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Innovative Learning Group is frequently asked to help clients choose the best e-learning authoring tools for a project. This can be a fairly complex decision because the right tool must often meet many different requirements. One of the most common mistakes inexperienced developers make is failing to understand all the requirements until after the project is underway.

"At ILG we pride ourselves on our ability to choose the best tool for the job," says Lead Programmer and Learning Technology Consultant Matt Kurtin. "When your development team spends thousands of hours per year using e-learning tools, you develop a real appreciation for proper tool selection."


  • While the tools used for formal learning (e.g., courseware) and those used for informal learning (e.g., job aids) can overlap, by and large they're different.
    • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of both tool sets so you don't lean too heavily toward one or the other.
    • Choose tools based on need rather than on your familiarity with them.
  • Make sure the tools you select are a good match for your audience's technical infrastructure, e.g., server, network, operating system, form factor, etc.
  • If you're working on a formal learning solution, look for tools that provide built-in support for learning management system standards: AICC, SCORM, and the xAPI (Tin Can API).
  • Many of the tools for traditional e-learning don't transition well to mobile devices.
    • Consider mobile learning tools that use HTML5, native apps, or video instead of Flash delivery.
    • Look for tools that support multiple screen sizes and responsive design with minimal repetitive work for the content developer.
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