Online learning has quickly become one of the most popular ways to learn almost anything.
From coding to basic mathematics, there is a course for every topic you can possibly think of.
However, if you are wanting to know how to create a course with LearnDash then you may think you require a content authoring tool. But, is LearnDash an authoring tool?
While LearnDash offers its own tools, there comes a time when you may need a content authoring tool.
In this article, we discuss when you may need a content authoring tool for LearnDash, what a contenting authoring tool is, and what it can do for you and your truly custom courses. (Read our LearnDash review ‘LearnDash Review In 2023: Is LearnDash Any Good?‘)
Let’s get into it!
What Is A Content Authoring Tool?
An application known as an authoring tool enables you to design a digital course and distribute it in a variety of formats.
An authoring tool allows you to design a course without having to write any code by using drag-and-drop and other user-friendly interfaces.
The content can then be uploaded to your favorite learning platform from there.
Authoring tools can either be “built-in” or “stand-alone.” You create content using a stand-alone authoring tool, export it, and then import it into your learning management system (LMS).
Authoring tools are available to enable persons without design expertise to create educational content.
The characteristics of authoring tools differ between manufacturers, with some being more basic and others having sophisticated features that enable more in-depth training.
Regardless, every authoring tool aims to make it simpler for you, the user, to create content.
It’s important to remember that in order for you to use an authoring tool, the file it produces must be in a format that your LMS or learning platform supports.
The built-in authoring tools, on the other hand, are integrated into your learning platform directly, as the name implies, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility when exporting and importing.
Benefits Of A Content Authoring Tool
Often, people are held back because they believe that you have to be a wizard in order to create engaging and cool content.
A content authoring tool makes it simple for everyone to create content. They come with amazing benefits, including:
Easy To Use
Without an authoring tool, as we’ve already indicated, you’ll need a developer or coding expertise to produce courses of a professional caliber.
This alone wastes time and money. But more crucially, this implies that a lot of concepts remain untested.
An authoring tool provides you or a member of your team the ability to function independently once you have a concept for a course or training module.
Makes Course Duplication Easier
When a course is created manually, it may produce proprietary code that needs extensive modification.
This makes it challenging to reuse outdated courses as models for fresh content because additional revisions to the code will be required.
Using a content authoring tool, you can easily duplicate a prior piece of content, make edits, and publish it as a new piece of content.
This makes the process easier and quicker than manually recreating and editing a piece of content.
Scale More Accurately
Your learning and development requirements will increase as your business expands.
You can meet the rising demand for additional education and training inside your organization by using authoring tools.
Being able to produce material rapidly in training organizations is necessary to meet demand. You will take longer and spend more money if you hire a developer.
You depend on your developer’s availability whenever your course has to be updated.
Additionally, if you are a developer, you must manually update and test the courses to make sure they function properly after changes are made.
It will almost likely work if you use an authoring tool that outputs in the format of your platform.
This means you won’t have to waste time waiting for development or bug testing.
It’s also important to note that a tool’s quickness makes it possible to update existing content more quickly.
If you have an out-of-date course or a course that received negative feedback from employees, you can adopt a truly agile strategy and renew on the fly.
Since you’ll have courses that more accurately represent the needs of your employees, this may even lead to improved engagement rates.
What Is LearnDash?
A learning management system for building online courses is added to a WordPress website with the core Learndash plugin. (Check out ‘Does LearnDash Offer Yearly Subscriptions?‘)
Instructors have various (limited) choices for modifying the design and delivery of the information in addition to the ability to construct courses and assign lessons to them.
Learndash lets you add videos, text, and downloads to courses in just a few clicks, similar to other course management systems.
Content Authoring Features Included with LearnDash
Before you go hunting for the best content authoring tools, LearnDash comes with a few cool features of its own.
- Course Creation: LearnDash is designed for creating online courses. Your content (photos, videos, and text) will be organized into a hierarchical course structure with course lessons, topics, and quizzes as its main goal.
- Question Banks: Create databases of quiz questions and distribute them at random so that each student only sees a portion of the questions. Use already written questions in other quizzes.
