I am not a software developer, nor designer, or even an instructional designer – but like many of you, I am a pro at what I know (and in my case, I know the BlueVolt LMS) which makes training one of my key responsibilities.
Has training fallen in your lap? This happens often with helpful product managers, the rock star sales person, or even you marketing folks. You know your product or process, but how do you create elearning out of all of that knowledge? I tend to rely heavily on tools to help me out.
Here is my Top 5 List of Most Used Tools for eLearning:
- Snagit®: Best screen capture software I’ve ever used! Snagit is super easy (almost zero learning curve), fun (really, it makes me feel like a cool creative type) and has lots of impressive editing features. If you do any kind of software/desktop/website support or training – you must get this software. It’s available for both Mac & Windows, and is under $50 - totally worth the time it will save you.
- Free trial (30 days)
- PowerPoint®: I know everyone knows about PowerPoint and has experienced terrible, horrible, no good, very bad presentations – but it is also a pretty powerful tool when used well! It’s good for both in-person training as well as online. If you have one of the newer versions (2007 or 2010) there are also lots of great image editing, formatting tools, and design theme tools. I use PowerPoint in nearly every course that I create. Did you know that 2010 even has an option to save the file as a video? Its possible to make mobile videos from PowerPoint!
- Audacity®: If you record audio of any size, shape or form you should use Audacity. It is a free (let me repeat that… free!) open source software for recording and editing audio. I use this for recording audio for my elearning courses, making it easy to record in one click and edit audio easily.
- Download it now – did I mention it was free?
- Articulate®: As I mentioned above, I like PowerPoint – it’s quick, easy and most everyone knows how to use it. That said, Articulate is the perfect complement to using PowerPoint as an elearning development tool. It is an add-on for PowerPoint (so it is built to work directly with PowerPoint). It allows you to publish your training to SCORM industry standards, add and sync audio and incorporate interactivities.
- Excel®: This one is for the data nerds out there (yes, I am one of you!). Once you have developed, launched and have students completing your elearning, then you will have lots of data to analyze. This includes how many people are taking the training? Where are the knowledge gaps? What are the trends in our training results? Just a little bit of Excel knowledge can go a long way with your elearning results. It helps you sort, organize and pivot your data in any way possible.
So that’s my Top 5 list! I hope that you found something new, or maybe just a new resource for software you’re already using. What are your top elearning tools?
Photo credit: Austin ampersand Zak on Flickr