Are you wanting to make SCORM compliant eLearning packages you can upload to your Learning Management System? Then let’s discuss what tools are available to you.
The most popular SCORM authoring tools are:
- Articulate 360
- Storyline 3
- Adobe Captivate
- iSpring Suite
- TechSmith Camtasia
All the above-mentioned authoring tools allow their users to export and publish learning content as learning packages under the SCORM standard. They are all compatible with SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 1.3 (also called SCORM 2004, ExperienceAPI, xAPI, Tin Can).
If you don’t understand what SCORM is have a look at this article:
Let’s find out which one suits your requirements and how you can make use of it.
Articulate is one of the most popular companies in the eLearning authoring tools. Bragging a portfolio of over 98,000 company-sized clients, its applications are definitely one of the best available on the market.
Below you will find a brief description of the main options offered by Articulate when it comes to creating SCORM-compliant training content. Both applications allow their users to create, edit, manage, and then package their materials into learning bundles according to the SCORM standards.
To do so you will have to choose the suitable exporting option. It can be selected by clicking on Export > LMS Distribution > SCORM. From now on, the Articulate authoring tool will do its job and you will be able to take advantage of interoperable training content that can be easily manipulated.
If you experience trouble during the publishing process I recommend taking a look at the training materials provided by Articulate. The steps you need to perform in order to export your training content directly into your LMS are different depending on the Storyline version you are using. A good starting point for your research is the user guide that can be found by accessing the links below:
Articulate Storyline 3
This is one of the most commonly used authoring tools. Millions of educators take advantage of its powerful functions to create engaging training content to be used for different purposes (e.g. online courses, blended learning, etc.).
It is a standalone tool, meaning that does not include any other additional services. However, its generous list of features ensures that you will not lack any crucial function possibly needed. The most popular functions of Storyline 3 are:
- Intuitive User Interface
- Replaceable Fonts
- Picture Placeholders
- Enhanced Motion Paths
- Improved Triggers
- And more.
To see the complete list of features provided by the Articulate Storyline 3 authoring tool I suggest taking a look at the following article:
This application requires you to buy a lifetime license. The major drawback of this pricing method is that you will not receive an update when a new version is released. To gain access to the latest release you will have to pay an additional Upgrade fee. This usually consists of 50% of the total price of the new version.
Articulate 360 is a software suite that includes several tools. The applications included in this software bundle are:
- Storyline 360
- Rise 360
- Content Library 360
- Review 360
Is an authoring tool that enables educators to create engaging and expressive training content. It features a wide variety of exporting options including SCORM.
Articulate Studio allows online teachers to turn PowerPoint presentations into amazing HTML5 (HyperText Markup Language) content. The main advantage of this type of content is that it automatically fits the screen size of the students’ devices.
This tool allows teachers to record screencasts and upload them with only a few clicks. This way, they are able to share the recordings with collaborators and students. Articulate Peek can be successfully used on both Windows and MAC devices.
Articulate Replay enables educators to record their computer screens and turn them into easy-to-understand demonstration screencasts. If you are planning on creating a webcast you can do so as long as you use your own webcam.
We will focus our attention on a specific tool included in the 360 suite, being Articulate Storyline 360. Let’s find out what functions it provides and whether it is or is not suitable for creating SCORM training content.
Storyline 360 is the newer version of Articulate Storyline 3. In terms of features, Storyline 360 experiences improvements compared to the previous version. You might wonder what other functions could have been added by the developing team. The most important extra functions of Storyline 360 are:
- One-Click slide insert
- Text-To-Speech conversion
- Enhanced player (including zooming function)
- Additional triggers
- Course completion
- Improved trigger panels
- And more.
There are still plenty of functions that I have not mentioned. If you want to see a comparison between the two versions of Storyline in terms of features I suggest taking a look at the table on the following link:
If you are not sure which one to choose between the two above-mentioned tools I suggest taking a look at the following article. It contains a detailed comparison of the most important aspects of the two applications (features, pricing, support, and exporting capabilities).