- Content Management: If you need to, put photos, PDFs, audio files, and videos into your course from your media collection. Easily store your media files and grab them to create cool, engaging content.
- Advanced Quizzes: LearnDash provides you with a variety of options to evaluate your students and track their progress, ranging from simple multiple-choice examinations to interactive drag-and-drop exercises.
As you can see, you have the ability to create a range of interactive courses using the content-authoring features available with LearnDash. These are excellent for beginners and anyone looking to create simple content for their audience to use.
When Do You Need A Content Authoring Tool With LearnDash?
While you can create cool online courses full of great content with the features available on LearnDash, there are a few features that require a dedicated content authoring tool.
Below are some features which require a dedicated learning tool that can really take your course content to the next level:
- AR Elements: Even though augmented reality is a relatively new eLearning technology, it is enabling teachers to innovate with fresh approaches to instructional design. Authoring tools could be useful if you wanted to give it a go.
- Branching Scenarios: Branching scenarios are a fantastic technique for producing interactive content that is incredibly interesting. Although you might be able to figure some of these out on your own, authoring tools now offer the sexiest alternatives.
- Simulations: Simulations can be tricky to create, however, there are a few content-authoring tools that will create them for you. This is a great way for learners to interact with your content and see awesome results.
- Advanced Interactions: Drag-and-drop, sorting, matching, and survey interactive quizzes are already available on LearnDash. However, you would want an authoring tool if you wanted to make an interactive video.
Selecting The Right Content Authoring Tool
As you begin creating online learning courses, you are sure to bump into a few challenges. However, a content authoring tool will help you move forward and create incredible digital courses.
No two content authoring tools are the same so selecting the right one can be difficult. We have a few tips for ensuring you pick the right content authoring tool for your online course.
Cloud-Based, Device-Agnostic Tools
If this is just a bunch of words for you then that’s fine! Just know that these types of content authoring tools allow your courses to be available on any device, anywhere in the world.
With the flexibility of cloud-based solutions, you can provide SMEs with a ready workstation without putting content creators through delays or outages.
Choose a tool that enables key functions across all platforms, including uploading, reviewing, editing, updating, and even creation.
By purchasing a cloud-based system, you may avoid the hassle of installation, ongoing feature updates, and synchronization because the majority of these crucial processes take place in the background.
Can You Change & Develop Courses Quickly?
The time it takes to create content is reduced by up to 40% because of the numerous built-in themes, templates, and functionalities of content authoring tools on your WordPress dashboard.
This is ideal for go-to-market cycles that are shorter or for changes in state curriculum standards.
It implies that updating educational materials doesn’t always call for a sizable internal team of developers or a lot of time.
The same holds true if you need to update your material with information that is up to date.
To promote business expansion, you should use the greatest course authoring tools possible. Therefore, ensure that the tool is easy to scale as your firm grows.
In fact, having multilingual capabilities should enable you to expand internationally.
By doing this, you can build multilingual question banks and tests to guarantee that students from various ethnic backgrounds are included.
Any course authoring tool should strictly avoid clunky technical architecture.
Tools that are difficult to combine with other applications should be avoided, regardless of pricing differences. purely because it can hinder productivity and be difficult for internal teams and users to accept.
This will be highly appreciated by your learners and authors as they can easily build gaming elements and integrate different forms of media into your content.
Additionally, it should enable you to integrate a range of material and assessment kinds into the modules while also allowing you to organize the content for sequential learning.
You should also be able to give teachers and students course reports. It should, above all, encourage project-based and result-based learning.
You shouldn’t need to purchase a separate course player or analytics tool if you purchase a course authoring tool.
It needs to be a comprehensive solution that provides users with all aspects of learning.
Additionally, this entails seamless course management using an online course builder tool that aids in content structuring and makes it simple to insert resources from a digital library.
LearnDash course builder must work with the course player that instructors and learners will use to access course content. Each course’s artifacts should be accessible to users in a hierarchically organized manner.
The course player must, above all, be responsive enough to function on any device, regardless of screen size.