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Podcast 9 min

What is rapid online course creation software?

Online courses used to take hours and multiple contributors to create. Now with rapid online course creation software, you can create a beautiful and engaging online training in minutes, with no experience or resources required. Find out how on episode 7 of The CoLab Podcast!

8 Apr 2021 by Rocco Brudno

G’day Mates!

Welcome to The CoLab podcast. My name is Ryan Macpherson, CEO and Co-Founder of Coassemble, the online training platform revolutionizing how teams train. For this episode, I’m joined by fellow Co-Founder and CPO of Coassemble, Jude Novak. Today Jude and I are going to talk about online training course creation software, how it helps make an online course, and some things to look for in a content tool. Let’s dive in, shall we?

About the CoLab Podcast

The CoLab Podcast is the best business training advice from experts in the field on sharing knowledge and growing teams successfully at scale. In each episode, host Ryan Macpherson will chat with guests about entrepreneurship, strategy, management, leadership, and the value of elevating the employee experience. Ryan will also share his insights on proven methods & strategies that helped teams grow.

To listen to the full episode, click the link below to hear CoLab wherever you enjoy podcasts most.

What you’ll learn in today’s episode

Many teams are learning how to share knowledge and grow effectively at scale. Though the topics and guests will be different, we’ll always be looking through that lens to create a powerful employee experience. In today’s episode, we’ll dive into:

  • What is rapid online course creation software?

  • A little on how to make an online course

  • The benefits of rapidly created content

  • And more!

Strap in, it’s gonna be a great episode!

How did eLearning authoring tools first enter the market?

Before getting to what rapid online course creation software is today, Jude and Ryan start by clarifying what the evolution of these tools looked like over the past twenty years. Since both men have memories (fond and cringe) of the metamorphosis that’s guided the field, they feel it’s important to share what’s changed.

Before authoring tools started to take shape, it took several components created by respective members of a team to create an online training course. Typically, creating eLearning or online training course content required multiple contributors to fully develop. This included:

  • A subject matter expert (SME) - someone who provides the experience and knowledge on best practices and information that is shared in the eLearning content.

  • A learning designer - someone with instructional design experience to plan the actual way the educational information would be most effective.

  • A graphic designer - someone to create the visual elements from graphic images to the actual layout of the online training course content.

  • A technology expert - someone who was skilled in writing either Java or Actionscript to enable interactivity for the online course content.

  • A training administrator - someone who would disseminate the content to the end-user or learners (the online course audience).

This might seem like a lot, but back in the early 2000s, this was a fairly common composition for either an in-house or external learning and development team in an organization. Sometimes you have other members of an HR team or Operations to work with the administrator to get the online training courses delivered.

As you can imagine, this process was neither “rapid” nor optimal to what the initial driver of eLearning is—someone like an SME that has knowledge they want to share with others easily and effectively. Our article on what is eLearning covers an ATD report stating that it took nearly 800 hours to create interactive online courses.

Thankfully, rapid online course creation software accelerated the process and made it more accessible to SMEs. Online training platforms also empowered business owners and team leaders to be able to create effective online training courses without needing experience or resources.

What is rapid online course creation software like today?

At their core functionality, eLearning authoring tools as we know them now started as Flash or Captivate, software that accelerated the process above. But even with these tools, it still took a substantial amount of time to create an hour of online training course content in 2017.

Getting into 2016, we start seeing more and more platforms that enable eLearning course creation. Ryan asks Jude what he would define as a rapid content creation software today in the video below.

“I think what makes rapid authoring rapid is the fact that it's like platforms like Canva and kind of Squarespace. They've already done the design for you, all you have to do is replace the content and that's what makes it rapid.”

- Jude Novak

Remember above how Ryan and Jude mentioned earlier that it used to require multiple contributors to create online course content? We now know what is an authoring tool, so what is rapid course creation software?

