Course Authoring Tools

Course Authoring Tools Overview

Course Authoring Tools allow users to create and deploy customized interactive educational content. Course Authoring Tools let users create, share, run, and manage eLearning assets such as video, audio, tests, quizzes, surveys, graphs, assignments, and more for training, education, and performance measurement purposes. Course Authoring Tools can also offer gamification tools, branding options, and centralized file storage. Course Authoring Tools are flexible, and as such they can create content for both corporate and traditional education settings.

Course Authoring Tools are highly customizable, making them an efficient and effective way to provide personalized and branded training, onboarding, and examinations. Course Authoring Tools easily deploy eLearning content to learners, customers, and stakeholders as needed, allowing users to share documents, data, and assets with them. Finally, Course Authoring Tools analyzes course performance data, collects user feedback, and observes learner behavior, which allows authors to dynamically and continuously improve the eLearning process.

Course Authoring Tools and eLearning Content Providers have similar features and to some degree are discussed interchangeably. However, there is a major difference between them. Course Authoring Tools provide a toolkit that allows users to create complex, interactive content tailored to the needs of their organization. eLearning Content Providers offer prebuilt libraries of content designed to serve industry-specific training and education without providing robust user course creation tools.

Top Rated Course Authoring Products

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2022

These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.

Course Authoring Tools TrustMap

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Course Authoring Products

(1-25 of 32) Sorted by Most Reviews

The list of products below is based purely on reviews (sorted from most to least). There is no paid placement and analyst opinions do not influence their rankings. Here is our Promise to Buyers to ensure information on our site is reliable, useful, and worthy of your trust.

Articulate Storyline

Articulate Storyline is a learning content creation platform. It provides prebuilt and customizable content, along with gamification capabilities. Articulate emphasizes user-friendliness, including mobile accessibility. It is offered on a perpetual license.

Articulate 360

Articulate 360 is an e-learning course development subscription offering. It includes every Articulate authoring tool, including the latest version of Storyline and Rise, a web-based app for creating inherently responsive courses. The vendor offers a 30-day free trial.

iSpring Suite

iSpring Suite helps users build courses that are mobile-ready and adaptive. The tool is an add-in to PowerPoint with no training required. With iSpring Suite, users can create quality courses, video lectures, simulations, and a wide range of assessments that work on any device.iSpring…

Articulate Studio

Articulate Studio is a PowerPoint plugin used to develop elearning course content. It includes assessment, on-screen recording, and interactions integrations.

Thinkific

Thinkific headquartered in Vancouver provides their learning management system for online course and content creators to distribute their lessons to unlimited students, featuring content schedule distribution, some marketing features, certifications, as well as quizzes and surveys.…

Kajabi

Kajabi is a web hosting platform for online learning or membership websites, featuring landing pages and support for email marketing, video hosting, and codeless web building tools.

ProProfs LMS Software

ProProfs LMS is a learning management system software that is designed to help instructors create and deliver online training courses. The LMS offers both businesses and educational institutions comprehensive training solutions by allowing them to create online courses, complemented…

Rise

Rise, from Articulate Global, is a web-based system for course creation and learning, featuring a library of imagery and a collection of modular, customizable lessons on business topics relevant to every employee that can be mixed with the user's own content to develop custom courses…

Top Hat

Toronto-based Top Hat offers their higher education teaching apps, comprising Top Hat Classroom supporting flipped classroom and gamified lessons, Top Hat Textbook for delivering course content, Top Hat Assignment for customizable quizzes and graded tasks or homework, and Top Hat…

mAuthor

mAuthor by Learnetic is a combination of a authoring tool and a cloud-based e-development platform. Addressed directly to publishers, it allows the creation of fully interactive e-content supporting adaptive learning and the BigData system. Its WYSIWYG editor, flexible templates,…

Gnowbe

Gnowbe headquartered in San Francisco offers their mobile micro-learning application, for adult education.