Adobe Captivate is another well-known authoring tool. The latest version was released in 2019 and features an impressive function list.
This application allows educators to create training content that fulfills 3 key requirements:
- Smart Design
- Rapid eLearning
- Responsive Content
Using Adobe Captivate you can make sure that the training content you are planning on using with your students has a delightful aspect. It is very easy to customize the design of your learning bundles.
All the content you create using this tool will benefit from a smart-looking design that will increase the overall proficiency of the learning process.
Creating amazing training content does not have to take you a lifetime. Using this tool you will be able to get from a blank workspace to a fully-operational learning package within a few hours. This happens thanks to the rich toolkit Adobe provides you with.
NOTE: Before working on your training content make sure you are familiar with all the functions included in the toolkit.
If you are using Adobe Captivate to create training content for your course you will not have to worry about the device your students are using. The enhanced responsiveness of the packaged content will automatically adapt their settings to the specifications of each device.
For example, if your students are planning on using a smartphone running Android to view your materials, the SCORM-compliant content will automatically resize to the appropriate screen resolution.
Adobe Captivate comes with a set of pre-defined subscription plans that fit any budget. The pricing plans you can choose from are:
- Monthly / Yearly Subscription
- Perpetual License (Lifetime)
- Student & Teacher Edition
- Adobe Captivate 2017 Upgrade
To learn more about the pricing of this amazing authoring tool I suggest taking a look at their buying guide by clicking on the following link:
The iSpring Suite is a software bundle that enables educators to create engaging training content for online courses. It contains a number of tools that can be successfully used to create, edit, and package all kinds of content formats.
This authoring tool allows its users to export their training content using the SCORM standard. This way, you will be able to easily upload, edit, and migrate your course from one LMS to another.
The most popular features of the iSpring Suite are:
- Easy Authoring
- PowerPoint Integration
- Course Templates
- Assessment Methods
- Question Formats
- Grouping and Randomizing Functions
- Video Capabilities
- Video Editing Tools
- Points and Leaderboards
- Branched Scenarios
This authoring tool provides its users with an intuitive interface. All the functions are easy-to-use and it features plenty of compatible tools.
If you have already created a PowerPoint presentation for your online course you can easily edit it and turn it into a learning package using the iSpring Suite. The two applications are completely compatible and all their functions coexist in the available toolkits.
To get a better understanding of the PowerPoint compatibility with iSpring Suite I recommend taking a look at the following article:
iSpring Suite provides its users with a database that includes plenty of templates. Anyone can take advantage of these course templates and edit them in accordance with their teaching style.
If you want to learn more about how to properly use the available templates you should take carefully read the following article:
Assessment is a crucial part of the learning process. That is why iSpring provides its users with heaps of methods teachers can use to assess their students’ knowledge.
This authoring tool comes with 14 distinct question formats you can successfully use to assess your students. The most popular formats teachers use during exams are:
- Multiple Choice
- Multiple Response
- Select from Lists
To learn more about the question formats that are available in the iSpring Suite authoring tools I suggest taking a look at the following article:
ARTICLE: iSpring Suite – Question Types
Grouping and Randomizing Functions
iSpring authoring tool allows educators to split the exam questions into groups and even randomize the questions. You can add a set of pre-defined questions and then the application itself will randomly select several of them to assess one student’s knowledge.
This can be successfully used to prevent your students from cheating on exams and ensure their grades reflect their actual knowledge.
If you want to find out everything about this feature you should spend a fair amount of time reading the following article:
Video training content is the most engaging type of content you can use during online courses. This authoring tool allows you to create amazing videos to entertain your students and help them to get a better understanding of the topic.
Using this application you can easily record your screen and turn the footage into amazing screencasts. This way, you will be able to visually demonstrate your students how to use certain software.
