What I’ve Learned Developing Mobile Content Using Authoring Tools Designed for ISDs

I just wrapped up a free ILG webinar on optimizing your e-learning software toolkit, which you’ll be able to view next week on ILG’s YouTube channel.We had a great turnout and a lot of good questions were asked. The questions posed by the participants got me thinking about what I’ve learned from developing a number of mobile apps and mobile web sites.

I’ve used a lot of authoring tools throughout my career. Some projects I’ve worked on required tools meant for programmers, like Flash and hand-coded HTML5, but I’ve completed other projects using only tools that didn’t require programming skills. I thought it might be valuable to share what I’ve learned from using these types of authoring tools, which are primarily designed for use by instructional system designers.

  • HTML5 output from Lectora and Captivate: Allowed ILG to develop a course for iPad that matched the capabilities of the PC version, including content presentation and software demonstrations.
  • PhoneGap Build: Made it much easier to deploy an app than the older, downloadable version of PhoneGap, which required numerous setup steps before use.
  • ŸBrainshark: Seems to be one of the easiest tools for instructional designers to pick up. We were able to develop content from PowerPoint and deliver to a wide variety of phones and tablets quickly and easily. We recently completed a large batch of courses using this approach, and we’ll be using Brainshark on additional projects we’ve just been awarded.
  • ŸExperience API (Tin Can API): Addresses limitations of older e-learning tracking standards that focus on formal learning and browser-based solutions. I’m seeing quick adoption of the Experience API by authoring tool providers, but I’m not seeing clients move quickly to adopt learning management systems that make use of it.

I hope sharing what I’ve learned from these authoring tools helps you, and I’d love to hear about your mobile learning successes using these tools. As I mentioned above, the webinar I conducted on March 6 will be on YouTubesoon, and you can hear more about authoring tools and their ever-changing capabilities.

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