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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Rapid Authoring Tools

Rapid eLearning Tools Satisfaction from the eLearningGuild Research reported Feb 2007 - Course Authoring and Rapid eLearning Tool Satisfaction

See also Software Simulation Tools.

Page update Mar 2008. When the above graphic was taken, it shows the overall satisfaction reported by eLearningGuild members about various tools.

I was reminded of the various Brandon Hall shoot-outs. For example, in 2007 PowerPoint to eLearning Shootout they compared:
Atlantic link scored the highest in the shoot-out. Of course, they were more looking at PPT conversion tools. Still, it's a resource worth looking at. It's also interesting to see the resulting applications. Some of them I could not get to run - which is always a bit scary. As far as Atlantic Link, I believe that the eLearningGuild survey treated them as a Software Simulation Tool and that's part of the reason they didn't appear when I created the graphic above (2007). They also didn't have many users at the time. I'm always somewhat skeptical of niche tools (see eLearning Course Development).

In June 2007, I added a few more rapid eLearning tools. I also updated the graphic that shows eLearning Tool Satisfaction at the bottom of the page - see also - Course Authoring and Rapid eLearning Tool Satisfaction blog post. This list includes a host of additional tools that eLearning Guild members consider rapid eLearning development tools including Apple Keynote, Microsoft Word, Trivantis Lectora, Respondus StudyMate, Brainshark Presentations, Vuepoint Content Creator, WebEx Presentation Studio, KnowledgePlanet Firefly, Xstream RapidBuilder, ReadyGo Web Course Builder, BrainVisa RapideL, OnDemand Presenter, Desire2Learn Learning Environment, Corel Wordperfect Office, SkillSoft Course Customization, Toolbook Instructor, LearnCenter, IBM Simulation Producer, Toolbook Assistant, and Cornerstone OnDemand. Many of these eLearning tools realistically are quite different than what I would consider to be the norm in Rapid eLearning Development tools.

Based on a couple of recent posts about Rapid eLearning and Rapid eLearning Tools (What is Rapid eLearning? & Rapid eLearning - More Definition), I was asked for recommendations on Rapid eLearning Tools. We've used several different eLearning tools and so I'm hesitant to say which is best, but thought it would be worth providing a list of eLearning tools. Most of these fit into the PowerPoint + Audio and most convert to Flash for delivery.

I've also added a couple of links at the bottom to other sources on eLearning Tools that might be helpful.

Articulate Presenter & Engage

Adobe Captivate –

Adobe Connect (formerly Breeze) –

Adobe Presenter –

Swish Presenter -

Camtasia Studio – w/ PowerPoint Add In

Microsoft Producer -


PointeCast Publisher


Accordent PresenterOne

Wondershare –

Tegrity -


Rapid Intake - Flashform

Harbinger Knowledge - Raptivity

Content Point from Atlantic Link




Embed Powerpoint Slides as Flash Presentations in your Blog without Spending a Dime –

Brandon Hall PPT to Flash Shootout (2004 - so a little old)

PowerPoint to Web Tool Recommendations for UW-Madison

Keywords: eLearning Resources
eLearning Tools


Harold Jarche said...

A note about Open Office - you can import a powerpoint presentation, or create your own presentation, and then export the file as a Flash file with just one click. Pretty seamless and it's free. Open Office also converts any file (document, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing) to PDF in case you want to create online handouts.

Tony Karrer said...

Jesse thanks for the heads up on Breeze vs. Connect. And I agree it will be interesting to see how Adobe handles the various products. Just putting it under Acrobat family suggests something.

On PowerConverter vs. Articulate Presenter your comment doesn't actually help differentiate what will be different using the tool. I've not use PowerConverter, but I'm assuming it wouldn't have capability to wrap with SCORM. Anything else that differentiates a presentation tool from an eLearning tool.

Also, I hope you noticed the irony of naming "Presenter" given that you are saying - hey this isn't a presenter. Also, a bunch of these tools are called Presenter or something close which is annoying because we have to use your company name with each reference to the product. But now I'm just taking easy shots at a good tool. :)

bschlenker said...

Don't forget about Flashform from Rapidintake.

Anonymous said...

In rapid elearning area,there is also some semi-rapid elearning tools should be concerned.such as the converting tools "PPT2DVD",which tool can easily convert powerpoint to DVD to make presentation everywhere.PPT TO DVD can connect online and reality learning.

Anonymous said...

This is a complete RAD SCORM e-learning development tool from the business focussed Open Source Open Elms project.