To learn more about the screencast function offered by this authoring tool I suggest taking at the following article:
Video Editing Tools
If you prefer recording yourself explaining the subject rather than providing your students with monotone materials then iSpring Suite will delight you. In terms of video editing tools, this authoring software literally excels. Its functions include:
- Interactive Canvas
- Multi-Track Timeline
- Title Screens and Annotations
- Amazing Transitions Between Scenes
Gamification significantly increases students’ engagement. It can be achieved in pretty much any learning management system but some of them already feature appropriate gamification functions.
To learn more about how to turn your students’ learning process into a game-like experience I suggest taking a look at the following article:
ARTICLE: Making Gamification Real on Your LMS
Points and Leaderboards
Being one of the basic features related to gamification, rewards consisting of points highly motivate your students. They will do their best to achieve a higher rank in the leaderboard. With iSpring Suite, you can reward your students for completing certain actions.
If you want to find out how to properly use this gamification function you might want to read the following article:
One of the most impressive gamification functions of the iSpring Suite is related to branched scenarios. Using this tool you can create highly interactive training content that evolves in accordance with your students’ choices.
To learn more about this quite interesting function I strongly suggest taking a look at the following article:
These are only some of the iSpring Suite functions that make it a great authoring tool. If you want to see the complete list of feature you should visit the official website or access the following link:
When it comes to the price of the iSpring Suite you need to take into account two crucial aspects:
- Number of Users
- 1 user
- 3 users
- 5 users
- Custom Number of Users
- Access to Other Tools
- Content Library
- iSpring Cloud
- Priority Support
At the moment, the price of an iSpring Full-Service Suite for one user is $970 per year. However, I strongly recommend taking a look at the official price list by clicking on the following link:
TechSmith Camtasia is one of the most powerful authoring tools ever designed for screencast purposes. It features heaps of video editing functions that allow any educator to turn their boring screen recordings into amazing informative videos.
When it comes to the available features, Camtasia is a quite generous authoring tool. Its most commonly used functions are:
- Video Templates
- Recording Options
- Video Processing Capabilities
- Titles, Annotations, Highlights
- Music and Sound Effects
Let’s discuss a little about what exactly does every function offer.
TechSmith Camtasia provides its users with a wide variety of pre-defined video formats. Some of them are available free of charge but for others, you will have to pay a fee.
You can see the complete list of templates by clicking on the following link:
This authoring tool allows its users to record content from three different sources and then combine them together using the integrated video editing tool.
You can easily record your screen and demonstrate to your students how to use certain software tools or show them how to perform specific actions (e.g. photo editing techniques).
You can record yourself using a webcam. Make sure you choose a suitable camera. Otherwise, you will run into problems every time you try to record yourself.
To see my personal recommendations in terms of video recording equipment make sure you take a look at the Recommended Tools page.
You can also record your voice using a USB microphone. TechSmith Camtasia allows you to use your custom voice-overs to help your students to get a better understanding of the demonstrations in the video.
I strongly advise against using the built-in microphone of your laptop and take a look at the Recommended Tools page to get an idea about what type of microphone you should invest in.
Video Processing Capabilities
TechSmith Camtasia allows its users to refine the footage they have previously captured. This is done using the integrated video editing toolkit. Below you will a brief description of the most commonly used tools for editing your raw footage.
You can add plenty of effects such as zoom, color adjustment, and video trimming.
Titles, Annotations, Highlights
In order to move your students’ attention on one certain portion of the screen, you can take advantage of the Highlight feature. Moreover, you can use titles, subtitles, and annotations to provide your students with further explanations of the subject.
Music and Sound Effects
You can easily add background music and engaging sound effects. Make sure you do not violate any copyright laws when using commercial soundtracks for your content background.
If you are using multiple videos you can make use of the amazing transitions that allow a nice and seamless flow of your screencast.
It is very important to keep your students’ engagement level at the highest levels. Camtasia allows you to integrate gamification into your training content to enrich the interest of your students.
