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Course Authoring reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.

Best Course Authoring Software

Course authoring software products allow organizations to create engaging and interactive multimedia content for educational purposes. Course authoring software is used to develop training courses and content that can be consumed in either a corporate or more traditional educational setting. Learning content management systems (LCMS), which are course authoring tools built specifically as a tool for educational institutions, are currently included in the scope of course authoring. Organizations use course authoring tools to prepare educational material that can be administered with learning management system (LMS) or corporate LMS software to create unique educational programs for employees or students.

Course authoring solutions are commonly implemented in HR departments and at educational institutions, enabling administrators to create educational content with no programming knowledge. Course authoring solutions can be either cloud-based or installed on-premise, and many follow the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) as a set of standards and specifications for integrating content with LMS software. Additionally, many course authoring products are built on top of presentation software to provide users with a familiar format for creating course content.

To qualify as a course authoring solution, a product must:

Allow organizations to create multimedia content for educational purposes
Provide a system through which users can create interactive multimedia content
Allow users to publish course material to third-party or built-in learning management systems

Top 10 Course Authoring Software

  • SAP Litmos
  • iSpring Suite
  • Lessonly
  • Brainshark
  • Articulate Storyline 3
  • Easygenerator
  • 360Learning
  • Articulate 360
  • Tovuti LMS
  • VidGrid

Compare Course Authoring Software

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(422)4.3 out of 5
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SAP Litmos solutions are the future of rapidly implemented training for the customer-focused enterprise. The solution combines a powerful LMS—SAP Litmos Training—with a robust course library—SAP Litmos Training Content. It enables targeted learning, boosts employee experience and loyalty, and protects the brand by keeping the organization compliant. By engaging learners right in the flow of work, SAP Litmos solutions empower personnel with knowledge that drives a better customer experience, impr

(308)4.7 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$770 per user / year

iSpring Suite is a supercharged eLearning toolkit for designing adaptive multi-device courses. It enhances e-courses with training videos, interactive assessments, dialogue simulations, and more. At the same time, it's a user-friendly tool with virtually no learning curve - exactly what you need when working under a deadline. Courses built with iSpring Suite can be converted to HTML5 format for perfect playback on any device, including PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones, or published to any o

(371)4.7 out of 5
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Lessonly is powerfully simple training software that helps teams learn, practice, and do better work. We are used by over 3 million learners at over 1000 leading companies including Trunk Club, Ibotta, U.S. Cellular, and Zendesk to share knowledge, develop skills, and reinforce best practices. The result is faster onboarding, higher NPS scores, more closed deals, and a superior customer experience.

(437)4.4 out of 5

Brainshark’s data-driven sales readiness platform provides the tools to prepare client-facing teams with the knowledge and skills they need to perform at the highest level. With best-of-breed solutions for training and coaching, as well as cutting-edge insights into sales performance, customers can ensure their sales reps are always ready to make the most of any selling situation. With Brainshark, companies can: enable sales teams with on-demand training that accelerates onboarding and keeps r

(228)4.6 out of 5

Articulate Storyline is the industry's favorite software for creating interactive courses. It's simple enough for beginners, yet powerful enough for experts. And it lets you create virtually any interaction you can imagine, in minutes. With the new perpetual version of Storyline, you'll be able to deliver mobile and accessible courses with enhanced interactivity faster.

(38)4.7 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$0 per month, per author

Easygenerator has been providing cloud-based e-learning software since 2013. Employees are enabled to quickly create engaging content, instead of relying on traditional course development processes. The Rotterdam-based company has more than 50,000 users in over 120 countries. Enterprise clients include T-Mobile, Unilever, New Relic and Drake University.

