Whether you’re technically inclined or completely new to using an authoring tool, using one will make your life easier. In this blog post, we look at the importance of authoring tools and how they help with designing e-learning.

First, let’s understand authoring tools, aka rapid authoring tools. They fall into two categories: SCORM compliant and non-SCORM compliant. Using either or both has simple benefits:

  • Makes it easy to repurpose current learning content
  • Helps increase learner engagement and participation
  • Improves knowledge retention outcomes

An authoring tool can maximize company resources by improving resource allocations and growing ROI.

SCORM compliant

SCORM-compliant tools produce content that can communicate with a learning management system (LMS). This involves things like completion data, interaction data, and in some cases, learner data, such as names.

Non-SCORM compliant

Non-SCORM-compliant tools are things like MP3s, MP4s, PDFs, and PowerPoints. Depending on your LMS, these files don’t always have a full conversation with the system once loaded in. You might get a bit of data, but it will not be as robust as data provided by a SCORM-compliant tool. You will need to speak with current or future LMS vendors to determine what happens when non-SCORM-compliant files are loaded into the LMS.

Now that we have a better understanding of e-learning authoring tools, let’s discuss the benefits of using them.

Repurposing current learning content

Consuming learning content digitally has become a priority for learners and training providers alike. Content that was once either days or hours long might need to be cut down to ten to thirty minutes—that’s a big change!

Using an authoring tool can help with this. For example, suppose that you have a checklist that should be completed either before or after a session to drive accountability. This document in its current state is a PDF.

You can take that document and break it down into small online modules that can be completed within the LMS. Imagine how this document could be brought to life and transformed from something that is not often completed to something that drives engagement and conversation.

Other examples of repurposing content include taking PowerPoint slides used in safety training and turning them into short simulation activities. An e-learning authoring tool can help you do just that.

Increase learner engagement and participation

A great resource is a book called Innovative Performance Support by Conrad Gottfredson and Bob Mosher. It talks about meeting your learners at the moment of applying their new knowledge. Tools and resources should be available for them at this time of need.

With the power of mobile learning technology, your learners can use their mobile devices to consume your learner content. E-learning tools like Adapt can provide courses that are built like a webpage—they scroll vertically, not horizontally. Having an e-learning authoring tool can help your company deliver and develop content that has a mobile-first design.

That’s the power of having the right tool for the job.

Improve knowledge retention

Adult learners engage better when content is told in story format. An e-learning authoring tool can create learning content that is delivered in such a manner. This gives the learner the opportunity to journey down a learning path, either as themselves or as a watcher of something happening inside the e-learning.

Designing something like this seems like it might take advanced technical skills, but you can quickly record short videos and place them directly into your SCORM-compliant tool. You’ll be helping your learners really remember what is being taught.

Maximize company resources

All the benefits of using e-learning should grow the ROI of your training content. Your clients are looking for engaging and impactful training materials. Those developed with e-learning authoring tools can show your clients how your company is different.

E-learning authoring tools can be great for resource allocation and content changes. If you put all those changes together, you can improve the cost of your training content, either internally or via the cost that the client pays.

It’s not about lowering or raising the price of the content; it’s about making sure the content is cost-effective.

Designing e-learning

One way to ensure that your training content is cost-effective is to not over- or under-design your materials. Designing great e-learning starts with understanding your learner.

Who is the learner? Why do they need to complete the training? What technology do they have ease of access to? Will they use a desktop computer, or do they only have access to a mobile device?

This information will also help you determine the types of authoring tools to use.


If you plan to create e-learning, it’s essential to have an authoring tool. Using one has several benefits:

  • Create SCORM-compliant courses
  • Aid in repurposing old content
  • Increase learner engagement
  • Maximize company resources

Understanding the learner will help you determine the type of tool to use, which is even more important.

If you found this information helpful, here are additional 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!