2014 is the year you should be thinking about reviewing your content authoring requirements

Content Authoring - Mike Byrne


Traditionally content authoring has been linked to desktop applications and this side of the industry is relatively mature. There are lots of vendors out there providing these tools and you can produce some really professional looking content using them with some really “wizzy” interactions but here’s the catch – we’ve all been forced to use these courses multiple times before. We’ll advance through the slides, clicking as rapidly as we can to get right to the end. We may pass the course but have we learnt anything and are we going to go back to this course time and time again?

How does this content stack up to the sort of content we are now consuming in our personal lives outside of work? Compare this to a Facebook, or BBC News app. Apps or websites we look at multiple times in one day, where we consume video, text, audio and other information and that are available on all of our devices…. There is not much of a comparison is there!

And this is the problem, this content is coming to the end of its shelf life (in this authors humble opinion). We (the eLearning industry) were a little bit behind the curve when we look at the consumerization of content but 2014 looks like the year where we start to get back on track. There are some great multi-device tools that are on the market place right now but what are the questions you need to be asking your authoring tool provider when you are looking to purchase that next license for your team?

Is the tool available in the cloud?

This is number one, a no brainer. This tool should be available to you anyplace, anytime not just on your desktop. Even better if the tool is responsive and developed in HTML so you can review on your tablet.

Does it create responsive, HTML5 content?

Just think how much easier is it to create and maintain one version of the course and deliver that to any type of device! Well this is what you can do now and although a one-size-fits-all course may not be 100% right for every occasion, the vast majority of your content will be. The fact that’s its responsive means you will also be moving from a click-next-slide navigation to scrolling…. Which, by the way is what you do with most of your consumer apps/websites!

Does it let me work collaboratively?

Cloud means collaboration – content creation can be a team effort. Involve your subject matter experts as reviewers, involve multiple authors on projects and maintain control on who can publish. This is all now possible, you just need an internet connection.

What content can I publish?

Multi-device content does not necessarily mean we will all be accessing it via our PCs within the LMS. Is your tool xAPI compliant? Does it produce content that can sit outside of an LMS and offline and still track usage? You even don’t need to think about creating downloading large .zip files anymore. With PENS (Package Exchange Notification System) you can publish directly to your source platform.

Anything else?

The fact it’s in the cloud and it’s got virtual server space attached to it, means the authoring tool can now also be thought of as a content repository system. Each time content is modified, a restorable version is saved. Besides, each time content is published, it is saved as a publication.

If you didn’t already know by now, Netex have a HTML5, cloud based, responsive authoring tool. It’s called learningMaker and we’re really proud of what it can do. However what learningMaker is and the content it can product, represents a huge shift for the self-authoring eLearning industry and it’s time to start thinking a little differently about content authoring.

As you can see, times have changed. If you are interested in knowing about cloud-based, multi-device content authoring then please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer these questions for you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Mike Byrne

Netex Global Channel Director - Mike has over 10 years experience working in the Learning Technologies sector. Experienced in developing direct and indirect sales channels for multinational product and service solutions providers, he joined Netex in January 2012 to open the UK office.