An eLearning Authoring Tool that Does More than Average Software

Whether your organization is an enterprise-level corporation looking to train learners around the globe or a small business trying to expedite employee training, you’ll need a tremendous authoring tool. “Authoring tools” is a catch-all term for anything that helps create content for educational or training purposes. This includes full-fledged courses, standalone learning modules, or anything in between. 

 

The good part of such a broad definition is that eLearning authoring tools exist for every imaginable need. The downside is that vendors can mean many things when they advertise an eLearning authoring tool, potentially making it difficult to find the perfect software for your organization’s needs. The vague definition also allows unscrupulous vendors to get away with marketing learning authoring tools that don’t meet anyone’s needs. 

 

The experts at Echo360 have solved the authoring tool conundrum with Knowbly: eLearning authoring software designed by learning developers for learning developers. It’s equipped with all of the features your learners are asking for. Better yet, Knowbly is part of the Echosystem: a suite of eLearning software built on the e3 philosophy of equity, evidence, and engagement to support learners of all ability levels as they seek to unleash their true potential. The Echosystem includes EchoAuthor (including Knowbly), EchoVideo (video content management software), EchoEngage (fully-optimized hybrid learning solutions), PointSolutions (a learning engagement tool), and EchoExam (test creation software).

 

Please continue reading to find out more about what makes Knowbly such a great authoring tool and how the rest of the Echosystem can help you create even more effective eLearning courses. 

 

eLearning Authoring

What Is an eLearning Authoring Tool?

It’s worth defining precisely what a learning authoring tool is before exploring the features that make Knowbly an industry-leading eLearning authoring tool. An authoring tool is any kind of software enabling users to create digital courses and publish them in formats such as SCORM 1.2 and xAPI. A web developer might write code to create content, but most of the people and organizations that create eLearning content lack the programming skills to produce something of quality. Furthermore, professional computer programmers may not have the artistic skills to leverage graphic design to create online courses that pop. 

 

Authoring tools facilitate course creation through drag-and-drop and other user-friendly interfaces, making eLearning more accessible without compromising the user experience. Additionally, authoring software streamlines the development and deployment of eLearning content, putting training materials in the hands of those who need them more quickly. Time is money, and many organizations find that creating courses becomes considerably more affordable with an authoring tool as well. 

 

Ultimately, your organization needs eLearning authoring tools because they make online courses easier to create. Your competitors are already taking advantage of these tools, and your organization will be left behind if you don’t follow suit.

 

What Differentiates an Authoring Tool from an LMS?

If your organization already has a learning management system (or LMS), learning experience platform (LXP), or talent development platform (TDP), you may think that your organization’s eLearning needs are already covered. Sadly, they are not. 

 

Learning management systems (which most of these vendors effectively are regardless of the acronym they prefer) are primarily a platform where course content and training modules are published so learners can access them. Many include rudimentary authoring tools to help their customers create courses, but their features are limited and you probably cannot export them to any other platform. You might even be charged extra for these basic eLearning authoring tools. 

 

In contrast, dedicated authoring software such as Knowbly is designed to help you create effective content and publish it online in any format you like. It doesn’t have the features of an LMS because the emphasis is on creating content, not publishing content to a particular platform. As such, an outside authoring tool is a great complement to your organization’s LMS but they will never replace each other.

 

features

What Features Should Authoring Tools Have to Expedite Learning?

Now that we’ve established that authoring tools are distinct from learning management systems, it’s time to address the big question. What features should you be looking for in an authoring tool? The answer depends on your organization’s specific needs including how many learners need to access training content and what devices they prefer for learning, but here are seven essential features the vast majority of organizations should be prioritizing:

 

 

Templates and Themes Streamline eLearning Content Creation

Perhaps the most important feature of any learning authoring software solution is how easy it makes course creation. Templates and themes allow even amateur course authors to create content with a professional look and feel. You won’t need to double-check that buttons are working correctly, question whether any quizzes are accurate, or wonder if your layout will confuse learners.  

