10 Most Wanted Features in eLearning Tools

Written by Gabe Anderson — Posted in E-Learning Industry

Today in its email, “Create Better Courses With the Right Technology,” Brandon Hall Research outlined The 10 Most Wanted Features in Tools to Create Online Courses.

The fact that there are so many authoring tools on the market is a clear indication that different organizations have different needs. It’s also an indication that many organizations are creating different types of e-learning content.

Guess what? Articulate products meet all 10 of these 10 features. Read on.

From the Brandon Hall email — with my commentary following each most wanted feature:

What are the most common business and technical requirements for people selecting an authoring tool? Based on our research, the following are the top ten things people want:

1. Novice friendly, yet still has underlying extensibility for complex interaction types.

If you can use PowerPoint, you can use our tools. You don’t have to be a Flash developer — or any kind of programmer, at that — to use our software. We hear again and again how easy our tools are for anyone to use. And if you do want to take our tools to the next level, there’s a community more than 7,500 strong willing to help.

2. No plug-in required (with the exception of Flash output).

Check. Articulate products create 100% Flash output. Other technologies used to display Articulate-powered content include HTML, XML, and JavaScript — none of which requires a special plug-in to view.

3. Adherence to SCORM specification and AICC standards. (The real need is full interoperability with many LMS solutions.)

Check and check. Presenter and Quizmaker are both SCORM certified and AICC friendly (Presenter SCORM specs | Quizmaker SCORM specs). And our customers successfully use content created with our tools in dozens of different LMSes, from Moodle to IBM to Saba to SumTotal.

4. Short learning curve for new content developers.

Check. Of course, if you need some help getting up to speed, we offer full online documentation, a robust support site with free email support, getting started guides, and even a vibrant peer community — not to mention Tom’s great new Rapid eLearning Blog.

5. Extensive library of very interactive question types (beyond multiple choice and true/false).

We’ve got you covered. Quizmaker offers “21 different graded and survey question types — including true/false, multiple choice, fill in the blank, matching, hotspot, Likert scale and more.”

6. Robust testing engine (with features such as randomization, drawing from a test item pool, etc.).

No problem. With Quizmaker, you can enable question pooling and randomization, and even leverage question-based branching when combined with Presenter.

7. Rich media support.

Sure enough. Along with Presenter’s Insert Flash Movie feature, you can record or insert audio into any slide. And the Web Object feature of Presenter allows you to incorporate virtually any type of rich media Web content. Add Engage interactions to the mix, and you’ll be creating compelling elearning content in no time.

8. Ability to repurpose content quickly from other sources, such as PowerPoint, Word, and specialty authoring tools (i.e., simulation tools).

Presenter integrates directly with PowerPoint, so there’s no need to port to a separate application. Just fire up your existing or new PowerPoint file, add your audio, video, quizzes, Engage interactions, then publish to Flash with just a few clicks.

9. Minimal time spent creating navigational control structures (i.e., navigation buttons, menus, etc.).

There’s no need to waste your valuable time creating Flash-based navigation or drop-down menus for attachments and more since Presenter does it all for you. You can even create chapters or slide levels via the Slide Properties Manager.

10. Low cost (for stand-alone authoring tools).

With per-author licensing starting at just $999 for the Articulate Rapid E-Learning Studio — which includes Presenter, Quizmaker, and the Rapid E-Learning PowerPoint Template Kit as a free bonus — your organization can scale its rapid authoring needs over time (or get volume discounts starting with just a handful of licenses).

There’s a whole lot more you can do when authoring your e-learning content with Articulate tools, but 10 for 10 in a list of popular features sure isn’t a bad start.


Learn more about Articulate tools in the Brandon Hall Research Authoring Tool KnowledgeBase 2007.

6 responses to “10 Most Wanted Features in eLearning Tools”


[…] The latest version, Articulate ?09, has some interesting new features like Single-slide Preview, FLV Support, Easy Audio Editor, and Articulate Branding Removed. You can read more about some of its popular features here. […]


The most important feature for the corporarte e-learning who does use LMS is SINGLE SWF file for Presenter or engage, but NONE was implemented.:(

Mehdi Kasumov // Posted at 12:20 pm on July 27th, 2009


Why is that the most important feature? I don’t know of any LMS that limits you to only one SWF file.

Justin Wilcox // Posted at 12:22 pm on July 27th, 2009

Hi, Justin, did not eve expect such a prompt reply 🙂

It is the most important feature simply beacause nobody here knows what the XML is for, what is the file structure, what files to upload, why to use player file. LMS allows you to upload a single file – when all Articulate SWFs are spread in the vicinity of 23 slides plus xml files, plus player files plus image file etc etc if beacomes a headache to findout how to upload them and where to.

in addition when trying to export to SCROM 1.2 or 2004 it is supposed to generate a single file but it doesn’t.

Basically LMS feauture of articulate without the single SWF is practically uselless to all those who does not upload directly to the webserver but uses LMS.
thnak you
please help to provide this feature in the next update

single file is a MUST

Mehdi Kasumov // Posted at 12:41 pm on July 27th, 2009

heloo…. Why is that the most important feature?

Pakeeza // Posted at 1:14 am on January 4th, 2011

I can’t help but notice that these are benefits but not really features. A feature would more or less be the ability to have forums, roles, reports, satelite learning, etc. I do find the article informative and don’t mean to criticize.

wbjake // Posted at 11:15 am on November 19th, 2012

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