The popularity of instructional CD-ROMS and e-Learning has been a boon to the courseware software industry. Online courses allow you to teach a variety of people anywhere at any time. Businesses that utilize online teaching methods save money by eliminating the need for a dedicated classroom or even printed training materials. If you need to create an online training program or web-based quizzes and tests to ensure your employees are familiar with required job tasks, courseware software will help you create the perfect instructional material.
Courseware software providers manufacture a variety of products that can be purchased off-the-shelf or tailored to meet your needs. Consider the following when gathering courseware software information:
1. What type of instructional material do you need to create for your business?
2. What is your budget for courseware software?
3. Is your training staff up to speed?
Select courseware software based on the type of instructional material you needIt is important to find courseware software designed to create the type of instructional material you need to educate your clients or workforce. Depending on the courseware software provider, you can purchase an off-the-shelf product specifically designed to create anything from web-based tests to those ready-made for compliance, safety or new-hire training. Customized courseware software is also available that targets different sized companies.
Create a courseware software list of vendors from which to compare pricesIt is important to select courseware software that fits your budget. You can choose between open source/free programs or corporate products. While some are free, the content may not be specific enough to meet your business needs. Others may provide more capability than you require and can cost thousands of dollars.
Train your staff to be proficient in development and design before using courseware softwareUsing programs correctly requires a core understanding of the principles on which it is based. It is therefore essential that those responsible for developing web-based instructional coursework or online educational materials be trained in the principles of course design and development.
- Before making a final decision regarding a courseware software purchase, try to get a free trial or demo. Depending on your network's bandwidth and browser, the quality of sound, video or graphics may vary -- and the demo would allow you to identify this right away. A free trial will also allow you to determine if the program adequately meets your training or instructional needs.