(101)4.6 out of 5
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360Learning empowers Learning and Development teams to drive culture and growth through Collaborative Learning. Our learning platform combines collaborative tools with the power of an LMS, enabling high-growth companies to unlock learning based on collective expertise instead of top-down knowledge. 360Learning is the easiest way to onboard new employees, train customer-facing teams, and develop professional skills–all from one place. 360Learning powers the future of work at 1,200 organizations

(71)4.5 out of 5

Articulate 360 is an annual subscription that gives course creators everything they need for course development: Award-winning authoring apps—Storyline 360 and Rise 360—for creating courses that look gorgeous on every device. An ever-growing library of more than 6 million course assets, including stock photos, templates, characters, icons and videos that make it easy to create beautiful courses faster. A web-based project review app for easily collecting consolidated feedback from stakeholde

(113)4.7 out of 5
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#1 Ranked Learning Management System. Tovuti's all in one cloud-based learning management system (LMS) gives you all the tools you need to create, deliver and track the effectiveness of your eLearning programs.

(107)4.8 out of 5

Trusted by 250+ exceptional customers across the world including the University of Nebraska, Mortenson Construction, Medtronic, Ibotta, and Tyler Technologies. VidGrid is the fastest growing interactive video platform for learning and development. VidGrid is the most simple, yet robust video platform on the market; enabling video makers to record, edit, share, and host interactive videos within one app. Built on the newest technology stack, the VidGrid platform is miles ahead of legacy video se

(100)4.8 out of 5

Auzmor Learn is a robust learning management solution that lets you assign and track employee progress. Its intuitive course builder simplifies lesson creation and a library of courses offers the training and upskilling your workforce needs.

(38)4.7 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$0 Unlimited

EdApp is a free microlearning-based learning management system (LMS) with an integrated authoring tool, delivery app, rewards & analytics - all designed for today's digital habits on mobile and web. With features such as spaced repetition, gamification and push notifications, we make learning fun and engaging, which in turn helps improve retention and embed knowledge. We care about enabling our clients to deliver simpler & smarter workplace learning. This is why we are trusted by many la

(35)4.6 out of 5

The smarter, faster way to produce, distribute and measure transformative elearning. Elucidat's authoring platform is used by the world's most successful organizations to produce, manage and measure modern online learning experiences. Fuelled by a team that believes in the power of learning to make a difference, Elucidat offers unparalleled support and guidance to help their clients deliver real-life impact. USE ELUCIDAT TO: >> Produce more effective elearning - Manage your brand a

(70)4.6 out of 5

LearnUpon unifies, coordinates, and streamlines training delivery across your entire network, making it your business’s number one competitive advantage. Combining user-focused technology and industry-leading expertise, use LearnUpon to deliver impactful training that fuels your business’s employee, partner, and customer success. With a global team and a solution that processes hundreds of thousands of enrollments every day, over 1,000 businesses all around the world trust LearnUpon to delive

(157)3.9 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$33.99 per month

Adobe Captivate offers ease to beginners and speed to professionals for creating everything eLearning, using just one tool. Plug-and-play your content in ready-to-go slides and create beautiful mobile-ready eLearning courses in minutes. Boost your productivity by using out-of-box functionality such as customizable interactions, automated branching, and video overlays. Deliver immersive learning experiences to your learners in virtual reality. Liven up your demos and training videos by making the

(51)4.3 out of 5

Inkling is designed for the modern, mobile employee. Interactive and intuitive training not only better engages employees, it also improves learner time to retention and expedites the onboarding process of new talent. Inkling continuously empowers the employee throughout their career cycle with an easily searchable reference library that helps employees at the moment-of-need. Content is easy to create and maintain, ensuring employees are always accessing the single source of truth at anytime, a

(23)4.0 out of 5

Adobe Presenter 10 software lets you create HD video lectures for classroom teaching, distance learning, flipped learning and MOOC sessions.

(36)4.8 out of 5
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Gnowbe is an award-winning performance enablement platform with rapid authoring and a full suite of enterprise-ready features. A curated course library and marketplace are also available along with a selection of templates to enable turnkey course and content creation. The app/platform features community boards for shared learning and engagement, scheduled session deployment, rapid curation accessing multimedia options, gamification, offline access and push notifications. Gnowbe makes learning

(19)4.1 out of 5

Top Hat helps thousands of college and university instructors create their perfect course—one that engages students and builds comprehension inside and outside the classroom.