You can easily create live quizzes that your students can take while watching a video. This can be successfully used to fix their knowledge or to assess their level of understanding. You can quantify the responses using the appropriate packaging standard (SCORM 1.2 or 1.3 / Tin Can / xAPI).
How To Create a Video With TechSmith Camtasia
To properly create an engaging video you have to perform a set of 3 simple steps:
- Record Your Screen
- Add Effects
- Share Your Knowledge
Step 1 – Record Your Screen
Camtasia allows you to select the exact portion of your screen that will be recorded. You can choose one specific window (e.g. Google Chrome browser, Adobe Photoshop CS5), a certain portion of your screen (e.g. the left half of your screen, 25% of the screen ratio), or even your full screen.
One interesting function is related to recording live video calls. You can make use of this feature to record online meetings, live classes, and mentor interviews. Make sure you have your interlocutor’s permission to record the call.
Step 2 – Add Effects
There are plenty of effects available in TechSmith Camtasia that allow you to better explain the topic.
For example, you can take advantage of the animate zoom function. It will focus your students’ attention on a certain portion of the screen and will allow them to see exactly where is that portion. This is especially helpful when you are working in complex software that has its functions spread all over the screen.
Other interesting effects you can make use of when you record your educational videos are:
Step 3 – Share Your Knowledge
When it comes to sharing your screencast, Camtasia offers a wide variety of publishing methods. Using the built-in exporting interface you can share your training content to:
- Video Hosting Platforms
- Learning Management System (LMS)
- Using SCORM (1st and 2nd version)
- Using Tin Can (xAPI / SCORM 1.3)
- Cloud-based Storage
- Physical Storage
- Your Computer’s Storage
- USB Sticks
- Portable Memory Storage
When it comes to pricing, TechSmith Camtasia reflects the available features into its price. There are 4 distinct subscription types you can choose from:
- Education (recommended for online courses)
- Government and Non-Profit Organizations
I suggest taking a look at the complete price list to get an idea about the real cost of using TechSmith Camtasia. The prices are available by clicking on the following link:
Lectora Online is another great authoring tool you can use to create SCORM learning packages. Compared to the other above-mentioned applications, Lectora is used exclusively online. This means that you only need a viable Internet connection and a compatible web browser.
The browsers can be either the latest release or two of the older versions. This authoring tool is compatible with the following Internet browsers:
- Internet Explorer 11
- Microsoft Edge
In terms of supported content formats, Lectora performs very well. You can use plenty of file types to create engaging training content for your online course. The most commonly used content formats are:
- Graphics (GIF, JPG, PNG)
- Audio (MP3, WAV)
- Video (MP4, FLV, AVI)
- Text (RTF, TXT)
When it comes to the available subscription types, Lectora allows its users to choose among three different pricing plans. Each option comes with distinct benefits. To find out what are the exact prices of the Lectora subscription fee you might want to take a look at the Pricing section on their official website.
Knowbly is another popular authoring tool. It was launched a few years ago but its performance is similar to the older content creation software solutions. It also includes a well-optimized analytics function that allows you to see detailed reports about your students’ interactions with the content.
You can see the complete list of available functions by accessing the Features section on the Knowbly official website.
You can contact the Knowbly team and claim a 1-year free license that you can use to create amazing training content for your online course. To do so, fill the form at the bottom of the following article:
ARTICLE: Knowbly eLearning Services
Gomo Learning is a quite new cloud-based authoring tool on the market. Its functions are similar to the ones offered by Knowbly. Its major drawback is that the content creation process can be a tricky task, especially if you are not that experienced in working with complex software.
This authoring tool is available with three distinct subscription plans. The first two of them (Small and Medium) are available for pre-determined prices. For the premium subscription plan (Enterprise) you will have to get in touch with the Gomo Finance Department and ask for a quote.
To find out the exact prices of Gomo Learning authoring tool I suggest clicking on the following link: