Last week we discussed and reviewed Learning Management Systems. Today we will review some of the best eLearning softwares present in the market.

The first question that comes to mind is – what is the difference between an LMS and an eLearning software? Well, an LMS is used to host training content and track results while an eLearning software is used to create the training content, such as presentations, quizzes, which can then be hosted in an LMS.

For our review we have picked three most popular eLearning softwares. Articulate Rapid ELearning solution, Adobe Captivate and Lectora.

Articulate Rapid ELearning Solution:

Articulate is one of the favorite tools for providing e-learning solutions. It enables you to create high quality e-learning products quickly and easily. The Articulate Rapid e-learning  articulatesolution makes use of Microsoft Power point for all of its functions. Once installed successfully, it adds an extra option labeled ‘Articulate’ on the same. What sets the e-learning solution apart from many other of its competition is the ease of use. Once you are done with creating a presentation, you can use the ‘Articulate’ option on your power point software and add animations that you want and make a Flash file.

Any learning software also needs the ability to handle questions. ‘Articulate’ does just that. It has a range of built in question handling options with various question types. If these aren’t enough, you could always use the ‘Quizmaker‘ software which is a separate software and develop your questionnaires in a better way. It has the ability to publish SCORM and AICC compliant courses and the ability to incorporate graphics and media.

Articulate Studio Standard edition is priced at $999 while Professional edition ’09 is priced at $1,398.

Adobe Captivate:

Adobe Captivate is part of the Adobe e-learning suite and it allows users to create elearning courses without any programming or multimedia knowledge. Adobe captivate has a wide adobe-captivate range of features such as Text-to-speech functionality, ability to produce the output files in a wide range of file formats that includes AVI, which can be used for web streaming and publishing on youtube.

An exciting feature of Adobe Captivate is the ability to let users customize the widgets. Widgets can be created using software such as Adobe Flash and then customized to meet the requirements of the particular course. Existing Power Point slides can also be involved in the projects you create using Adobe Captivate. Presentations can be imported and synced with the captivate files by using the options provided.

The software also has built in templates to make it easy to provide good instructional material without having to incorporate a lot of changes. Adobe Captivate is priced at $249 and does not include other Adobe software such as Flash, which need to be bought separately.

Lectora:

Lectora is again one of the most popular eLearning tools which is developed by the Trivantis Corporation. It can be used to create elearning courses and presentations. Lectora also has the ability to lectora import files from the Microsoft Powerpoint format and incorporate the content to produce elearning content in various output formats raning from a HTML web page, video files and even an executable file.

Lectora supports industry standards such as SCORM, AICC etc which allow for the development of open architecture guidelines for interoperable learning content.

Among the various features of Lectora include the ability to import questions, use multimedia content to produce stand out elearning courses. Lectora supports a large number of automated tools such as title wizards, table of contents, media library, resource manager etc. These tools can be used out of the box and thus provide a great value for money. The basic version of the software is priced at $495 . Add on features can be obtained for a nominal price.

Check out Articulate Rapid eLearning suite, Adobe Captivate and Lectora.

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