Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Top 10 e-Learning Tools

Jane Hart is gathering top ten lists for e-learning tools. Thus far, 203 people in the e-learning field have submitted their list. I have posted my e-learning toolkit in the past, but not what I necessarily consider my "top e-learning tools." So, here are my top 10 e-learning tools. They are not stand alone e-learning tools, but together allow me the ability to create effective e-learning courses. I have included how and why I use these tools.

  1. Adobe Flash - An essential tool for creating highly interactive elements, including animation, games, immersive learning simulations, and almost anything else you want if you can manage writing or finding the actionscript.

  2. Adobe Fireworks - It is my choice for editing graphics because it is user-friendly to non-graphic artists like me. And it worked very well with my Macromedia Flash when I was getting started in e-learning... old habits are hard to break.

  3. Adobe Captivate - Fantastic for creating simulations (software sims and branching sims), plus it does a good job recording audio for your sims. Being able to add quizzes and publish SCORM/AICC compliant courses is a big plus too.

  4. DHTML authoring tool - My preference is OutStart Trainer (TrainerSoft). Being able to create SCORM/AICC compliant courses that imports Flash SWF files and plays well with the LMS makes my ability to implement e-learning much easier.

  5. WordPress - I am using it right now to get my blog posts out. Writing my blog is a great way share, learn, and connect with others in the e-learning field. It gets me out of my e-learning vacuum.

  6. Adobe Dreamweaver - Still the best tool for creating web pages (I occasionally have to do that) and  jerry-rigging the HTML in courses.

  7. Windows MovieMaker - Editing videos prior to using them in courses.

  8. Twitter - Another way for me to share, learn, and connect with others in the e-learning field. I expect either it or Yammer to play a larger role for informal learning at my company.

  9. Notepad -  Editing XML, which is extremely useful in working with DHTML courses and sometimes Flash courses.

  10. SnagIt - Extremely helpful when making software  sims or getting screenshots for courses.


  1. Great top 10 list. I only use half of your elearning tools.

  2. On my quest for the best e-learning tool, I came across your post. Most of these tools are extremely helpful and i use some of them, but if you were to go for a rapid standalone e-learning IDE (kind of), what would you reccommend?

  3. Before I answer this question, I must let you know that there is no tool that will speed up the process of making e-learning. Even with the use of "rapid e-learning tools," the process of designing a quality courses still involves a great investment of time and effort. Once an instructionally sound design is complete, the development also requires a certain level of effort to include highly interactive elements in the course. The rapid e-learning tools I have seen do not provide the level of interactivity needed, without using them in conjunction with other additional tools.

    Sorry if I am sounding preachy, but I believe the "rapid elearning" term is very misleading and many companies out there have been falsely presenting their products.

    If I could only have one authoring tool that did not require much of a learning curve to use it, it would be either Adobe Captivate or OutStart Trainer..I hope that helps. I have also heard people speak highly of Articulate, but have not used it myself.

  4. There is no such thing as rapid elearning if you consider quality and effectiveness important. You will see that if you use an effective evaluation process.

    That being said I have had some success with what I call dynamic elearning. An example is an engaging, addictive game (slots for instance) with easily editable, flexible content.

    Example below is Flash and xml.


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