(13)4.0 out of 5

Easily deliver your Articulate courses and track learner activity with Articulate Online. No expensive, complex LMS required. Simply publish content to the hosted Articulate Online service right from Articulate Storyline and Articulate Studio.

(26)4.1 out of 5

uPerform is a fast and easy way to create, manage, and distribute software learning content. Users access that content on-demand, right within the software they use every day.

(23)4.4 out of 5
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NovoEd’s collaborative learning platform empowers organizations to design and deliver experiential learning that accelerates business performance on a global scale. Since the company’s founding at Stanford’s social algorithm laboratory in 2012, global corporations, executive education providers, and training firms have relied on NovoEd to develop high-value capabilities through purposeful practice and application, coaching and mentorship, and group collaboration. NovoEd’s proven approach to le

(44)4.4 out of 5

SkyPrep is an award-winning online training software that helps organizations deliver, track, and optimize training to employees, customers, and partners with ease. SkyPrep serves over 500 companies in multiple industries and sectors across the world. Whether you are looking to onboard employees, train customers on your products, or keep up with compliance requirements, SkyPrep makes learning easy and effortless with its fully customizable and intuitive platform. Course delivery is quick and ea

(25)4.0 out of 5
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Create, collaborate, review, manage, reuse, translate and publish content – all on one platform. Author-it is a single-source, collaborative component authoring, content management & multi-channel publishing solution designed with authors in mind. With a focus on Technical Documentation and eLearning & Training solutions, our products help organizations across the globe create, manage, and deliver content with ease. Unlike DITA and XML solutions, Author-it makes importing and authoring

(12)5.0 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$1,399 per author per annum

SmartBuilder is the first and only HTML5 elearning authoring tool to provide the power of programming to instructional designers, trainers, and other non-programmers. This allows users to create branching scenarios, case exercises, games and other serious elearning far faster than before. The software provides wizard-based templates so that beginners can also create content. SmartBuilder runs on Windows and Mac and generates HTML5 content that runs on all major computers and mobile devices.

(18)4.3 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$695 per year

SoftChalk offers content authoring and hosting solutions that are critical to the success of eLearning initiatives, providing educators with easy, fast, affordable ways to create, manage and share rich, interactive content that engages students in the learning process and inspires learning. Lesson content is web-based and can be delivered in almost any learning management system, content management system, on a web-server, on mobile devices or in the cloud.—anywhere for just-in-time learning. So

(37)4.0 out of 5

Lectora is a user-friendly, award-winning authoring tool available as both a cloud-based and desktop solution. Part of the eLearning Brothers Authoring Suites, Lectora empowers you to quickly create, WCAG-friendly interactive eLearning courses that achieve extraordinary results. Simply import your PowerPoint slides, add a screen or webcam recording, and then publish your courses to any LMS/LMR in any format. It's as simple or advanced as you need it to be! Launch a premium built-in template and

(70)4.2 out of 5
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The Knovio Video Platform empowers training, HR, and corporate learning teams to use live and on-demand video and video presentations every day to improve employee engagement, increase ROI on live events and on-demand training programs, and efficiently manage resources. It is the cloud-based, online video platform that makes it simple to host, manage, distribute and measure video throughout an organization. Using powerful video management tools including audio narration, video and slide sync, cu

(17)4.6 out of 5

Intrepid is the collaborative learning platform that empowers organizations to solve high-stakes business challenges through engaging and applied learning at scale. We are disrupting old-school corporate training technologies that focus on content delivery. Our platform provides engaging opportunities to apply learning at work and to learn with peers, because we all learn from practice and from one another. Intrepid’s approach helps individuals learn and improve, and organizations transform and

(17)3.9 out of 5

Kaltura's mission is to power any video experience.