Lectora

Trivantis in Deerfield Park offers their flagship product Lectora, an eLearning authoring software featuring Responsive Course Design (RCD), which the vendor states is used across large enterprises, small and mid-sized businesses, government agencies, and educational institutions…

LearnWorlds

LearnWorlds is presented as an intuitive, lightweight, eCommerce-ready Cloud LMS, boasting advanced features to improve stakeholders’ training & future-proof a business. The vendor states their solution enables Professionals, Educators and Enterprises to create unique, interactive…

CourseBuilder, by Everspring

CourseBuilder, from Everspring in Chicago, is a course designer that enables users to create online courses, a digital tool that allows universities to build and deliver classes at scale–with page layouts, sophisticated multimedia, interactive infographics, and engaging apps and…

TrainerCentral

TrainerCentral is a training platform that helps turn passion into a rewarding profession. TrainerCentral is presented as a comprehensive toolkit- including a website builder, payments system, and multiple options to create online courses.

DesignPLUS for Canvas, from Cidi Labs

DesignPLUS is a suite of Design Tools for Canvas from Cidi Labs in Salt Lake City, designed to give students better courses by improving the quality, consistency and accessibility of course content while enabling instructional designers and instructors to do more in less time.

Absorb Create (formerly Koantic)

Absorb Create (formerly Koantic, acquired by Absorb Software August 2020) is a coarse authoring solution, which, according to the vendor, includes intuitive tools and templates, flexibile publishing formats, and responsive design.

K16 Scaffold

K16 Scaffold, from K16 Solutions in Scottsdale, is a software solution designed to empower users, lowers costs, and reshape how students, staff, and faculty collaborate. The vendor states their service guarantee starts with the purchase and continues with support as users and faculty…

Loree

Loree is designed to enable educators, learning designers, and independent organizations to build entire pages in minutes, giving precious time back to focus on educating students. It is built so that users with zero coding experience can create customized, accessible, and engaging…

Mykademy

Mykademy’s platform aims to help in connecting the world’s finest tutors with students across the globe. The service provide online educators with technology and support that facilitate sharing unique & valuable knowledge and growing an audience while being rewarded for it.…

Coassemble

Coassemble is an online training tool that helps businesses connect people with the information they need – anytime, anyplace, from the company of the same name in Maryville, New South Wales. Coassemble provides tools to create and launch training for teams, customers or clients.

CourseFunnels

CourseFunnels helps sell courses and turn them into a profitable business. It is an online course platform that is integrated with marketing, in-built auto responder and sales boosting plugins. The in-built course-creation system contains landing pages & email marketing to help…

Graphy, by Unacademy

Graphy is a platform that empowers creators and educators to scale their online brand and business by launching their online courses and sell them via white-labelled websites and mobile apps, from Unacademy headquartered in Bangalore.

Collective University

Collective University is a cloud-based platform that organizations can use to create their own online university. Unlike traditional learning management systems that are based on module-based courses, Collective University tracks all learning, both online and offline, in the form…

Udutu Authoring Tool

Udutu Course Authoring tool helps you create engaging course content. The tool is free, and can be used with no training or programming skills. Components include: > Free cloud-based Course Authoring Tool > Infinitely Scalable Learning Management System > PowerPoint…

Learn More About Course Authoring Tools

What are Course Authoring Tools?

Course Authoring Tools allow users to create and deploy customized interactive educational content. Course Authoring Tools let users create, share, run, and manage eLearning assets such as video, audio, tests, quizzes, surveys, graphs, assignments, and more for training, education, and performance measurement purposes. Course Authoring Tools can also offer gamification tools, branding options, and centralized file storage. Course Authoring Tools are flexible, and as such they can create content for both corporate and traditional education settings.

Course Authoring Tools are highly customizable, making them an efficient and effective way to provide personalized and branded training, onboarding, and examinations. Course Authoring Tools easily deploy eLearning content to learners, customers, and stakeholders as needed, allowing users to share documents, data, and assets with them. Finally, Course Authoring Tools analyzes course performance data, collects user feedback, and observes learner behavior, which allows authors to dynamically and continuously improve the eLearning process.

Course Authoring Tools and eLearning Content Providers have similar features and to some degree are discussed interchangeably. However, there is a major difference between them. Course Authoring Tools provide a toolkit that allows users to create complex, interactive content tailored to the needs of their organization. eLearning Content Providers offer prebuilt libraries of content designed to serve industry-specific training and education without providing robust user course creation tools.

