The Most Powerful e-Learning Authoring Tool Not on the Market

software authoring tools

The e-learning industry has been crying out for the ultimate rapid-authoring tool. And finally, that tool is here! In today’s article I’m going to review the latest rapid authoring tool to hit the market – Capitulate 1.0.

This new software combines:

  • • Powerful desktop features found in Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate such as triggers, layers and variables.
  • • Mobile responsiveness of cloud-based template tools such as GoMo and Elucidat.
  • • Powerful animation features available in Videoscribe and Adobe After Effects.

Capitulate 1.0 Feature List

Have you ever asked yourself any of the following questions?

  • • Which one tool will do everything I need?
  • • Which tool is easiest to get started?
  • • Which is the best tool to create incredibly beautiful content?
  • • Which of the tools is the best value for money?

Capitulate is the answer to all these questions.

You can find a full list of features and benefits on the Capitulate website, but for the purpose of this review I have pulled out the most important:

  • • Fully responsive – design one slide and the slide will be optimised for all devices
  • • Complex design tools – use variables, trigger, states and layers to create complex content
  • • Animations – design incredible animations within each individual slide
  • • Fully cloud-based – you can update your course design on any device
  • • Templates – explore our gallery to find 100’s of pre-built templates and styles
  • • Community – join an incredible community of designers already using the tool
  • • Open source – the tool is totally free of charge

Can you smell a rat?

As you may or may not have realised, I’m talking complete rubbish. Capitulate 1.0 doesn’t exist.

If it did, the world of e-learning design would be a much easier place for us all to live.

But unfortunately, it doesn’t, and we therefore have to reach a compromise. No single tool can do everything we want when creating e-learning. It is our job as course designers to identify the best tool (or tools) for the job.

What is more important to you? User experience? Learners accessing content on mobile? Speed of content development? All these factors must be weighed up before choosing the right tool to build e-learning.

Slide-based tools (including Storyline, Captivate, Lectora)

Most of us have created a PowerPoint presentation. It’s simply a sequential, step-by-step series of slides and feels natural to us both as designers and learners.

Because of the nature of slide based tools such as PowerPoint and Storyline, we must manually position items on each slide. Using this format, we can keep the slides very simple or create complex interactions.

When viewed on a mobile device, many of these items (text, graphics, interactions) are too small to see.

So how do we overcome this?

Responsive tools (including GoMo, Elucidat, Adapt)

We can use a responsive tool.

The idea of this type of tool is that you drop your items into placeholders on the slide, and then when the content is viewed on a different device, the items on the slide will move into a new position.

The trade off?

We are limited to have much complexity we can add to each slide. Yes, it’s ‘mobile responsive’, but at what cost? We are moving towards a responsive webpage rather than an interactive e-learning course.

And what if we want to add animation?

Animation tools (including Videoscribe, After Effects, Powtoon, GoAnimate)

Gone are the days of creating click and read course with only text and images. Learners need to be more engaged and one of the most powerful ways to do that is with videos and animations.

There is no better way to explain a process or concept than with a short, high impact narrated video.

But if you want this you will need to look outside of the regular rapid authoring tools and find other tools (and skilled designers to use them).

Once you have created the animation, you would then need to import it into your course.

Conclusion

There is no ‘best authoring tool.’ There are some fantastic tools and others that are not. But all have pro’s and con’s – and determining the best tool for your business or project will depend on the main objective for your course. Deciding this before you start designing your courses is important in making the correct decision on which tool to use.