Choosing the best software for healthcare instructional design is your first step in designing an e-learning course and one of the most important in the overall process. There are a variety of products on the market, all with different functions and capabilities that may or may not suit your vision for the course.
One of the old standards of e-learning software is Lectora. Now in its eleventh incarnation, Lectora has three different versions: Inspire, Online, and Publisher. All three of these offer templates and wizards to help speed up the process of creation, an extensive clip-art gallery to decorate the slides, test and survey creation, and the ability to publish the course in multiple formats, along with several other features. Inspire, though more expensive, also offers quite a few nifty multimedia features, like Flypaper Flash Creator, screen recorders, and the ability to edit audio and video. In version 11, social media capabilities have also been added to the software, allowing instructors to give their students the capability to like or share elements of the course on Facebook or Twitter; many other similar programs have no such social media components. Lectora is also the leader in accessibility, allowing students to use a screen-reader to access the course.
However, there are other types of e-learning software that are more user-friendly for a first-time creator of an online course. Articulate Storyline is one such course; its display closely resembles Microsoft Powerpoint, a program most users are very familiar with. Storyline offers a broad variety of templates, clip art and characters, and slide triggers in order to personalize your course. Storyline is also one of the best products on the market when it comes to creating branching scenarios. And, unlike Lectora, it doesn’t require a second program in order to use its mobile capabilities. Published content on Storyline can be accessed on PC, Mac, and iOS capable tablets.
However, when it comes to mobile learning perhaps the best choice is Adobe Captivate. This software is the easiest choice for developers creating a course that will be used on multiple platforms, automatically rearranging the layout of the content to fit any device from a desktop computer down to an iPhone. It also allows for mobile gesturing on touchscreen devices– learners can scroll through slides with a swipe of their finger. With a focus on design, it offers beautiful layouts, eye-catching color schemes, and numerous formatting features, and also allows for easy quizzing and even learning games to be included in the course. However, the interface for creating courses is slightly more difficult to navigate than other programs and takes getting used to for a first-time user of the software.
All three of these programs have varying pros, cons, and price points, and it’s very important to carefully weigh your options. Keep in mind your audience; if your course is designed for younger users or those who are constantly on-the-go, a program with strong mobile functionality is imperative, while for a course that aims to guide learners through training scenarios in areas like diagnostics or record-keeping a program that offers branching capabilities will make learning much easier and more fun. The right program can make the difference between a student who sticks with the course and masters the material and one who gives up early on because they just don’t understand.
Whichever software you choose to use in designing your healthcare course, Avidity Medical Design is here to help. If you have any questions about these programs and how we can serve you and your needs, don’t hesitate to contact us!