Course Authoring Tools Features

The most common Course Authoring Tools features are:

  • Course and content creation features
  • Test, assignment, and evaluation tools
  • Learning reports and analytics
  • Survey construction, deployment, and analysis
  • Virtual classroom software
  • Integration with Learning Management Systems
  • Automated translation and localization services
  • Student and author collaboration tools
  • Learner participation, engagement, and performance reporting
  • Audio, video, animation, and image hosting, editing, and exporting
  • Gamification, simulation, and branching interaction tools
  • Folder and file import, export, and management
  • Multi-device and multiplatform support
  • Course and content templates
  • Integrated design guidance
  • Integrated e-mail management
  • Text to speech conversion
  • User access management
  • Single sign-on integration
  • API integration
  • User support, product tutorials, and knowledge bases
  • Customizable dashboards
  • Cloud, web, and on-premises deployment

Course Authoring Tools Comparison

When choosing the best Course Authoring Tools for you, consider the following:

Standalone software vs. LMS integration. Depending on the type of content you create, how frequently you create content, and the volume of assets you manage, you may find that a standalone Course Authoring Tool may be more beneficial than one that acts concurrently with Learning Management System (LMS). Standalone software grant more authoring control to the user, making it useful for experienced course authors or authors who need to focus on specialized content. LMS-integrated tools, on the other hand, are an extension of existing learning systems, and thus negate the need to switch products, learn new programs, or understand in-depth authoring tools. However, this benefit comes at the expense of having less robust design and creation features.

Content creation tools. The integrated content creation and editing features of a Course Authoring Tool will most likely be a deciding factor in choosing the best product for you. To some degree, each product will let you record, upload, edit, or store content such as videos, audio, and images. What they offer beyond these features can make a difference in creating effective courses. Certain products allow you to add and manage captions for video content and transcripts for audio files, making it an essential tool if your organization must comply with ADA accessibility standards.

Supported eLearning formats. Each Course Authoring Tool comes with a range of supported eLearning formats, and as such you should consider which format(s) you use and how well a product will facilitate using them. While authoring tools generally support the most popular formats (e.g. SCORM, AICC), it is crucial that the tool you select support your preferred format.

Responsive design features. If you plan to allow users to access course content from multiple devices and platforms, you’ll want to ensure that the Course Authoring Tools help with adequately and comfortably displaying assets on tablets and phones. The built-in previewers offered by some products address this concern by letting users preview master files from a variety of screen styles and operating systems.

Pricing Information

Course Authoring Tools pricing plans can vary based on the included features or anticipated users. The most common pricing plans are:

  • Per user pricing between $1 and $15 per month.
  • Flat per month pricing between $23 and $230 at the lowest subscription tiers.
  • Annual plans range between $490 and $999 per year for individuals, and $1,299 to $1,500 per year for teams at the lowest subscription tiers.
  • Perpetual (one-time purchase) licenses, starting $1,299. These usually provide limited vendor support compared to annual or per month plans.

Per-user pricing may be better choices for small organizations with fewer team members, while larger businesses may find the flat-rate or perpetual license costs more economical. Most vendors offer custom pricing, free trial periods, and demos.

More Resources

The following resources can you choose the best Course Authoring Tool for your organization:

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using course authoring tools?

Course authoring tools are highly customizable, allowing businesses to independently create their own educational courses and training materials. They also make multimedia assets, such as video and interactive content, more accessible for non-technical users.

What is the difference between course authoring tools and eLearning content providers?

Course authoring tools provide a toolkit that allows administrators to create content for their specific needs. eLearning content providers offer prebuilt libraries of content designed to serve industry-specific training needs and educational coursework.

How much do course authoring tools cost?

Some tools offer limited free versions, and bigger suites may offer course authoring as a free version versus their paid platform offering. Pricing often starts from $500-900/author/year.

What are the best course authoring tools?

The course authoring tool with the most reviews on TrustRadius is iSpring Suite, which is a Top Rated product for 2021. HubSpot Academy received positive reviews from small businesses and mid-size companies.