These platforms enable you to make an online course as an individual, without needing experience in designing eLearning. Rapid online course creation software also reduces the number of contributors and resources needed to a single individual. This was a huge change compared to traditional authoring tools that required experience as well as other contributors to create an online course.

Rapid authoring tools initially were introduced to solve other market issues such as getting a website designed and online, create graphic images, producing high-quality video, and other forms of content. These platforms influenced online course creation software that leverages eLearning templates. Ryan and Jude dive more into how these work in the next section.

The benefits of rapidly created online training courses

Jude talks about how the most effective part of rapid online course creation software is the “box” it lets you create content in. These tools were designed to create eLearning courses that leverage known best practices from instructional designers. Because industry experts applied so much experience and learning science practices, they were able to prevent common eLearning mistakes.

Ryan adds that, because L&D models were the basis of these online course templates, it simplified the process for none-L&D SMEs to make online courses. Jude cringes because he recalls what it took for him to get to the point of leveraging templates instead of using older eLearning methods to create an online course.

Looking back, Jude says he’s created 7500 individual Flash files with different screens with content for online courses. After an audit of the files, he found that there were only about 50 that were being repeatedly used.

Jude noticed that, though the content and information would change, the base layout and interactive components remained the same. By converting these files into a template, Jude was able to accelerate the time it took to produce online courses. Not only that, the number of resources and contributors required could be scaled down to a single individual.

So how does rapid online course creation software benefit business owners, team leaders, and individuals? By providing an accessible and powerful set of tools to disseminate their knowledge to their audience. These professionals often are SMEs, but otherwise lack the resources needed to make an online course. Rapid online course creation software bridges this gap.

A study by Brandon Hall Group found that if you create content with rapid online course creation software, you can:

  • Spend 50% less time to make content compared to traditional methods.

  • Reduce online training costs by as much as 69%.

  • Increase learner engagement by as much as 99%.

All of that makes for some compelling reasons to make an online course with these platforms.

What is the future of rapid online course creation software?

Ryan is constantly chatting with customers of Coassemble about how the most important thing they can do to get started making online courses is to make one. Even if it’s an hour in the morning before the business opens, a founder could create a short course on company goals for the week. Send it out to everyone on Monday morning, and by Friday, staff will have an idea of what they need to accomplish and understand the strategy.

Even if it’s not perfect, the point of creating an online course is to share knowledge. By leveraging rapid online course creation software, anyone can easily make an online course that effectively shares knowledge with their audience.

And sure enough, in the last five years, more and more individuals can create and share knowledge. One of Ryan’s favorite things he hears from people using rapid online course creation for the first time and the positive response they get from their audience.

So many business owners and team leaders hear “wow, did you make that?” Because with the right platform, they were able to make an online course that looked good and had mobile functionality. And they’re impressed because it looks like a high-end online course without the high-end price tag or experience required.

Jude says the future of rapid online course creation software is integration with other platforms people already use. Imagine being able to go into Slack or a social media platform and share an online course directly from the platform.

Because of how these newer online training platforms operate, you can share an online course link nearly anywhere. And whoever interacts with it triggers data to report in an analytics dashboard. All with an all-in-one online training platform. That’s what makes rapid online course creation software “rapid”—the ability to create AND share engaging content in a matter of minutes.

Try rapid online course creation software for free!

Ryan and Jude don’t normally do a product bump, but this episode is special. Since we’re talking about creating online courses rapidly, we have some exciting news!

If you want to try out creating and delivering engaging content with an all-in-one online course creation software, give Coassemble a try! It’s free to try our platform—we're pretty sure you'll like what you see.

Subscribe for more episodes

The CoLab Podcast is a twice-monthly series that will include guests as well as Ryan providing expert knowledge on sharing knowledge, employee experience, and growing teams successfully at scale. To stay up to date, click subscribe wherever you enjoy listening to podcasts to receive the latest episodes.

Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you next time.

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