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Check out the G2 Grid® for the top Course Authoring Software products. G2 scores products and sellers based on reviews gathered from our user community, as well as data aggregated from online sources and social networks. Together, these scores are mapped on our proprietary G2 Grid®, which you can use to compare products, streamline the buying process, and quickly identify the best products based on the experiences of your peers.
High Performers
SAP Litmos
LearnUpon LMS
Articulate Storyline 3
iSpring Suite
SoftChalk Cloud
Adobe Presenter
Articulate Online
Articulate 360
Top Hat
Auzmor Learn
Tovuti LMS
Market Presence

Learn More About Course Authoring Software

What is Course Authoring Software?

For organizations that need to deliver training to their employees, there are numerous providers of premade online courses on common topics that managers could purchase and assign to their teams. But if a company has more specialized training needs, the ability to create a customized course from scratch is a better solution. Course authoring software enables eLearning professionals to build engaging courses incorporating a variety of interactive elements, then publish and distribute them to any number of learners. These products are used by companies for their training needs as well as in academia for professors who are delivering instruction remotely. Custom courses created using course authoring software ultimately helps organizations achieve their learning goals.

Key Benefits of Course Authoring Software

  • Enables companies to efficiently create engaging courses
  • Reduces the time it takes to create a complete course
  • Self-paced training allows more flexibility
  • Allows instructors to customize learning content

Why Use Course Authoring Software?

Create engaging courses — Part of making learning “sticky"—meaning the knowledge endures long after someone learns it—is making the process engaging. Course authoring tools offer numerous ways to make eLearning courses more interesting and interactive. Rather than creating courses that rely on slides with plain text and pictures, course developers incorporate video clips, animations, and audio files into a course. Quizzes are incorporated throughout a course to build in accountability for the material. Some platforms offer functionality for learners to navigate through branching scenarios, meaning the content differs depending on choices made by the user.

Reduce course development time — Course authoring platforms have built-in tools designed to maximize efficiency as developers make new courses. Content libraries in course authoring software contain a variety of premade elements that developers choose from, including slide templates, images, icons, buttons, and quiz questions. These libraries reduce the time instructors spend searching for elements to use in their courses, helping the course get completed more quickly. Some eLearning platforms also enable users to pre-existing presentation files and use those as a starting point for creating a course so that the developer doesn’t have to start from a blank template. Ultimately, these features make course creation less time-consuming.

Increase training flexibility — Digital courses created using course authoring software provide solutions to some of the inconveniences inherent in the in-person training. Courses are distributed using a learning management system (LMS), so learners in different locations can take the same course. The courses are also typically self-paced, so learners are able to complete them on their own schedule. Administrators review results for individual learners as they come in.

Customize learning content — One of the biggest benefits of course authoring tools is the ability to create exactly the course needed for a specific purpose. Rather than use an off-the-shelf eLearning course that may not target an organization’s needs, using course authoring software to build a course from the ground up ensures that it targets the exact objectives the instructor wants to cover. Courses are even customized for specific teams or roles, so that the employees get the exact training that they need. For universities, courses enable professors to teach the material in the way that they think works best. Collaboration tools built into course authoring software also allow multiple stakeholders to give feedback on a course before it is finalized to ensure it is customized to meet the needs of all parties involved.

Who Uses Course Authoring Software?

Course authoring software is used by employees in government, education, and a range of businesses.

Corporate trainers — In-house trainers at companies use course authoring tools to create training courses for the business’s employees. Courses might cover HR issues related to compliance or they could be focused on information more specific to the company’s business, like sales enablement.

Instructional designers and eLearning developers — Companies that lack the HR personnel needed to develop their own custom courses in-house may turn to third-party instructional designers or eLearning developers, who use course authoring software to make courses for their clients. Typically, instructional designers communicate with their clients about the kind of course the company needs, then they build the course, get feedback on their work, and deliver a final product that is completed by employees. Universities also employ instructional designers to help professors develop materials for their courses, especially online courses.

