So you want to teach something and make money from it. But the first step is pretty daunting—where do you even start? Or stuck on which tool to use next? One thing that could help is a resources page with all the tools, apps, and sites that can help you create a course online, run an online business, or stay focused on your goal of becoming a full-time course creator (or whatever it may be).
If you’re like me, you have too many tools and not enough time. That’s why I’ve put together my list of 11 Top Tools & Resources for Course Creators. This list covers everything from how to write your first-course description to how to launch, promote, and improve your courses repeated over the next few months.
Choosing an LMS
Choosing the right learning management system (LMS) that fits your course creation needs can be a headache, but it doesn’t have to be!
So, What is LMS?
LMS is a software application or web-based technology used to plan, implement, and assess a specific learning process. Typically, a learning management system provides an instructor with a way to create and deliver content, monitor student participation, and assess student performance. A learning management system may also allow students to use interactive features such as threaded discussions, video conferencing, and discussion forums.
How to find the Perfect LMS for your Needs?
The first step of finding an LMS is figuring out your needs. You’ll want to consider things like:
- How many students will you have?
- Will you have one long course or lots of small courses?
- Do you need detailed analytics about your students’ progress?
- Do you want to be able to offer certificates or awards to students who meet specific criteria?
You’ve heard that LMSes are great for helping instructors keep track of their students and streamlining the process of creating courses but aren’t sure how much they really do or how much they’ll cost.
- Learning management systems come in two varieties: those that charge a fee per user and those that don’t
- If you want to go with one that charges per user, it’s best to give your potential students a price before you start building your class.
- If you choose one that doesn’t charge per user, it’s still a good idea to watch your expenses.
If you’re looking for a new innovative universal LMS software, you should try EdisonOS. We’ll give you a free 30 days trial, and you can request a demo too.
What are Authoring Tools?
This question comes up a lot, so I thought I’d answer it in more detail here. In the eLearning industry, you may hear the terms authoring software, development environment, or authoring tool. These are computer programs that allow instructional designers to create their eLearning courses using text, audio and video files, images, and web pages. Authoring tools can be used with any Learning Management System (LMS) to upload and deliver content to students or employees. Authoring tools are software used to create interactive content: video games, apps, multimedia presentations, etc. An authoring tool is often referred to as an IDE (Integrated Development Environment).
The term “authoring” has nothing to do with writing articles or blog posts—it refers to creating content that is meant to be accessed by its audience. Authoring tools are tools that allow you to create interactive assessments (i.e. quizzes, surveys, games) right on the web.
They generally have a lot of features, including:
- Easy to use
- Publish content to the web
- Embeddable code -access controls
- Support for various languages and complex questions
If you’re just getting started with online courses, keep authoring software in mind for later use.
*Prices as seen at the end of April 2022*
- Elucidat - Elucidat is an authoring tool that makes it easy to create practical, accessible, and measurable online learning content without learning how to code.
Elucidat is a cloud-based application (with offline access) that allows you to create your content in the browser. There’s no need to install software on your computer, download or upload files, or keep track of revisions.
Elucidat is designed to support multiple contributors working together on the same project. You can assign specific authors and editors different levels of permissions so they can only edit certain content pages or restrict what they can do (for example, you might want some people to only be able to edit text).
Elucidat works on any device or browser and supports 50+ languages.
The price is $7,500 for three licenses.
- Articulate Storyline : -Build your eLearning courses. The Articulate Storyline family of products makes it easy to create professional eLearning courses from start to finish.
Use Storyline 360, Storyline 3, Studio 360, or Replay 360 to author any type of project you can imagine easily.
Articulate 360 includes everything you need to create responsive courses and deliver a superior learning experience across devices.
Get the most out of your LMS with content that’s optimized for mobile learning and easy to implement.
The price is $1,299 (Every year)
- Lectora Inspire - The Lectora Inspire software is a versatile tool for creating and publishing interactive e-learning content.
Many businesses use the software to create everything from team member training modules to virtual salespeople.
Lectora Inspire offers several features that make it easier to create an engaging presentation.
Resources like the Lectora Inspire Community Forums, support videos and sample presentations are available to help you get started.
If you’re new to creating digital content like e-books and PowerPoint presentations, this program can really help you learn the ropes.
The price of the Platinum suite is $1,599 a year.
- H5P - H5P is a fantastic tool for creating interactive learning activities that can be used in a variety of ways.
Teachers can use H5P to create lessons that are very engaging, allowing students to participate in the learning experience through fun, interactive activities.
They can also be used as instructions for students to follow when completing assignments or practising skills.
This can facilitate formative assessment, as teachers and students will have access to data about their progress throughout the learning process.
The best part about H5P is that it’s Free.
