Paraphrasing justifications for custom eLearning Authoring Tool approaches:
- A templated approach provides speed and consistency for repetitive tasks, freeing up time and budget for customizing demonstrations and adding in video and other engaging elements.
- Lectora has a long way to go before it reaches the flexibility and efficiency of a courseware framework (XML > core media > engine).
- Most eLearning tools do not promote the creation of effective courses, do not promote web standards, and do not promote accessibility; they merely make cookie-cutter course development easier for technically inexperienced course developers.
- Finished projects built with custom eLearning Authoring Tools become almost impossible for the clients to modify and update.
- An eLearning authoring tool will provide consistent sustainability for courseware output.
- You’ll be more likely to find someone with training/elearning expertise who knows the elearning authoring tools.
- Team size (large vs. small) and composition (skills).
- Which tool will still be in business in 5 years? Which tool will convert to something else when it does go away?
- The comment - "Most eLearning tools do not promote the creation of effective courses" is flat out misleading. A book and a video can be really great learning tools for some content, but creativity is required. A painter needs to be creative with the medium they are using. So too for instructional designers / course authors. There's a lot you can do with off-the-shelf tools and especially if you are capable of dropping in more sophisticated interactions as needed.
- You need to build what is good for the client (internal or external) (see What Clients Really Want). Maintenance is important in most all cases. In many cases, it is best for the client to be able to do quick maintenance themselves. Some choices make this much harder or even impossible. That said, maintaining some template driven systems can be the easiest for clients (if the system is built for it). However, it is almost always a bad choice to build something that requires significant, specialized knowledge to maintain.
Maybe this topic should have been about maintenance of eLearning courses rather than about eLearning Authoring Tools.