- 1 Definition
- 2 A short history
- 3 Genres
- 4 Sociology of authoring and reuse
- 5 Links
- 6 References
- An authoring environment is toolkit to build software or digital contents.
- An educational authoring environment allows to create artifacts like web sites, interactive hypermedia, microworlds, simulations,
Some authors make finer distinctions, e.g. in Locatis and Al-Nuaim historical review and analysis (1999), “ the term authoring tool refers to a range of software products having utilities for composing, editing, assembling, and managing multimedia objects, while the term authoring system refers to a subset of these products allowing multimedia development without having to program.”
2 A short history
- PLATO-like systems
- Programming toolkits for Videodisks
- Programming toolkits with multimedia extensions
- Multimedia authoring systems
- Web authoring systems
- Learning object repository and educational object communities
- Half baked systems (see Teacher empowerment)
- Educational technology for general overview of the field and Educational technologies for other technologies
- Design methodology
- Educational software evaluation
3.1 According to difficulty
- Programming toolkits, often used together with an Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
- Visual languages to author interactive systems
- Content authoring systems
3.2 According to data formats
(see various entries)
- Multimedia formats in various forms (bitmap graphics, vector graphics, etc.), e.g. tools for formats like:
- Interactive educational multimedia
- Google course builder (new sept. 2012)
- Computer programming code and data formats, e.g.
- E-learning standards
- Most LMSs do include an authoring environment through web-based forms. See IMS Content Packaging.
- Better systems offer support for standards like IMS Simple Sequencing (and hopefully IMS Learning Design in some near future).
- Activity-based systems like LAMS and CeLS
- Stand-alone editors like the Reload Editors, eXe or the IMS Learning Design Reload editor.
3.3 According to the interface metaphor
3.4 According to educational technologies
- Editors for microworlds, e.g:
- E-learning content editors
- eXe (probably the best free tool for starters)
- LCDS. The Microsoft Learning Content Development System can produce SCORM 1.2 objects
- CourseLab (SCORM 2004 compatible ?)
- Docendo (a free server-based solution)
- Scenari A suite of tools for creating e-learning contents.
- Udutu course authoring tool
- MOS Solo
- GLO Maker, Authoring tool for learning objects following a learning design perspective (made by CETL). Will compile to flash.
- Smartbuilder (free community version, no export)
3.5 According to educational function
Authoring tools can be either used by:
- teachers or content designers
- by students, typically cognitive tools like microworlds or computer-supported argumentation tools. But in principle, one can organise learning activities with any tool, e.g. let them design quizzes or learning contents.
4.1 Authoring by teachers
"Lessons learned" of the East/West group (Spohrer, Summer & Shum, 1998).
4.2 Towards Authoring communities ?
- Educational Authoring Tools and the Educational Object Economy, Special issue of JiME.
- Cammy Bean's mindmap of e-learning authoring tools (updated aug. 2010 when last checked on sept. 2010).
- Dalgarno, B. (1996). Constructivist computer-assisted learning: Theory, technique and tools. Unpublished Master of Science thesis, University of Canberra. (lost in cyberspace ?)
- Dalgarno, Barney (1998), Tools For Authoring Constructivist Computer Assisted Learning Resources: A Review, AsiLite 1998. HTML/PDF. (Note: This article is useful also for other design models using interactive multimedia).
- Dalgarno B (1996) Constructivist Computer Assisted Learning: Theory and Techniques, AsciLite 1996. HTML.
- Dalgarno, B. (2004). A classification scheme for learner-computer interaction. In R.Atkonson, C.McBeath, D. Jones-Dwyer and R.Phillips (eds) Beyond the comfort zone, 21st annual conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, Perth, Australia. Available: PDF. (This paper describes environments, but is useful for deciding on which criteria you will select a tool)
- Locatis,Craig, Al-Nuaim,Hana (1999), Interactive technology and authoring tools: A historical review and analysis, Educational Technology Research and Development, 47, 3, 9/18/1999, Pages 63-75, DOI 10.1007/BF02299634 (Access restricted)
- Repenning, A., Ioannidou, A. and Ambach, J. (1998). Learn to Communicate and Communicate to Learn. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 98 (7). HTML Hypertext - HTML
- Spohrer Jim, Tamara Summer & Simon Buckingham Shum (1998). Educational Authoring Tools and the Educational Object Economy: Introduction to this Special Issue from the East/West Group. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 98 (10). [www-jime.open.ac.uk/98/10 HTML Hypertext] - HTML - PDF
- Vaughan, T. (1993). Multimedia, Making it Work. Berkeley: Osborne McGraw Hill.