Tools for Creating Mobile-Friendly eLearning Courses

You may be eLearning savvy, but how much do you know about mLearning? Companies are increasingly interested in creating mlearning material - elearning courses designed to work on mobile devices. We’ve previously shared our guide for best elearning authoring tools, and are now supplementing with our tool guide for creating mobile ready learning courses.

Adobe is in the process of a major overhaul for their Creative Cloud service, to be completed in June. Edge Animate is the creative desktop application used for multimedia web content creation. This tool, designed for web designers and developers, uses HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, as well as works on both Mac OS and Windows. Animated content produced with Edge Animate runs reliably on iOS (for iPhone and iPad), most Android devices, and HTML5 browsers. 

How much does it cost?
Through June, a free license is available. Post-overhaul, Edge Animate will be available exclusively through a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. Subscriptions cost $19.99 for a single app or $49.99 for the full Creative Cloud monthly. A free 30-day trial will be available with a free Creative Cloud subscription.

“Simple enough for beginners, powerful enough for experts.” Articulate Storyline allows users to publish to HTML5, Flash, and iOS easily, making mobile capabilities quick and simple. Making interactive courses is easy with slide layers, characters, and quizzes. Storyline is available on both desktop and iPads to give learners the best experience.

How much does it cost?
Storyline offers a 30-day money back guarantee. It’s an investment at $1,398, however with mobile capability and a user-friendly model, it is worth it for anyone looking to make quality mlearning courses.

Chalk Pushcast Software (No Longer Available)
Built specifically for Blackberry users, Chalk Pushcast allows authors to send content to both computers and BlackBerry devices for playback through the Chalk Pushcast Player. Content can include audio, video, pictures, surveys, and quizzes. Mobile users can view and save content to their device and open the content even when they are offline.

How much does it cost?
This software is included with BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10. There is a free 60-day trial or the option to upgrade from your current plan for free until the end of 2013. Contact BlackBerry to find out more.

Claro, a tool from dominKnow, helps create mobile ready HTML5 content. The program offers layout templates for all the popular devices right in the development process, and has audio, video, and interaction tools built in. Additionally, users can share content with other team members for easy collaboration.

How much does it cost?
Pricing through the end of May starts at $997/year or $97/month for the Lite version and goes up from there. Customer service can create a custom package based on your needs and provide a quote. A free trial of Claro is available as well.

Hot Lava Mobile (No Longer Available)
Hot Lava by KeneXa allows users to develop and deploy content to all popular mobile devices including Symbian, BlackBerry, Windows, iPhone/iPad, and Android. Hot Lava uses Microsoft PowerPoint to create rich mobile content through the addition of surveys, quizzes, video, and PDFs. No programming is required to create content, which can be used individually or in any LMS.

How much does it cost?
A free 30-day trial of Hot Lava Mobile is available. No pricing is available on their website, so be sure to contact customer support.

Lectora Inspire  
Lectora Inspire works with HTML5 to bring content to many different mobile devices. This user friendly model includes 3 bonus tools: Flypaper 3.9 for Flash animation, Camtasia 8 to create and enhance video tutorials, and Snagit 11 to transform screen captures into learning tools. Users can also publish courses to ReviewLink to receive feedback.

How much does it cost?
A 30-day free trial of Lectora is available. The full version costs $2,495 with the option to add multiple licences or support for additional fees. A more basic version (Lectora Publisher) is available for $1,595.

Maqetta, hosted by the Dojo Foundation, is an authoring tool ideal for web designers or the motivated non-programmer. It is an open source project that provides WYSIWYG visual authoring of HTML5 user interfaces, allowing it to run on mobile browsers.

How much does it cost?
This community-focused tool is free for users. There are active discussion rooms and bug-reporting trackers, so support is always free and available.

Rapid Intake (Now Lectora Author)
Rapid Intake by CallidusCloud is an easy to use cloud-based mlearning tool. Building a course is simple with pre-made templates to which users can add images, audio, and video. Once a course is built, select desktop (Flash), mobile (HTML5), or a package containing both. iOS, Android, and BlackBerry are all supported. Rapid Intake also encourages collaboration by allowing anyone on a team to edit or comment on courses being developed.

How much does it cost?
A 14-day free trial of Rapid Intake is available. Pricing is per month and ranges from $179 per licence for 10-25 licenses to $209 per license for 1-4 licences.

ReadyGo WBC 
ReadyGo is ideal for the non-programmer and requires no technical knowledge to build courses. The HTML5 format used has been tested on many popular mobile devices; courses built with this tool detect the specific device to provide a great experience every time. Templates allow the addition of audio and video to make the user experience simple and efficient.

How much does it cost?
A free trial version of ReadyGo WBC is available. The full version costs $499 per liecense and allows each developer to create an unlimited number of courses.

SumTotal ToolBook 
ToolBook enables subject matter experts and learning professionals to quickly and easily create content and assessments. This tool provides templates for use on both desktop and mobile devices. Content creators can easily convert powerpoint presentations into mlearning and add voice narration. A nice bonus with ToolBook is the library of guides and tutorials, making for a very user-friendly experience.

How much does it cost?
A 30-day free trial of ToolBook is available. No pricing is given on their site, so contacting customer service is necessary.

Hopefully, this brief overview of mlearning course authoring tools available helps identify which tool is best for you. Have another favorite mlearning tool? Share it in the comments