When we built Litmos Author we had a two-fold goal in mind: to make it possible to quickly create eLearning courses without sacrificing quality. We have been very successful on both fronts. As Litmos Author has matured, we continue to assess whether or not we continue to be successful on both fronts. Does Litmos Author still provide rapid authoring without sacrificing quality?
A recent experience, though not scientific, helped us see that we’re still on track with our product goals. We’ve been ramping up our course development services. In order to meet the demand, we’ve reached out to some professional course development vendors.
On one project, we received several bids. We were amazed that the first vendor’s estimate was over $100,000. This was about 4.5 times more than what we knew we could do the project for using Litmos Author. We knew that this first vendor had extensive experience developing courses with other authoring tools, but had never developed courses using Litmos Author. Was this why their bid was so high?
We received another bid from a vendor that we knew developed courses using Litmos Author. Their bid came back at about 1/5th the cost of the first bid. It would be naive of me to think that the authoring tool was the only factor that played a part in the drastic difference in cost. But it is telling that those that used Litmos Author came back with much smaller estimates.
So what makes the difference? What is it about Litmos Author that can reduce authoring time? Here are some of the features that I think makes the difference:
Litmos Author uses a form-based approach to authoring. Interactive pages are built by filling out forms. This doesn’t mean that interactivity is sacrificed. We still have games, simulations etc. But the interaction can be built faster by filling out forms. Then the interaction runs off the data provided in the form.
Keeping all Coding Separate
With Litmos Author you can build an entire course without touching any code. Therefore coding never gets in the way unless you choose to let it. If you choose to deal with the code, it is there for you.
Collaborative Nature of Development
With Litmos Author, multiple people can be working on the same course without stepping on each other’s toes. This prevents wait time, which can frequently happen in a waterfall approach to development.
Litmos Author includes course review, which greatly facilitates and speeds up the course review process. Instead of taking weeks to have a course reviewed for accuracy and quality, multiple reviewers can look at the course at the same time in just a few days.
The cost of a project is not always the most important thing to consider. But in this case, it reaffirmed our commitment to rapid authoring without sacrificing quality.