What is course authoring software and is it for me?

Authoring software is a tool used to help develop your course presentation. It doesn’t help plan your course or develop your learning goals with plenty of fun and intellectual creativity, what an authoring tool does is give you the ability to be creative with the delivery of your course.

Authoring software (or development tool or platform) allows you, or a group of people working together, to integrate different media with a professional presentation. Depending on which software is used you can integrate and develop all sorts of different media (videos, games, animations etc) to make interactive learning opportunities. There are almost no limitations.

You can customise your content for your business or training organisations needs. Want those logos everywhere? Need to have layout, colours, fonts consistent with other areas of the organisation?

Different software will give you different formats to publish the materials. These options are usually to insert into a webpage, save to disk and to export in various different formats. Some software will also assist with being published to a SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) package.
 
The great thing about using some kind of authoring software or tool is that you don’t have to be a programmer to get your course content looking primed, smooth and ready to go.
So, what kind of software do you need?

It depends entirely on the needs of your course. If you’re following the very popular and successful MOOC style of course you might just need to use video and forums and might not need any additional software. Check out Coursera to see how their courses are hosted.

Powerpoint could be considered authoring software. Powerpoint can have video and sound as well as many different word and still image features and can also be easily converted into video.
Over the next few weeks I will explore features on different tools. In the meantime the best thing to do is plan your course and explore the media and interactive features that are best going to help achieve your aims.

Remember – it doesn’t just have to look good, it has to be effective!

Here’s links to some popular Authoring Software:

http://exelearning.org/wiki

http://course-genie.software.informer.com/2.0/

http://www.adobe.com/products/captivate.html

http://www.articulate.com/

http://rapidintake.com/overview

http://courselab.com/db/cle/E746101340F8075FC32571690042CB16/doc.html

Check out the original article on eLearn Hub