 

 

Knowbly brings learning to life with flexible, easy-to-use templates developed by experts right out of the box, so all you need to do is add content to the spaces provided to get started. If your organization already has training materials you trust, Knowbly integrates with all LMS solutions, and you can upload Microsoft Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, PDF files, and YouTube videos directly into courses. With Knowbly, you can also edit assets everywhere they’re used with a single click so editing elements like video is a breeze. EchoVideo is a video content management platform that can help your organization get even more out of training videos through features such as Universal Capture and Automated Speech Recognition. 

 

Alternatively, you can create templates for your entire organization to use directly within Knowbly. If your entire team has access to the same templates, it’ll be easier to create training content that feels like an extension of your brand. 

 

Powerful Learning Management Capabilities

Most eLearning campaigns involve the creation of dozens if not hundreds of courses, and managing them all can feel overwhelming. The logistics of eLearning become even more complicated for organizations that allow learners to choose which courses they want to take instead of mandatory enrollments. 

 

Knowbly includes a personal content library so you can organize, tag, edit, share, and publish your courses wherever you want them. Your content library provides a simple, unified view of all training materials owned by or shared with each user. Content can be published in multiple formats including xAPI, SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004, and HTML5. You can also tag assets like videos and entire courses with keywords to help you find content quickly and organize files however you see fit. As your library grows, you can even access metadata to keep tabs on everything you’ve been able to create. Since all of your courses are stored in the cloud, you have unlimited scalability and will never need to delete old content to make room for new training materials. 

 

If you’re looking for even more robust learning management capabilities, EchoEngage gives admins, instructors, and students personalized dashboards. Admins can see who is enrolled in which courses and how they’re doing in them, assign training materials by dragging and dropping email addresses, and send reminders about self-paced assignments. Instructors can create content and share it with their peers to draw connections between courses. Trainees will see all of the courses available to them on an intuitive interface. EchoEngage truly takes learning management to the next level! 

 

Engaging Tools for eLearning Content

Online learning may have a bad reputation with some due to prerecorded lectures that fail to engage students, but authoring tools are capable of so much more than that now. For example, Knowbly allows course authors to use tools such as interactive video, hotspots, audio recording, image editing, and flashcards to both engage trainees and collect evidence of their performance. Your courses will prove irresistible. 

 

Similarly, modern employees expect to be able to engage with training content on their terms. Knowbly is an authoring tool designed to engage students on any device from a desktop computer to a smartphone. Just-in-time learning can bridge the gap between training materials and practical applications, promoting engagement by making courses feel more useful. 

 

Echo360 is all about engagement, and the rest of the Echosystem includes engagement tools too. For example, you can embed quizzes into video content on EchoVideo to command learner attention and measure comprehension. PointSolutions offers real-time polling capabilities, allowing instructors to solicit audience feedback and adjust presentations accordingly. Polling is also a great way to conduct quiz-show review games that might otherwise feel impossible in an online learning environment. EchoEngage offers gamification elements too, including a badge system and live leaderboards to foster friendly competition among trainees. Learning is easier when students are truly interested in the content and the Echosystem makes that happen.  

 

Real-Time Collaboration Tools

Most organizations have more than one person creating content, and the best authoring tools facilitate collaboration. One of the best features of Knowbly is real-time collaboration tools to streamline workflow and eliminate tedious back-and-forth between authors. Comment and review tools are also available to help you stay in sync, and multiple people can access assets like videos and images to give your content a more cohesive feel. 

 

Of course, Knowbly isn’t the only software in the Echosystem that fosters collaboration. PointSolutions ensures that everyone’s opinion is heard, allowing fellow instructors to participate as guests and shyer students to share their thoughts. Instructors can even ask the class if they are ready to move on or need more time with a particular subject. EchoEngage includes virtual breakout rooms to facilitate group work during live meetings as well. 

 

Custom Branding Built into the Authoring Tool

Using templates is a great way to expedite the content creation process, but overly standardized templates suck the life out of training materials. You want your training content to feel like your organization, not something that came off of an assembly line. 

