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20 Helpful Tools for Building and Delivering Online Courses

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The world of online course building is filled with tools you can use to infuse your creative juices into your projects. It can be difficult to navigate all the different tools to find what works best for you. So, below we have listed 20 tools for creating online courses, as well as platforms for delivering these courses, as a bonus. This list is designed to lessen the cognitive load you may experience when sifting through mountains of information on the Internet. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

Course Authoring Software

Authoring software are tools used for creating online courses and tutorials. Here is a list of some of the best solutions you can find.

1. iSpring Suite Max

This is an expanded version of iSpring Presenter. With its help, you can create more versatile content: courses, quizzes, video tutorials, screencasts, role-plays, and interactive activities for any learning task. It also comes with an online space for team collaboration on content and Content Library, which provides over 69,000 templates, characters, and locations for fast authoring.

Cost:$970 per author/year,

2. Articulate Storyline

Articulate Storyline is a course building platform that offers the ability to create interactive courses with quizzes, animations, assessments, screen recording, text-to-speech, and a robust media library. In fact, it’s similar to iSpring Suite in terms of functionality, but also allows you to create custom interactions and, consequently, has a steeper learning curve.

Cost: $999 per user/year, $1,299 for teams/year

3. Camtasia

Camtasia primarily focuses on video, so no slides with this tool. However, this is a powered software that caters to instructional designers by providing the ability to create quizzes, animations, and screen recording for tutorials. Camtasia is one of the most full-featured but still easy-to-use video editing tools out there for learning designers and can be leveraged together with another course authoring tool if necessary.

Cost: $255 per license

4. Adobe Captivate

It has quite a steep learning curve, but is a very versatile course authoring tool. It allows you to build slide-based courses, screen record, create interactions, animations, quizzes, and more. Unlike its alternatives, it also has great capabilities for creating VR projects, interactive videos, and software simulations.

Cost: $1,299 per license or $33.99 per month

Click here to read more about the best eLearning authoring software.

Graphic Design Tools

As an instructional designer, you may have to do some graphic design for your learning content. So, here are several applications that are perfect for absolute beginners and experts alike.

5. Canva

Canva is a web-based easy-to-use tool that is ideal for people who are not graphic designers. There are many premade graphics, stock images, and even gifs in this software that users can leverage to create their own scenes, characters, and more.

Cost: Free; multiple prices for pro accounts

6. Adobe Photoshop

This tool has been around for a long time and is very good for customizing pictures. It is not your average photo editor and can completely transform your photos to fit the needs of your training.

Cost: $20.99/month

7. Adobe Indesign

Adobe Indesign is great for creating slide layouts and other graphic designs. You can build stylish effective slide decks and later turn them into online courses, as well as craft PDFs and e-books.

Cost: $20.99/month

8. Figma

This cloud-based software has all the tools you might need for design purposes, including vector tools, prototyping capabilities, and code generation. Another good thing is that you can share designs with your colleagues and customers without them needing to download any software in order to view or edit.

Cost: The Starter pricing plan for individuals is free.

Animated Video Software

Animation videos are a great way to liven up your training and prevent glazed eyes. From whiteboard animation to colorful animated videos, here is a list of cloud-based software that is designed to meet your animation needs.

9. Videoscribe

Videoscribe is a very easy-to-use software that you can use for whiteboard animations, explainer videos, and more. Beginners can jump onto this platform and quickly create professional videos.

Cost: $17.50/month, $96/year

10. MySimpleShow

MySimpleShow makes it very simple to create animated explainer videos. Just write the script and it will even create a storyboard for you. This is a tool for the super beginner, but it gets the job done.

Cost: $129 for Business, $499 for Pro

11. Vyond

Vyond is one of the best animation software on the market with tons of customizable characters, scenes, and other assets to create unique animation-based videos. To speed up learners’ immersion in the courses, you can use dialogue, lip-sync, and realistic movements.

Cost: from $299 per user/year

12. PowToon

PowToon is a powerful template-based animation tool. There are tons of assets and opportunities for customizing animation videos for training. It boasts a wide variety of characters in work-related contexts, with a broad array of locations.

Cost: from $19/month

13. Moovly

Moovly is yet another great animation software that offers the ability to create videos with customizable templates. You can make video tutorials simply by dragging and dropping your images, video clips, and music into pre-built templates and then personalizing them by changing the colors, footage, background, and more.

Cost: free plan; paid plans start from $24.92/month

Illustrations/Images

Illustrations can provide your training with the visuals needed to drive your point home. There is no need to struggle with creating your own images, according to Buffer. Check out the following list of websites where you can download pictures.

14. Freepik

Freepik is a place where you can download free vector images, stock photos, and more. With the free version, you can explore thousands of photo and graphic resources, but there is a download limit. With the paid version, you can download more resources daily. There is a limit, however, regardless of the plan. The Freepik company also provides slide templates, illustrations, and icons.

Cost: free,7.49 EUR/month (annual payment)

15. Vecteezy

Vecteezy is useful for creating engaging training modules. Not only can you download free vector images and stock photos, but you can also download stock videos. It provides tons of video footage and even aftereffect templates.

Cost: free, $9/month (annual payment)

16. VectorStock

VectorStock offers thousands of free, high-quality vector images to customize your training. They have a total catalog of over 25 million royalty-free vector images that can be accessed through their premium plans.

Cost: $14.99 per image and other plans

Learning Management Systems

A learning management system (LMS) is a platform that allows training administrators to assign training modules, track progress, send certificates, offer rewards, create leaderboards, and more. Below is a list of some of the top LMS software on the market.

17. iSpring Learn

This is a user-friendly LMS that has everything you need to manage your training program. It allows you to upload your existing training courses (including SCORM courses and quizzes), assign training to employees, enroll users in customizable groups, track users’ training progress, and more. This comprehensive tool is also integrated with Zoom, so you can host live Zoom trainings directly in iSpring Learn. In addition, you can integrate iSpring Suite for course authoring into iSpring Learn, which makes it easy to build and manage your training in one place.

Cost: Starting from $2.82 per user/month

18. TalentLMS

This is a highly customizable LMS that allows you to upload training courses, add tests and quizzes, and host live sessions. You can also manage your users within TalentLMS and transform the software to look and feel the way you would like it to. TalentLMS also has ready-made training that you can use immediately.

Cost: $59.00 per feature/month

19. Adobe Captivate Prime LMS

This LMS provides end-to-end training management support, complete with creating a gamified environment with leaderboards, uploading SCORM courses, and easy access for users to complete their training requirements. It also integrates with Adobe Captivate easily, which makes it more convenient to build and host the course.

Cost: $4/month per user

20. Docebo

Docebo is an LMS that is powerful and adds a social media-like aspect to training that allows users to ask questions and share learning content. The platform also uses AI to make sure users have the content they need when they need it.

Cost: upon request

The tools on this list are not the only solutions on the market, but they stand out as some of the best in the business. It would be helpful to bookmark this page, so you know which resources to use when building your next course(s). Happy building!

Last Updated: September 10, 2021

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