E-learning software is a category of educational software that offers innovative computer-based and web-based management and learning options. Elearning software is also referred to as electronic learning software. It enables user to deliver courses online and instruction electronically through the Internet, an organization’s Intranet or other electronic platforms for example DVD and CD-ROM.
There are as many types of elearning software available depending on the learning needs that have been identified. First, you must decide what kind of elearning software best meets the learning needs. Some of the most common types of elearning software are: Authoring Tools, Learning Management Systems (LMS), Content Management Systems (CMS), Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS), and Programming Languages.
High quality software takes advantage of cutting edge technology to deliver instructional sound content, especially in situations where there is little time available for development and delivery of instruction and training. In the area of online learning especially, options now available are:
- Learning management systems (LMS)
- Learning content management systems (LCMS)
- Course authoring tools
- Tools to create multimedia such as animation, graphics, audio, and video clips
- Test preparation software
- Browsers and players to present content
- Online libraries
- Graduate school and professional certification exam preparation
As noted in the academic and data driven research it is always important to remember that as technology continues to grow, options become broader and perhaps even more confusing. Think about all the media creation tools, web publishing tools, online conferencing tools, to multimedia authoring tools, integrated learning environments, collaboration and management tools, etc. It can be overwhelming. What is important to remember is that successful e-learning is based on consideration of the learner first, appropriate pedagogy, quality content and a good support mechanisms. Otherwise it becomes “just another technology becomes just another tool”. Think of these two guidelines if you find yourself daunted:
- Align e-learning with business or instructional goals and objectives
- Determine the benefits that e-learning software will bring you and your organization
E-Learning software tools that support e-learning cover include discussion forums, chats, file sharing, video conferencing, e-portfolios, blogs and wikis. These tools are used to support various activities for learning. Always ask yourself the question about who is involved in the learning process and whether it is possible and necessary to integrate different tools in a single stand-alone system such as a learning management system.