 

With Knowbly, your content will always have that personal touch. For example, you can choose your own branding, fonts, colors, and layouts to make it look like your courses were designed from scratch even if you used a template. Your team will get the customized learning experience they expect while course authors enjoy maximal efficiency. 

 

Built-In Analytics

Your courses won’t be perfect immediately even if you use a great authoring tool like Knowbly. Most instructors use post-course surveys to collect feedback from attendees on how to improve their presentations, but the data collected is separate from the authoring tool and can therefore be difficult to do anything with. Furthermore, attendees may make recommendations that substandard eLearning authoring tools are incapable of implementing. 

 

 

Knowbly addresses both of these issues. First, you can solicit audience feedback directly within Knowbly, ensuring that the evidence you need to improve your courses is available in your authoring tool. Second, Knowbly offers so many types of eLearning tools that you’ll be able to act on whatever recommendations you receive. 

 

If you want more evidence, EchoExam includes thousands of questions written by trusted, industry-leading publishers for tests, quizzes, and study guides. EchoEngage’s dashboards also help you track performance by individual, group, or your entire organization so you always know who is thriving and who might need a little more support.  

Authoring Tools for Accessibility

You don’t want technology hiccups to compromise your organization’s training content. Fortunately, equity is one of the e3 principles that Knowbly was built on. Knowbly meets or exceeds all WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) standards, so all team members will be able to access your courses regardless of any sensory impairments or other learning differences. Our software is also backed by outstanding customer support so help is available whenever you need it.  

 

Learn More About Knowbly: the Best eLearning Authoring Software Around

If you’re considering the pros and cons of investing in eLearning authoring tools, you’ll find that the risks are low while the potential benefits are great. The best authoring tools streamline course creation, saving both time and money. At the same time, online training becomes more effective when creators have the tools they need to design truly interactive courses. 


We’re confident that Knowbly is everything you’d expect from an authoring tool and more, especially when combined with the rest of the software in our Echosystem of products. However, we don’t want you to blindly take our word for it. Instead, request free information today to learn more about features, pricing, and how easy creating content can be! 

 

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Question Types

With over 14 different question types, you can match the assessment to the material at hand. Use traditional test question types such as true/false, multiple-choice, multiple response, numeric response, matching, completion, short answer and essay to review, re-teach and reinforce learning.

Reporting & Analytics

Ensuring that learners understand the information presented and how it can impact their success is key. Assess, track and analyze learner performance. Get results immediately and view valuable reports at the individual level, or for the class or group as a whole. Provide results in real-time, or at a later time as preferred.

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I Want More Engaging Interactive Lectures in My Classroom

To learn more about how Echo360’s Echosystem can help you conduct more interactive lectures that truly engage each student’s attention, contact us today. We’re excited to share all the features of the Echosystem that can help.

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The Echosystem is our dynamic model of customized solutions that correspond to the relationship, environment, content, and assessment required:

Create, capture, manage, store and search video with the most powerful platform anywhere.
From in-person to virtual to flipped classrooms, we have the tools to engage your learners.
Creating effective and engaging materials for your learners has never been easier -or more impactful.
Create multi-modal assessments and generate analytics within seconds.

We make it easy to bring learning to life — anywhere.

Echo360 is driven to enable inspired learning experiences for everyone, anywhere through the high quality of solutions, tools, and standards we set for our work and ourselves. 

Hybrid Learning

Ensuring our solutions and tools are effective in all kinds of learning environments.  

Video Management

Unleashing the end-to-end learning potential of video, from creation to administration.  

Engagement Outcomes

Designing and delivering effective engagement tools that produce results. 

Reporting & Analytics

Providing empirical evidence of engagement, progress, and opportunity areas through easy-to-use dashboards. 

LMS Integration

Integrating seamlessly with the most widely used Learning Management Systems in education and business. 

Accessibility

Committing to meeting or exceeding standards that ensure learning equity.