Authoring tools at KIT

Learning programs are designed so that learners can work through them as independently as possible. Their structure often resembles that of a book due to the chapter structure. However, learning programmes offer the advantage that the content can be enriched by media or interactive elements such as videos, animations, links or tests.

The creation of such learning programs can be very time-consuming, depending on the design. It therefore makes sense to develop a learning programme yourself if the learning content is rather constant and there is a large target group for the content. In the university context, these criteria usually apply to basic courses.

If you want to develop digital learning modules yourself, you will need authoring software. There is a wide range of authoring systems available, both free and for a fee, and they are all in the area of conflict between rich functionality and ease of use. In any case, it is important that the chosen authoring software creates modules in the SCORM standard to ensure that you can offer your modules via different learning platforms such as Moodle or ILIAS.

Which system can I use at KIT?

ILIAS

At KIT, the learning platform ILIAS can be used for the creation of learning modules. ILIAS offers two types of learning modules, which differ mainly in the possible export formats.The ILIAS learning module editor allows the export as XML (for use in other ILIAS installations), HTML (for offline use) and SCORM 1.2 (for use in other learning platforms). The SCORM editor additionally offers the export as SCORM 2004 module, which allows working with learning objectives within the module.

 

Working with the ILIAS authoring environment is easy to learn, especially if you already have some experience with ILIAS as a learning platform. ILIAS can integrate multimedia content as well as self-tests into learning modules. In addition, ILIAS offers the advantage that no software needs to be installed. This means that no administration rights are required on the computer on which you are working, as the ILIAS editor is operated online via a browser. The ILIAS-Editor is an online authoring environment. That means, if several authors should work on the same project, the ILIAS authoring environment offers the possibility to work together on a project independent of time and place. You need a KIT account to be able to work with ILIAS.

eXeLearning

Another free solution is the program eXeLearning. The open source program is easy to learn and enables even people inexperienced in media production to start implementing learning modules. You do not need any programming knowledge. With eXeLearning you can structure content clearly, integrate videos or external websites or even small self-tests into your module. The learning modules created with it can be exported in SCORM 1.2, for use within a learning platform, or in HTML for distribution via a website or CD.

 

With eXeLearning you work locally on your PC. You do not need a KIT account or Internet access. You need administration rights on the respective PC for the installation. You create your learning modules independently of a learning management system. Learning modules can be exported in different formats.

Depending on the development setting, using one or the other tool may make sense for you.

Further information about authoring tools can also be found on the pages of eteaching.org.