Ordinarily when we think of the software tools that instructional designers and developers use, the category tends to be in the category of eLearning authoring tools. At the same time, there are many tasks that developers complete with software that supports other media creation as well as eLearning.

Examples most often include audio editing, image editing, video editing, and screen capture. Designers may find it necessary to search for such help, or when the need for such a function appears.

Software for the most commonly-needed ancillary functions often falls into these categories:

LMS- or LEP-based software: Learning management systems and learning experience platforms often include features such as large libraries of content for self-guided learning beyond what's assigned to employees. In addition, many such learning systems include tools needed to create, deliver, and track the effectiveness of eLearning programs.

Gamification: Many eLearning suites and LMS/LEP software include support for gamification features, including reward points, badges, leaderboards, and other gamification tools.

Mobile learning: There are increasing numbers of applications that support safety training, workforce development content, compliance solutions, and other training and performance assistance for employees who work in the field instead of from an office.

Video and audio recording and editing: These functions are often not well-supported in authoring tools. Instructional designers and developers will find it worthwhile to search for more complete tools that can be integrated with their principal authoring tool.

Graphics: Most of the time support for graphics will not be adequate within authoring tools, and designers and developers will need to locate standalone software in order to get what is needed.

Where to locate the additional software

A number of free tools were identified in an article published February 25, 2021 in Learning Solutions, "Free Ancillary Tools for Course Authoring".

The Authoring Tools 2019 Research Report is The Learning Guild’s most recent report on the subject of eLearning authoring tools. The global COVID-19 pandemic and shift to virtual classrooms has changed the world of software used for creation and distribution of learning and training content. However, the information in this report is still mostly good.

Finally, there are the online sites that specialize in reviews of software, including the categories of most interest to instructional designers and developers: