How to cut time and costs by at least 30% with the right authoring tool
So what exactly is rapid authoring?
Rapid authoring refers to the cost-effective and speedy creation of digital learning content without the need for large numbers of staff—not at the expense of quality, but through the use of high-quality software. Basically, it deploys usable software and special features to streamline the production process to such an extent that authors can create eTraining quickly and easily themselves—even if they don’t have any programming skills.
Benefits of rapid authoring at a glance
Speed and flexibility
A rapid authoring tool enables digital training to be delivered in an astonishingly short time without compromising on functionality. This not only saves businesses valuable time, it also increases their ability to respond flexibly to new compliance guidelines or internal training requirements, for example.
The faster and more efficiently content can be created, the more cost-effective the process will be. After all, you don’t need professional programmers or graphic designers to be able to use a suitable rapid authoring tool. In fact, if you use eTraining regularly, the software pays for itself after just a few uses.
Rapid authoring tools are based on the principle that they can be used intuitively and without programming knowledge, while still offering the full range of functionality. This makes it possible to create digital learning content completely in-house.
Streamlined production processes that require less coordination, and can even promote collaboration, help to reduce stress. They also free up capacity, which you can then direct towards supporting your learners and attending to their needs.
13 rapid authoring features an authoring tool must offer in 2023
Task and review management Consultation and reviews are always needed as an eTraining course is developed—especially when it approaches publication.
Task and review management
In order to save time, professional rapid authoring tools offer internal management of all tasks and review processes, making the it quicker to reach agreement and easier to eliminate sources of error.
Collaborative working When selecting your tool, keep in mind that you can choose to work alone or as part of a team.
This allows you to assign tasks or bring in external service providers without any issues. Ideally you should be able to grant individual permissions to all participants within the system.
Templates, features, template-based working An excellent rapid authoring tool offers you a wide selection of templates, ready-made elements and the possibility to create your own templates from the outset.
Templates, features, template-based working
Instead of starting from scratch every time you create your e-training, using templates saves you a lot of time and guarantees a consistent look and feel in your corporate design.A template means you don’t have to start from scratch every time you create your eTraining courses; it will save you a lot of time and guarantees consistency with your corporate design.
Template-based working enables you to make adjustments just once, and be confident that all online courses will then be automatically updated. You can make fundamental changes to your design with one single update, whether you have a pool of 30 online courses or 5,000.
Drag & Drop Editor With a so-called WYSIWYG editor (What you see is what you get), authors work on a visual interface and thus have an insight into how the finished e-training will look in the frontend at any time.
Drag & Drop Editor
The drag and drop function can be used to insert individual features such as media, buttons, and text content. This means you don’t need any programming skills to create high-quality, complex, educational online courses at the drop of a hat.
Sustainable knowledge management Make sure that all content, for instance sharable content objects, questions, and media, can be stored and reused in a centralized database.
Sustainable knowledge management
This is the only way to ensure you can recombine content and use it in as many eTraining courses as you want, without having to create it afresh each time.
Integrated translation management When you’re creating eTraining courses, hardly anything is as tedious as ensuring everything is translated: Text, captions, metadata—no element can be forgotten.
Integrated translation management
Integrated translation management helps to reduce the time and effort you have to invest by providing an overview of the current translation status of each individual element at any given time.
Media and license management: How much time have you spent trying to find images or even licensing terms you’ve used before!?
Media and license management:
That’s why you need to ensure your authoring tool includes an easy-to-navigate media library that also allows you to store the licensing information for each image.
Multi-language export Training shouldn’t end because of a language barrier! You need your tool to be able to deliver content in all the languages you want.
Learners should automatically receive eTraining in their own language and be able to switch between languages manually as they wish.
Clear, centralized course administration A rapid authoring tool worth its salt will facilitate centralized management of your online courses, sharable content objects, learning objectives, media, translations, and quizzes.
Clear, centralized course administration
For example, you should be able to see at a glance which online courses have used a particular knowledge module, in order to identify which modifications have had an impact.
Image Label Editor Translating or adapting information graphics can be time-consuming and expensive. If your authoring tool includes a feature known as an Image Label Editor, you can place texts freely on images and thus separate translatable text from image data.
Image Label Editor
This makes translation much easier and eliminates the need for image editing.
Publication Make sure you can split your online courses quickly and easily into output formats, and that your tool supports the latest eLearning standards, including cmi5, xAPI (Tin Can), SCORM 2004 and SCORM 1.2.
This is the only way to guarantee total compatibility with all output systems. You should ideally even be able to publish your online courses as an HTML5 package on any URL, thus distributing them outside of the closed learning management system.
Support for a variety of media types Graphics, photos, images, animations, documents, videos, audio files, podcasts, streaming, multimedia content (HTML5 animations)... Multimedia content helps you improve learning outcomes, learning speed, and the learner experience.
Support for a variety of media types
So make sure you can integrate different types of media easily, via drag and drop, of course.
The bottom line
A professional rapid authoring tool allows you to kill two birds with one stone: Not only will you be able to deliver content to employees when demand is greatest and time is scarce, you will also be able create it much more cost-effectively than before—without sacrificing quality. However, this all requires high-quality and professional software with clever features that provide you with reliable support for the creation, translation and delivery of online courses.
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