20 Useful Tools for Building and Delivering Online Courses

The world of online course building is full of tools you can use to pour your creative juices into your projects. It can be difficult to navigate through all the different tools to find what works best for you. That’s why we’ve listed below 20 tools for creating online courses, as well as platforms for delivering these courses, as a bonus. This list is designed to reduce the cognitive load you may experience when sifting through mountains of information on the Internet. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

Course writing software

Authoring software are tools used to create online courses and tutorials. Here is a list of some of the best solutions you can find.

1. iSpring Suite Max

This is an extended version of iSpring Presenter. With its help, you can create more versatile content: courses, quizzes, video tutorials, screencasts, role plays and interactive activities for any learning task. It also comes with an online team content collaboration space and content library, which provides over 69,000 templates, characters, and locations for fast writing.

Cost:$970 per author/year,

2. Articulate Storyline

Articulate Storyline is a course building platform that provides the ability to create interactive courses with quizzes, animations, assessments, screen recording, text-to-speech, and a robust media library. In fact, it is similar to iSpring Suite in terms of functionality, but it also allows you to create custom interactions and consequently has a steeper learning curve.

Cost: $999 per user/year, $1,299 for teams/year

3. Camtasia

Camtasia mainly focuses on video, so no slides with this tool. However, this is a powered software that caters to educational designers by providing the ability to create quizzes, animations, and screenshots for tutorials. Camtasia is one of the most complete, yet still easy-to-use video editing tools out there for learning designers and can be used in conjunction with another course writing tool when needed.

Cost: $255 per license

4. Adobe Captivate

It has quite a steep learning curve, but is a very versatile tool for course writing. It lets you build slide-based courses, take screenshots, create interactions, animations, quizzes, and more. Unlike its alternatives, it also has great capabilities for creating VR projects, interactive videos, and software simulations.

Cost: $1,299 per license or $33.99 per month

click here to learn more about the best eLearning authoring software.

Graphic design tools

As an instructional designer, you may need to create some graphic design for your learning content. So, here are several applications that are perfect for both absolute beginners and experts.

5. Canvas

Canva is a web-based, easy-to-use tool that is ideal for those who are not graphic designers. There are many pre-made images, stock photos and even gifs in this software that users can use to create their own scenes, characters and more.

Cost: Free; multiple pricing for pro accounts

6. Adobe Photoshop

This tool has been around for a long time and is very good for adjusting images. It is not your average photo editor and can completely transform your photos to meet the needs of your training.

Cost: $20.99/month

7. Adobe Indesign

Adobe Indesign is great for creating slide layouts and other graphic designs. You can create stylish, effective slideshows and later turn them into online courses, as well as PDFs and eBooks.

Cost: $20.99/month

8. Figma

This cloud-based software has all the tools you need for design purposes, including vector tools, prototyping capabilities, and code generation. Another advantage is that you can share designs with your colleagues and clients without having to download software to view or edit them.

Cost: The Starter rate plan for individuals is free.

Animated video software

Animated videos are a great way to spice up your workout and prevent glassy eyes. From whiteboard animation to colorful animated videos, here’s a list of cloud-based software designed to meet your animation needs.

9. Video Writer

Videoscribe is a very easy to use software that you can use for whiteboard animations, explainer videos and more. Beginners can jump on this platform and quickly create professional videos.

Cost: $17.50/month, $96/year

10. MySimpleShow

MySimpleShow makes it really easy to create animated explainer videos. Just write the script and it will even create a storyboard for you. This is a super novice tool, but it gets the job done.

Cost: $129 for Business, $499 for Pro

11. Vyond

Vyond is one of the best animation software on the market with tons of customizable characters, scenes, and other resources to create unique animation-based videos. To speed up student immersion in the courses, you can use dialogue, lip sync, and realistic movements.

Cost: from $299 per user/year

12. PowTone

PowToon is a powerful template-based animation tool. There are countless assets and possibilities for customizing animation videos for training. It features a wide variety of characters in work-related contexts, with a wide variety of locations.

Cost: from $19/month

13. Moovly

Moovly is another great animation software that offers the ability to create videos with customizable templates. You can create video tutorials by simply dragging your images, video clips, and music into pre-made templates, then personalize them by changing the colors, footage, background, and more.

Cost: free subscription; paid plans start from $24.92/month


Illustrations can provide your workout with the visuals needed to get your point home. No need to struggle with creating your own images, according to buffer. Check out the following list of websites where you can download images.

14. Free

Freepik is a place where you can download free vector graphics, stock photos and more. The free version lets you explore thousands of photo and graphics resources, but there is a download limit. The paid version allows you to download more resources daily. However, there is a limit regardless of the plan. The Freepik company also offers slide templates, illustrations, and icons.

Cost: free, EUR 7.49/month (annual payment)

15. Vecteezy

Vecteezy is useful for creating engaging training modules. Not only can you download free vector images and stock photos, but you can also download stock photos. It offers tons of video footage and even templates for post-processing.

Cost: free, $9/month (annual payment)

16. Vector Stock

VectorStock offers thousands of free, high-quality vector images to customize your workout. They have a total catalog of over 25 million royalty-free vector images accessible through their premium subscription plans.

Cost: $14.99 per image and other plans

Learning Management Systems

A learning management system (LMS) is a platform that allows training administrators to assign training modules, track progress, send certificates, offer rewards, create leaderboards, and more. Below is a list of some of the best LMS software on the market.

17. iSpring Learning

This is an easy-to-use LMS that has everything you need to manage your training program. It allows you to upload your existing training courses (including SCORM courses and quizzes), assign training to employees, enroll users in customizable groups, track users’ training progress, and more. This comprehensive tool also integrates with Zoom, allowing you to host live Zoom trainings directly in iSpring Learn. Plus, you can integrate iSpring Suite for course writing into iSpring Learn, making it easy to build and manage your training in one place.

Cost: From $2.82 per user/month

18. TalentLMS

This is a highly customizable LMS that allows you to upload training courses, add tests and quizzes, and host live sessions. You can also manage your users within TalentLMS and transform the software to look and feel the way you want. TalentLMS also has ready-made training courses that you can use immediately.

Cost: $59.00 per feature/month

19. Adobe Captivate Prime LMS

This LMS provides end-to-end training management support, complete with creating a gamified environment with leaderboards, uploading SCORM courses, and easy access for users to complete their training requirements. It also integrates easily with Adobe Captivate, making it easier to build and host the course.

Cost: $4/month per user

20. Docebo

Docebo is an LMS that is powerful and adds a social media-like aspect to training that allows users to ask questions and share learning content. The platform also uses AI to ensure that users have the content they need when they need it.

Cost: request

The tools on this list aren’t the only solutions on the market, but they stand out as some of the best in the industry. It would be helpful to bookmark this page so you know what resources to use when building your next course(s)). Happy building!

Last updated: September 10, 2021