educational purposes such as employee training, software guides, product guides and sales training etc. In today’s article, I will guide you through some simple steps to choose a professional e-learning software that works perfectly whether you have prior experience or just a novice to this industry.
First things first, for those of you who don’t have any knowledge about e-learning software, here are the most common things that e-learning software can cover.
What e-learning software can do?
- Create a completed course, presentation, lesson, or lectures from texts, images and videos which can be used, modified and updated easily in the future.
- Create an online training course in video formats to upload and share on specific platform (YouTube, Facebook, Twitch or a Learning Management System).
- Create custom courses for a specific group of learners and manage their learning progress, tracking report via Learning Management System.
These are just the most common applications of e-learning software. We are not going to discuss much about this topic here. The main target of today’s post is to help you choose a professional e-learning software, right! Let’s go straight to the point now! This is the most professional e-learning software that works in 2018, in my opinion. It’s an offline tool, free to download (carefully tested by our experts). I’ll tell you later the reasons why you should use it in the next paragraphs. Fine? To download ActivePresenter, click here!
Highlight Features You May Love To See
- Advanced recording features: Full Motion Recording, Smart Capture
- Video editing: Cut, Crop, Join, Change Volume, Speed Up, Slow Down
- Multiple Audio/Video Layers
- Rich annotations: Shapes, Image, Zoom-n-Pan, Closed Caption, Cursor Path, Audio/Video Overlays
- Smart Annotation
- Themes & Templates
- Export to: MP4, WebM, MKV, AVI, WMV
- Export to: PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Adobe PDF, HTML
- Commercial Use
- Advanced Audio/Video Effects: Fade In, Fade Out, Noise Reduction, Blur, Green Screen
- HTML5 Export
- Fully Responsive Design
- Interactions: Button, Mouse Click, Text Input, Drag & Drop, Keystroke
- Quiz: 9 Types of Questions
- Report & Tracking in LMS (SCORM, xAPI)
So what? Are you going to stop reading here and start using the tool I mentioned. It’s a little bit tricky to choose an e-learning software in just a minute reading. I highly suggest you finish reading this post to make sure that our recommendation can fulfill your requirements. Here are 8 most common features of a good e-learning software you may want to know. This is a good check list for beginners too. Actually, I accidentally saw this post on Elearning Industry, a good place to read reviews and comments from eLearning professionals. There is nothing to argue about these common things. But you may want to read my own perspective too, right? It’s in the next part.
Here are the most common features of a good elearning software according to Elearning Industry (with my comments):
- User Interface: The user interface is the first thing you look at in an elearning software. It will decide how fast you can create your first course. Anyway, in most modern programs, there are always an option to configure the UI according to what you are familiar with.
- Support Service: Nothing to argue here.
- Online Asset Library: Yes, I like the library. But the price should be affordable.
- Language Support: It’s perfect if the tool support your own language.
- Mobile-friendly: This is like a SEO ranking factor. But actually, it is important to create a course that can run on any device. We call it responsive courses. So, check for this feature in your favorite authoring tool.
- Installation options: It’s always important to get the software installed successfully on your computer.
- Themes and eLearning templates: Ok, fine! This stuff is important but you don’t have to pay too much money for such things.
- Pricing flexibility: No comment!
Uhhh.. that some of the most common features eLearning professionals often look for in a good tool. Anyhow, if you dive a little bit deeper, there are only few things you must care.
4 Must-Have Features Of An E-learning Software From Our Perspective
If you have done some researches about e-learning software, you will quickly realize the naked truth that the best software is usually priced in the sky. Other lower price software is lacking of many important features. Besides, good software does not mean good technical support, sometimes it’s much worse than you imagine. So here are what you must consider when choosing an e-learning software from our own perspective. We put on top the most important features. Following up with less important ones.
- License Price: in e-learning industry, purchasing a software at a few hundreds of dollars means almost nothing to e-learning professionals if the program can meet their requirements. How about $2000 or $5000 per year license price? It’s a different story, right? For example, if you are rich and have a lot of money, you can easily buy a ticket to Mars from Space X in 2019. E-learning software doesn’t have to be as expensive as the ticket to Mars, but it has to be reasonable and affordable. Spending more than $1000 per year for e-learning software is extremely wasteful when you can buy similar software for half the price.
- Technical Support Service: After the price, technical support service is the next thing you must not overlook. It is especially important in e-learning. Why? e-learning development is a time consuming procedure. For example, if you have been spending hundreds of hours creating the courses (often contains many multimedia files), you’ve come to the final steps i.e exporting the whole project in HTML5 and it simply doesn’t work. What should you do? You will immediate contact the seller for technical support, right? Imagine how happy you are if you get the solution within minutes. It’s crucial to get quick answers, agree?
- Enough features – No Extras: When it comes to e-learning, developers often tend to add as many features as possible to their tools without realizing that some of them doesn’t has to be a part of the program. For example, the new e-learning software is usually integrated with a Learning Managing System and a Content Library from third party. This is not optional but must-buy feature. That’s crazy because you may already have your own favorite LMS and your own style courses.
- Continuously Updates & Upgrades: e-learning technology changes very fast. If a program has no frequent update & upgrade plan, it will soon become obsolete. I have seen a lot of good software gradually being forgotten because of not updating regularly.
Pricing Comparison Of Professional E-learning Software in 2018
Though I know that there are many e-learning software available on the net now, I just quickly go through pricing level of 10 most professional e-learning software and what included in the offer to give your some more information about this market.
- ActivePresenter Professional Edition: Lifetime license with free update is $399. Available for Windows and Mac.
- iSpring Suite: There are two different license price. iSpring Suite (authoring tool only) is $770 for lifetime. And $970 per year for a complete package of iSpring Suite, Content Library, iSpring Cloud, Free update and Technical Support Package.
- Articulate 360: There are different prices for Team, Freelancers and Education. Commonly, it starts at $1299 per year. The price includes Rise, Storyline 360, Content Library and Articulate Review.
- Articulate Storyline 3: This is a stand-alone e-learning software. Lifetime license is $1398.
- Adobe Captivate 2017: Different prices for different regions. For the United State, a full license price is $1099. You can also choose a subscription plan at $29.99/mo.
- Trivantis Lectora Inspire: Full license price is $2595. The package includes some third party applications such as TechSmith Camtasia, Snagit and templates from elearning Brothers.
- SmartBuilder: Only subscription plan is available. It cost $1399 per year.
- Gomo Learning Suite: The price depend on how much storage capacity and how many courses you want. Small package is $980 per year and Medium Package is $2960 per year.
- TalentLMS: There are different packages to choose. The most affordable package is $2388 per year.
- Elucidat: Purchase price of Elucidat is not public. We did some researches and found the lowest license price for 3 authors is $7500.
Professional E-learning Software Reviews in 2018
Elearning Supporter mission is to help you choose the best suitable software for your business whether you are an individual, a team or an organization. We’ve been writing unbiased reviews about e-learning software and authoring tools since 2017. If you want to get more detail of the above mentioned tools, find them in below links:
- ActivePresenter review with pros and cons.
- Adobe Captivate review.
- Articulate 360 review.
- Articulate Storyline 3 review.
- Gomo Learning Suite review.
- SmartBuilder review.
- Trivantis Lectora Inspire review.
Professional e-learning software can save your time and money or waste your time and money. Remember to read carefully the offer, license price, terms and conditions of uses to make sure it is suitable for you. If you have any further question about e-learning software, don’t hesitate to ask. Don’t forget to follow us to receive more valuable post notifications in the future!