I think it's great - but then again we did help with it's development.

See a SCORM course which explains how the free software works written in the tool itself. This is definitely e-learning and not e-reading.

Unknown said...

You should not forget myUdutu This is a free web application that easily lets you create powerful branching scenarios and very interactive courses from any kind of media, and when it converts a powerpoint it not only builds you a library of the content objects, but makes each slide an individual screen instead of a flash movie, so they can be modified, interactivity added, etc.

Anonymous said...

What about Content Point from Atlantic Link?

You admit that your link to the Brandon Hall PowerPoint shootout is a little out of date (2004). If you linked to the 2007 pages you would find that Content Point was the only product to win awards in 2 categories - a Gold in the PowerPoint to e-learning shootout and a Silver in the Software Simulation category.

Tony Karrer said...

Mike can you provide links to the shoot outs you are citing?

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,

Here's the links - they're a bit lengthy - hope they come out OK:




T Tate said...

You mentioned that there weren't many Atlantic Link users. I'd like to point out that that was only State-Side but in the UK and Europe there are many. I'd also like to mention that AL only opened up in the States in June of '07, of which since have taken on customers such as RBC, Ciba Vision, Alcon Labs, University of Oklahoma, Borland and many other blue chip companies, so our user base is growing quite rapidly here. Large organizations with multiple developers scattered across a broad geographic area is hardly a "nich".

Happy said...

There is one more name to your list of Rapid elearning devlopement tools i.e. Turbomeeting from . It provides a secured on-promise web conferencing with multi-functions including interactive meetings, seminars, remote support and remote access - an ideal platform for elearning.

Anonymous said...

Hi jesse
Thanks for your notes!
I just wanted to know one thing.
Whether articulate helps me to customize the graphics?I usually develop e learning courses for training sessions for different firms. And so the look and feel would usually be different. At the same time, it contains lot of animations and button actions also.. Do Articulate helps to create such kind of courses?

Anonymous said...

Hello Anonymous,

I have a lot of examples on The Rapid E-Learning Blog that show different ways you can use the Articulate product. Here's a link to the blog archives to quickly scan previous posts. In addition, we did an Articulate 101 series in February that covered a lot of uses for the tools. There are a lot of really good examples in there.

Feel free to contact Gabe via the Word of Mouth blog if you have more specific Articulate questions.

Anonymous said...

FYI, the SCATE product has been updated. There is a bunch of new stuff in Ignite 4 (the new name) and I guess you could say it looks alot more mature than it did before.

Biggest news in my mind is direct PowerPoint importing, content hosting (free BTW) and a greatly improved interface.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, good information on rapid e-learning tools
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Anonymous said...

I think the E-Learning tools from deserve a try. Glad to see that it is in the list.

Anonymous said...

Rapid e-learning is the default choice for learning professionals in the current economic climate. The multi-hour courses are becoming 20 minutes messages, collaborative development tools are increasing in popularity and delivery times are being squeezed.I am the best example I get the knowledge of my subjects from videos rather than spending long hours in reading books.

Phtar said...

Articulate is really a good rapid elearning tool. Wondershare Rapid E-Learning suite could help you create highly interactive learning content without the need of complicated programming knowledge. Reduce your development time and cost!

MarieJ said...

I tried Articulate presenter onece, it is really a powerful tool, but it is beyond my budget. I am now using Wondershare PPT2Flash, it is also a good

eLearnng authoring tools that help no programming skill users convert PowerPoint to Flash for high-impact Web

presentations and eLearning Courses with rich media, quizzes and simulations.

Anonymous said...

After 3 months of trying to work with Adobe Presenter, I am giving up. I have had nothing but problems with Adobe and Clarix (VAR). In all my years of working with software, I have never had a product that was more destructive. There must have been serious compatibility issues when they converted from Breeze because this product is worse than any computer virus I've ever even heard of.

James said...

Anonymous, I've given up on Adobe Presenter too. Some good suggestions here though. I've found Compendle to be quite useful for creating courses quickly.

Unknown said...

I'm not completely independant since I work for a company called Sana Software. But we create solutions that can be used by both (non-technical) subject matter experts and professional course developers in one environment. This web based system, called Sana EasyGenerator, allows authors from all over the world to work together on creating courses, share and re-use media, apply master pages for a centralised look and feel, integrate flashes (including scorm integration) and much more. All this can be published to HTML for use on websites or to SCORM for use in any SCORM compliant learning management system (LMS).