- Adobe Captivate - Adobe Captivate is a computer-based training (CBT) software that enables users to create interactive eLearning content.
Users can import Microsoft PowerPoint files and transform them into interactive learning content.
Captivate offers a variety of question types, including multiple-choice, sequence, matching, hotspot, fill-in-the-blank, and more.
It also provides the ability to create interactive simulations and demonstrations. Captivate can create quizzes from scratch or from existing assessments within Adobe Connect.
Captivate also enables users to create accessible content for learners with disabilities by providing features like closed captioning, keyboard shortcuts, audio descriptions, and more.
The cost is $1,299 (perpetual licence) – Student/Teacher pricing is different.
Best Educational Content Editing Tools for Video & Graphics
While video and graphics are an excellent way of making learning fun, entertaining, and engaging for your audience, content is the real king. You could produce the world’s most beautiful video, but it will ultimately be a waste of time and money for your learning program if it lacks quality content.
So here is a quick list of tools to improve your content.
Tools for Video Editing
Editing a video can be fun. It’s like putting together a puzzle with moving pictures instead of still ones. However, the process of editing a video can be daunting to many people because it’s not entirely intuitive. There are programs with complicated names, and there are buttons that do things you’re not sure about. But don’t worry! I have some tools for you to use when editing your videos to make the whole experience much more manageable.
- Magisto - Magisto is a new app that lets you create a movie from your photos and video clips.
It’s exciting because it’s really easy to use, and you can make something that looks really professional.
The most exciting part of Magisto is the way you can choose the music and soundtrack for your movie,
which makes it so easy to personalize it.
The free version allows you to create your video under the time limit of 1 minute to 30 seconds.
- LearnWorlds’ Interactive Video Player - LearnWorlds provides interactive videos for e-learning.
LearnWorlds’ interactive video player lets you add videos, quizzes, and activities to your learning management system.
It supports social media integration and can be customized to match your company’s branding.
- Animoto - Animoto is a free video slideshow maker that allows you to create and share your videos in just minutes.
You can choose from a variety of themes, add your own photos and music, and customize the theme to fit your needs.
You can even upload your videos!
All you need to begin is a free Animoto account. Once you’re signed up, you’ll be able to access the Animoto editor.
The editor has a simple interface, so it’s easy to use. You can drag and drop pictures from your computer into the editor, select from an array of templates, add music from their library, and upload your videos.The results are pretty great! Animoto creates fantastic videos for you that are quick and easy to make. Share your video on Facebook or email it directly to friends, family, or students.
- EDPuzzle - EDPuzzle is an excellent platform that allows you to make a video with your magic touch and track your students’ comprehension.
You see, the platform lets you choose a video from YouTube or Google Videos (or upload your own), which is then played back with an onscreen text box underneath it where students type their answers as they watch the clip. The text box is synchronized to the video so that it appears at the same time as the words are said in the clip. Students can pause and rewind the clip if they have trouble keeping up with what’s being said. And best of all, once you’ve finished watching the clip yourself (you’ll have to watch it at least once first so that you can mark all the answers).
Tools for Editing Images and Graphics
- Easelly - If you’re looking for an easy but powerful way to present your ideas, Easelly may be a good fit for you.
Easelly is a cloud-based tool that lets you create a visual story about your business or idea, bringing together your text and visuals in one place.
Easelly helps you add images, videos, and charts to help you tell your story.
Once you’ve added your content, Easelly will organize it into a cohesive presentation that can be easily shared with others.
To get started with Easelly, simply sign up and create your first presentation - it’s free!
- Piktochart - Piktochart is a web-based infographic application that allows users to select from pre-made templates and then customize the graphics and text until satisfied.
The service provides access to thousands of images and illustrations, with more added regularly.In addition to offering various theme options, Piktochart also offers a free one-month trial, so you can see if it is right for you before you buy.
From there, there are several pricing tiers available.
You can choose the Free plan if you wish to have a basic experience with limited customization options. The “Pro” option is best if you’re an individual or small business looking to build a few infographics per month. For larger businesses or agencies looking to build multiple infographics each month, the “Team” and “Enterprise” plans will provide additional benefits such as managing multiple users and additional templates.
If you’re a teacher and you’ve ever considered creating your own online course, the amount of tools and resources at your disposal is staggering. Whether you want to create a free, open-access course or charge for your own proprietary courses, there are many ways to do so. I’ve highlighted eleven of the most useful tools and resources in this post. Still, this list only scratches the surface of what’s available—it’s only limited by your imagination (and state or country regulations). These free tools and resources can help students of all knowledge levels, whether they’re starting out in the course creator world or looking to improve their current courses.
The best part? Most of them have a free plan that should fit any budget.
Maybe a few of them will help you make your course projects even more compelling.