The benefits of cloud-based authoring
First off, what is the cloud?
Traditionally, authoring tools were desktop-based, meaning they had to be downloaded to a single computer to live offline. This presented a number of problems, with tricky installs, storage issues and a lack of mobility just a few that come to mind.
Then came cloud-based tools. The term ‘cloud’ basically means online. A cloud-based authoring tool, then, is simply an authoring tool that lives online. For tools like eCoach, everything happens in the cloud; from production, to publishing, to user management, to storage.
Benefits of the cloud
Installs and Updates
Installs and updates are nonexistent when software is housed online. In the case of eCoach, we add new features, take care of bug fixes and make UX improvements to the website monthly. You don’t have to constantly be checking for and downloading updates for your software - updates appear automatically, so your tool is always up to date.
Sharing & Collaborative Authoring
Collaborative authoring occurs when multiple authors are working on content at the same time. Because cloud-based authoring tools live online, authors can jump in and out of them from different devices and work in the same space in real time. This doesn’t just make for faster content creation; it also improves the quality of content, as authors can discuss potential changes and suggest edits as they work.
Sharing is another benefit of cloud-based authoring. Traditional desktop tools require the user to save their content and upload it to an online learning platform via SCORM package in order to share it. This process of conversion and upload can be time-consuming, especially if changes need to be made to the content. When it comes to cloud-based tools like eCoach, users simply click on the content they’d like to share to generate a URL link or SCORM package in seconds. Editing and re-sharing takes minutes. Note that sharing multiple pieces of content at once requires a paid eCoach Author account.
Storage & Accessibility
Your content is stored in the cloud, meaning it’s not taking up any space, and it’s also protected from any local hardware failures - say goodbye to the possibility of losing hours of created content, or having to constantly save and backup your work.
Cloud-based storage also means that content is accessible from anywhere, at any time. You can work from multiple devices across multiple locations, and share e-Learning materials on the go with smoother sharing features.
Why isn’t everyone on the cloud?
Whilst cloud-based authoring tools improve on desktop tools in many aspects, they usually aren’t as powerful in terms of the depth of authoring options that they offer. Desktop tools, for example, are better for creating complex branched scenarios in e-Learning lessons, or adding games and custom-built templates. Many e-Learning designers don’t require such complex features - a paid eCoach Author account, for example, comes with 37 premium templates that cover most scenarios for creating an e-Learning Course.
If it’s speed, flexibility, sharing options and ease of use you’re after, the cloud is probably for you.