Content development can be a long and arduous process depending on what you’re looking to help your users achieve.

That’s why you need to be working with the right content development tools. They can make your life a lot easier by driving up efficiency and productivity, enhancing your designs, and adding the right functionality to your training courses.

Whether you’re finding content development to be a struggle, or you’re just looking for ways to improve your processes, here are nine great e-learning content development tools that will help you take your course-making efforts to the next level.

  1. iSpring Suite

If you’ve ever wanted to take your PowerPoint presentations and turn them into e-learning courses, you’ll love iSpring Suite, which also acts as a Learning Management System (LMS). iSpring Suite also offers plenty of course templates and themes, backgrounds, and more.

iSpring can integrate with popular LMS platforms, including Moodle.

  1. Raptivity

Raptivity can be used in conjunction with content authoring tools like Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline. It comes with over 190 customizable interactions, can be used on Windows or a Mac, and can integrate with Moodle, Blackboard, and other known LMS platforms.

  1. H5P

If you’re looking for a free-to-use, open-source authoring tool, you’ve found it. H5P can even be used as a plugin for Moodle or WordPress.

H5P offers support for a variety of content types, and is also mobile friendly.

  1. Adobe Captivate

A well-recognized name in photography and design, Adobe’s Captivate is loved by many e-learning authors.

With Captivate, you can storyboard your courses, tap into a large interactions library, and create your courses quickly and easily with their user-friendly interface.

  1. Obsidian Black

With Obsidian Black, you can sync voiceovers with text, images, and animation. This makes the creation of video content a breeze. Obsidian Black is compatible with most popular LMS solutions.

Since project members and clients can leave comments and reviews on your courses, you can easily collect feedback to help you improve future iterations or training programs.

  1. BranchTrack

Many well-known brands and companies utilize and trust BranchTrack for their e-learning needs. That shouldn’t come as a surprise – it boasts a robust set of features, such as tracking and reporting, gamification, and even built-in characters and backgrounds for your hypothetical scenarios.

BranchTrack is also mobile ready.

  1. Area9 Learning

Area9 Learning is a cloud-based authoring tool, LMS, and reporting program. It handles a variety of content types, including 3D models and simulations. Since the platform is cloud-based, you can make real time updates to your courses, and collecting feedback is a breeze.

  1. eNetAuthor

Mobile ready and cloud-based, eNetAuthor is built for collaboration. It comes with course templates as well as Smart Objects that allow you to implement multimedia elements with ease. eNetAuthor is also great for those who are either programmers or the more technically inclined, since you can create and insert custom scripts.

  1. Evolve e-Learning Solutions

If you’re worried about trying to cater to different learning styles, then you’ll want to look at Evolve e-Learning Solutions, which makes it easy to integrate videos, flow charts, sliders, and a variety of other multimedia objects in your courses.

Evolve is also highly customizable, with a variety of themes, the ability to tweak how you want pages or menus to look, and more.

Conclusion

Look for tools and solutions that are right for you. Ultimately, no one can tell you which authoring or LMS content development applications are best. It depends on your team size, your resources, your technical knowledge, as well as what you’re comfortable with.

Fortunately, there are plenty of easy-to-use solutions available, making it possible for even beginners to get started in course authoring without a lot of fuss.


Design is a key aspect of any learning experience. Even the best content may go underappreciated if it’s bland, tacky, or poorly laid out.

Though your course material should be your top priority, you shouldn’t forget about design elements – font and font size, colours, images, videos, page layout, and so on. These elements define the user experience, and therefore the information they learn and retain.

So, what does great e-learning content design look like? How is it different from ordinary or badly designed content? How can you go about enhancing the learning experience of your learners?

Clarify Your Goals

Not much needs to be said about being clear on your objectives and the structure of your course, but it is critically important.

Take some time to determine what you want your learners to take away from your course and build its structure around your key objectives.

Think about what course format you’re planning to use, as well as the technology needed to realize your vision.

Keep Navigation Simple

Make it easy for your users to find what they’re looking for.

Course creators sometimes think more is more, but when it comes to menus and navigation elements, it’s best to start with the bare minimum and only add additional items as necessary. Less is undeniably more, because it makes it easier for your learners to follow along and learn what they need to.

Don’t create pathways into modules or pages you don’t even want the end user to find.

Prioritize Visual Appeal

Beware of presenting the learner with endless walls of text. This type of information is hard to consume and difficult to retain.

Instead, use visual elements throughout your courses to guide the user along. Insert images and videos, and use other multimedia elements to keep the learning experience engaging.

Also think about the overall design of your course – fonts, colours, spacing, and so on.

Reinforce Key Points

Repetition is vitally important to help your students retain the knowledge they learn from your course.

Christoforos Pappas, Founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network says, “Including quizzes and tests at the conclusion of each module not only allow facilitators and creators to assess the effectiveness of the eLearning course, but also offer learners the opportunity to gauge their progress and summarize the content they have learned.”

Whether with summaries or quizzes and tests, find a way to reinforce the key points in your course, so your students remember them.

Learn From The Best

E-learning courses can take many forms. The key consideration is always what you’re trying to achieve, and what you want your users to walk away with.

And while it would be easy to talk endlessly about theory and best practices, one of the best ways to determine how to proceed with your course is to study and learn from the best e-learning resources available.

Look at an article like Best of 2015: 20 excellent elearning examples to inspire your next project, and study each example they give. You can learn a great deal from successful e-learning initiatives others have created for their employees, students, or learners. Use this as inspiration for your next course.

Conclusion

A great course:

  • Is one that’s easy to digest.
  • Communicates the key points succinctly and repeats them often to reinforce key information.
  • Has a visually appealing design.
  • Engages the user from beginning to end.
  • Achieves its stated goal by keeping course material focused on the chosen topic.
  • Is easy to navigate.
  • Contains opportunities for additional learning, should the user want to take their knowledge to the next level.
  • Includes interactive elements that make the learning experience fun.

These are but a few considerations to be aware of. Design is ultimately about communication. Getting your message across should be your primary goal, and your design elements should support that goal.