Kinds of Course Authoring Software

While most course authoring products have similar core functionality, some are sold as standalone products while others are integrated with an LMS. Using a course authoring tool that is integrated with an LMS means there is a built-in way to distribute the course to learners once it is finished, although those tools may have fewer course authoring features than standalone products that are solely dedicated to creating courses. Standalone products typically enable users to export content to a third-party LMS.

Course Authoring Software Features

Course templates — Course authoring tools often come with included templates so course developers don’t have to start from a completely blank course. Templates include course modules with different layouts that allow developers to change text placeholders and add images, videos, or other elements to meet their needs.

PowerPoint conversion — Organizations that have pre-existing PowerPoint files that they have used in the past for training import those files into course authoring software and build an eLearning course using the old presentation as a template, helping save the time it would take to recreate the PowerPoint in the authoring tool.

Asset library — In addition to slide templates, course authoring tools often include an online library of elements that users can add to their presentations. These libraries sometimes contain thousands of different elements, including photos, videos, icons, and buttons.

Quizzes — Course authors are able to build in periodic quizzes at different points in a course to check the learner’s understanding of key concepts. If a learner answers incorrectly, courses are set up to have them go back and relearn the material, then have them try again to get the right answer before they are allowed to proceed.

Feedback tools — These features enable multiple stakeholders to leave comments on a course as it is being developed. Having feedback integrated directly into the authoring tool helps keep the comments organized so they are addressed before the course is published.

Sharable content object reference model (SCORM) compatibility — The industry standard for eLearning content is SCORM, a set of technical standards that ensure compatibility between a course and an LMS. Ensuring a course authoring platform is SCORM-compatible means its courses work with a variety of LMS vendors.

Additional Course Authoring Software Features

Character images — Some products have extensive “character" image collections. These might include a variety of different models of different ages, genders, ethnicities, and professions, each with dozens of photos showing a variety of facial expressions, emotions, and body poses. These character images are used to tell a story within the course or as a visual aid to illustrate a scenario.

Branching scenarios — One feature some platforms have for making courses interactive is by the ability to include branching scenarios, in which the course is different depending on choices the learner makes. For example, in a course on workplace harassment, a user might be asked to choose from three options for responding to a coworker who made an inappropriate remark in a meeting. Depending on the option the learner picks, the course could show a different outcome of the situation. These role-play simulations helps learners apply skills and knowledge from earlier in the course to a real-world scenario.

Video recording — Built-in video recording functionality enables users to record themselves or their computer screen to add a visual element to their course. These platforms typically also allow users to import videos from other sources.

Mobile compatibility — Course materials are automatically reformatted to be compatible with mobile phones and tablets, ensuring that learners complete course modules from any device.

Analytics — Course authors track how learners are using the course or their performance on in-course assessments once the courses have been deployed.

Potential Issues with Course Authoring Software

Resource investment — Creating customized courses have benefits for an organization’s training program, but it also takes a substantial investment of resources. Depending on how lengthy or in depth the course needs to be, it may take weeks or months for a course to go from idea to finished product. That includes multiple course drafts and rounds of feedback from different stakeholders. Companies also need to decide whether they have the right people in-house to use course authoring software effectively or if it makes more sense to outsource the work to an eLearning development firm. Another option is using premade online courses, although organizations will have to decide whether those more generic courses will meet their training needs.

Employee engagement — The best digital courses are interesting and informative. They hold learners’ attention with animations, videos, and interactive elements. But using those elements well takes practice and the right tools. An authoring tool that lacks strong functionality for creating interactive courses could result in courses that don’t engage learners and fall short of their desired impact. Buyers should ensure an authoring solution has the ability to create engaging courses and that their course developers know how to use the tools to achieve those aims.

Compliance — A key part of many training programs is courses to ensure employers maintain compliance with laws and regulations on topics like safety, security, and privacy. Company leaders deploy off-the-shelf solutions, but some might want to develop their own compliance courses using course authoring software. For companies that are developing their own compliance courses, leaders must ensure the courses cover all the required information for a given topic. They should also confirm that the software they use to deploy the courses has adequate tracking and reporting capabilities so that, if necessary, they prove that employees went through the training.