This week I reach out on Twitter and LinkedIn for help finding a free authoring tool.
This was spurred on by a bit of research and the realization that most tools on lists such as:
are either no longer available, very limited when offering a ‘free’/lite version (often just PowerPoint conversion which has been superseded by Office itself) or, well, just a bit rubbish.
So I decided to reach out on Twitter and LinkedIn to see if any free tools are out there. Even if not free, I was hoping that they may be free for K-12/school use, in the way Tableau, The Financial Times and many other organizations make their tools/content available to hook people in at school/university level.
Tools used in the past still available?
Now, I was aware of Xerte and LAMS but wanted to avoid a desktop install tool, the same going for things like Microsoft LCDS which I’d also played around with in the past (although LCDS probably does not exist any more?).
I reregistered for h5p.org but that is a public only platform when using the free version.
I was also steering clear of anything built mobile app first – instead I needed something browser-based for PC/Mac.
I had also previously used tools like iSpring and Easy Generator, however, the Easy Generator free version is longer available.
So why am I looking at this anyway?
Well, to be honest, content creation for consumption. In many ways going against my own preferred practice, such as that stated in this tweet:
Indeed I commented elsewhere on LinkedIn this week (in a conversation about SCORM based eLearning) that surely SCORM was first and foremost about interoperability, then tracking and learners actually learning way down the list. In other words, SCORM (like many learning management systems) were designed for the learning managers not the learners.
Authoring combined with hosting
There are some free authoring platforms out there still but, from what I could tell, they are like https://eliademy.com/ and linked to the hosting of the finished product on the same platform – effectively handing your IP over for the reward of having an online experience.
A sign SCORM is finally going?
There are also a lot of shades of grey as we move away from SCORM being the defacto standard towards tools with an AR, eBook or other focus.
One interesting platform seems to be https://derbyware.com/ where you can publish quizzes, these can be embedded on your own site and password protected if you were to want to use them in your own sessions. You could potentially combine this with Office365 elements to build an LMS without an LMS – unless you want to host trackable SCORM files of course!
This differs to some of the live presentation software which, perhaps spooked by MS Teams and other things, do offer fairly comprehensive free options (such as Hypersay) or free licenses for education (such as Zeetings).
Just as an aside to finish, at least GoMo, Articulate, eLAT and others do provide free trials.