25 of our favorite free eLearning authoring tools

    More and more courses are being offered entirely online, education is finally proceeding into the future.  

    Education was always presented the same way in college: An instructor in the front of the class with the students listening intently, sometimes in a huge lecture hall with a couple other hundred students. 

    The introduction of the internet has slowly changed the playing field and it is about time.

    This is the 2nd article in the series which started here –

    You’ll notice that, in those six steps, we identified a few key areas of development, namely:

    • Graphics
    • Animation
    • Video
    • Audio
    • Interactions
    • Assessments

    For many topic experts, the scripting and gathering of materials come naturally. You’re an expert in the process, workplace regulation, or software you’re getting ready to train your employees on.

    Depicting that visually can be difficult, but there are free eLearning tools that can help you get started. (Pro tip! Also, look to the rest of your team to see if anyone has development or design experience who can help.)

    Free graphics programs and resources

    Creating beautiful charts, infographics, or visuals online is easier to do every day, even for people who have no previous design experience. Some of the best free graphics tools include:

    • Canva: Create collages, charts, marketing promotions, or infographics with their easy-to-use software
    • Design and share visual infographics online
    • Gliffy: Create up to five public diagrams, flowcharts, or org charts a month for free
    • Google Charts: Turn your data into powerful charts and graphs
    • Piktochart: Use premade templates and design elements to create your own infographic
    • Pixlr: Allows you to edit any photos or graphics for free
    • Venngage: Present your data through infographics
    • Wordle: Create word clouds to illustrate different themes or idea clusters
    • Unsplash: Find beautiful freely useable images

    Free audio software tools

    Free audio tools allow you to record segments, and then edit, mix, and download them to use in your custom eLearning course. They include:

    • Ardour: Record, edit, and mix your audio files on all Mac or PC devices
    • Audacity: Fantastic open-source, cross-platform recording and editing software
    • Voki: Introduce speaking characters into your presentations, with customizable avatars
    • vozMe: Turn written text into downloadable spoken mp3s

    Free animation and video tools for eLearning

    Whether you need to animate steps for using a new software or want to use animations to make your custom eLearning course more powerful, free animation and video software is available. Some of our favorites include:

    • Camtasia: Use their drag-and-drop video editing software to finish your videos, or add in special effects, music, or motion graphics
    • Screencast-O-Matic: Allows you to record up to 15 minutes of on-screen activities for short tutorials or presentations
    • Snagit: Create and edit screenshots or video, or turn them into animated GIFs

    Tools to create eLearning interactions and assessments

    Surveys, polls, quizzes, and other assessment tools can help you ensure student learning during your course. Great options for getting started include:

    • Easy Test Maker: Create multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, true-or-false, or short answer test questions
    • formsite: Over 100 customizable templates and 40 question types to create surveys, quizzes, and forms
    • Google Forms: Allows you to create a survey with a simple online form with results directly organized into a spreadsheet
    • SurveyMonkey: The world’s leading survey platform, with an easy-to-use interface

    Free eLearning authoring tools

    A few leading authoring tools provide free options for creating your custom eLearning course. Many provide all the tools you need to create screens, add graphics or video, include interactions, and ultimately compile your course.

    • iSpring: Take your current PowerPoint presentations, add quizzes, and publish directly to your LMS or other content management system
    • Easygenerator: Their free option allows you to create up to ten courses, with pre-packaged interactions and cloud publishing
    • SmartBuilder: Create Flash eLearning courses within their easy-to-use interface
    • Udutu: Access templates, assessments, interactions, and SCORM conversion options on their free eLearning platform
    • LCDS by Microsoft: Create high-quality, interactive, online courses and Microsoft Silverlight Learning Snacks

    If you want to pay extra for more advanced features, Articulate 360 and Adobe Captivate are among the industry-leading authoring tools.

    If you happen to be lucky enough to know Kurt walker,  ( and you are fortunate enough to be a member of the Spice Nation, you will probably have access to the Spice Institute Learning Management System (https://Spice.Institute). First, get through the 6 steps outlined here, and then reach out to Kurt and let him know you want to move your course to the Spice Institute.

    Biz Builder Mike 

    P:S: You can get a head start by reading about the core software Spice Institute uses WP LMS (, the Social Learning Management System for Modern education. And if you want to learn more there are videos to help you here —, remember to focus on the features for version 4.


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