In my never-ending research in the eLearning tools market, I make it a point to ask a lot of questions of tool vendors. Most of the time they relish the opportunity to brag about the features of their tools. Other times they seem to resent some of my more pointed questions on whether their tools are able to address key elements required by excellent instructional design.

That’s okay—sometimes the non-answers tell me more than the by-the-sales-book pat responses. It’s especially useful when I talk with them face to face at conference expos, such as the one coming up at The eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2014. I make it a point to do so each time.

What about the less well-known eLearning tools?

I’ve written about several tools, most of which are well known, over the last four or so years, usually focusing on one tool each month. However, there are so many other tools that have little market recognition but that have passionate fan bases. Why do they stir up such dedication in their users?

The best reason for this dedication is this: The users perceive that these products fit a need. It’s important to remember that eLearning is not a one-size-fits-all industry. There are aspects of each project that are unique. That is, developers must deal with a combination of the needs of the learner audience, the content, the context, the amount of training that has to take place, the budget, the deadlines, and more. So a tool that may work perfectly for one project may fail totally on a different project.

Another reason for user dedication is a lack of awareness of other tools that may fit a need even better. Nobody has time to review all eLearning development tools and keep up on each new version (not even me), so it’s no surprise that once someone takes the time to learn a tool and becomes proficient with it, that person is reticent to give it up for another.

Which tool do you want to learn more about?

My intention for the next two months is to shine a light on lesser-known tools that you may find useful. I’ll give you a short review of what I consider the best of the bunch, and try to give you a quick rundown of the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Do you use any of these tools? Is there one or more of these tools you’re dying to know more about? Take my three-question survey, now through March 31: If you like a tool you want me to review, and it’s not on the survey list, email me at

Here’s a list of the 77 tools I’ve gathered—these are the ones included in the survey. Some of these are free and some are expensive. Remember that a free tool that is weak and takes a long time to use may prove expensive over time. An expensive tool may pay for itself if it fits your needs very well.

  1. ActivePresenter by Atomi Systems
  2. Atlantic Link by Assima
  3. Articulate Online by Articulate
  4. AuthorExpert by ITWorx
  5. authorPOINT by authorGEN Technologies
  6. BRAVO! by C3 SoftWorks
  7. Classmarker by Classmarker Pty Ltd.
  8. ClickClass by ClickClass
  9. Compendle by MyKnowledgeMap
  10. Course Toolkit by Psychologist World
  11. CourseAvenue by CourseAvenue
  12. CourseLab by WebSoft
  13. CoursEVO by CoursEVO
  14. DazzlerMax by Dazzlersoft
  15. Dipity by Underlying, Inc.
  16. EasyProf by Itaca
  17. easy TestMaker
  18. e-doceo content manager by e-doceo
  19. eLab by E-learning Group
  20. e-Learning Authoring Tool by e-Learning Consulting
  21. eLearning Course Builder by eLearning247
  22. Elicitus by Harbinger Knowledge Products
  23. Elucidat by Elucidat
  24. eNetAuthor by eCom Scotland
  25. EQUELLA by Pearson Education
  26. eXeLearning (Open Source)
  27. Expert Author by Knowledge Quest
  28. GLOMaker by London Metropolitan University
  29. ICE Rapid Course Development by Knowledge Anywhere
  30. iSpring Quizmaker by iSpring Solutions
  31. izzui by Izzui
  32. Jackdaw by e-learning WMB
  33. Knowledge Presenter by Kookaburra Studios
  34. KnowledgePresenter by Research House
  35. LeanForward eLearning by LeanForward
  36. Learning Edge by Intrafinity
  37. LearningStone (Open Source)
  38. Lecturnity by IMC
  39. Lersus by DELFI Software
  40. LessonWriter by LessonWriter
  41. Liquid Authoring by Landmark eLearning
  42. Luminosity Studio by CM Group
  43. Metamorphosis by Easy Authoring
  44. Mobile Learning by M-Learn On the Go
  45. MOS Solo by MindOnSite
  46. myBrainshark by Brainshark
  47. Odijoo by Lambda Solutions
  48. O-LAS Author by EssentialSkillz
  49. OmniSocial Content by Mzinga
  50. Openworld Presenter by OpenWorld Learning
  51. Opus Pro by Digital Workshop
  52. Perception by Questionmark
  53. ProProfs by
  54. Question Writer by Question Writer Corp.
  55. QuickLessons by QuickLessons
  56. QuidPro by Quid Interactive
  57. Quiz Creator by Wondershare
  58. RightCourse by Right Reason Technologies
  59. Savv-e Express by Savv-e
  60. ScateIgnite by Scate Technologies
  61. Scratch by MIT Media Lab
  62. Seminar Author by Acteon Communication and Learning
  63. SoftChalk by SoftChalk
  64. SOWISO Platform by SOWISO
  65. Stratus by iTrain
  66. SyberWorks Web Author by SyberWorks
  67. The One Minute Learning Tool by International Safetyware
  68. ToolBook by SumTotal Systems
  69. Total e-Learning Solution by FlexTraining
  70. Udutu Online Course Authoring by Udutu Online Learning Solutions
  71. Uperform by Ancile
  72. Versal by Versal Group
  73. VIDIZMO Interactive Video by Vidizmo
  74. WBTExpress Enterprise by 4system
  75. Xerte (Open Source)
  76. Zembl by Can Studios
  77. Zenler Studio by Zenler