There are various e-learning authoring tools. Some are simple, others are complex, and many are included within a learning management system (LMS). When it comes to selecting an authoring tool, several factors can help you determine the best one for your business.

As a training provider, you have needs that differ from those of the in-house training team. You need tools that can:

  • Protect intellectual property by offering easy branding/customization.
  • Drive learner engagement by offering interactivity/gamification, branching, and quizzes and enabling easy embedding of multimedia (text, audio, video, etc.).
  • Publish in a variety of formats, such as SCORM, HTML5, MP4, CD, etc.
  • Be mobile-ready.

Since there are so many tools to choose from, being able to articulate what you need will ultimately save you time and money.

Protect intellectual property

When it comes to protecting your intellectual property, look for tools that make it easy to brand your content. This shouldn’t just be with a logo; you should be able to create a uniform look and feel to all your content. As a pro tip, look for tools that also make it easy to share content with subject matter experts for review. You want to protect your content at every touchpoint.

Drive learner engagement

E-learning authoring tools can provide learners with an engaging experience, which hopefully, will transfer to higher completion rates for the client and happier clients for you. Here are a few features that an e-learning authoring tool should have in order to drive learner engagement.


An authoring tool can enhance learning, especially for adult learners who like to have control. Branching enables learners to select their journey throughout the course or be directed down certain learning paths based on previous actions.


Another factor in creating engaging learning is storytelling. Use an e-learning authoring tool that has features like:

  • Interactivity
  • Gamification
  • Simulations
  • Dialogue simulations 

Such features can bring the learner into the learning experience in a more natural way. Everyone enjoys and remembers a well-told story, so use that to your benefit.


Adult learners like feedback, no matter if it’s positive or negative. An e-learning authoring tool that has built-in quizzes can help. Quizzes can be used as knowledge checks, which are great for providing feedback and confirming that learning transference is happening.

Even if the client’s LMS can create quizzes, the quizzing available within an e-learning authoring tool will likely be more dynamic and engaging.

Publish to a Variety of Formats

Learning should happen wherever the learner is, and being able to publish to a variety of formats can accomplish this. Look for tools that can publish to these common formats:

  • SCORM — Content is loaded into an LMS and tracked by the LMS.
  • HTML5 — The client can embed content directly into websites, intranets, and even SharePoint pages.

Authoring tools like Adobe Captivate can publish directly to YouTube. The flexibility of publishing options can benefit you and your clients. For clients, their learners have flexibility in how and where they complete the course. For you as a training provider, having a tool that can publish in a variety of formats enables you to create one course and sell it to multiple clients without limitations or the need to recreate the content.

Be mobile-ready

A tool that can create a mobile-first design can make it easier for your content to be consumed. Some tools only produce content that looks like a web page when published. Articulate Rise is an example of this type of authoring tool.

Being able to easily produce mobile-ready and -friendly content is a win-win for training providers because it enables you to meet the needs of current and future clients.


With so many authoring tools out there, it can be hard to select the right one for your business. Understanding the available features can make your decision much easier. 

Features that training providers need from an e-learning authoring tool include: 

  • Easy customization
  • Branching
  • Quizzes
  • Interactivity
  • Flexibility in publishing
  • Mobile-ready design 

Although these might apply to most tools, what you are looking for is a tool that makes all its features easy for you to use.

If you are wondering how the right LMS can benefit your technology stack, check out the following resources: 

Here at Firmwater, we don’t just sell an LMS for training providers. We partner with our clients, giving them the tools and insights they need to implement the best practices in e-learning course development, growth, and delivery. We care too much about our customers’ businesses to have them wade through forums and chatbots for help.

Ready to use an LMS that’s designed for the way YOU work, with a team dedicated to YOUR needs? Book a no-obligation consultation directly with our team today!