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An authoring system is a program which has pre-programmed elements for the development of interactive multimedia software titles. Authoring systems can be defined as software which allows its user to create multimedia applications for manipulating multimedia objects.
In the development of educational software, an authoring System is a program that allows a non-programmer to easily create software with programming features. The programming features are built in but hidden behind buttons and other tools, so the author does not need to know how to program. Generally Authoring Systems provide lots of graphics, interaction, and other tools educational software needs.
An authoring system usually includes an authoring language, a programming language built (or extended) with functionality for representing the tutoring system. The functionality offered by the authoring language may be programming functionality for use by programmers or domain representation functionality for use by subject experts. There is overlap between authoring languages with domain representation functionality and domain-specific languages.
An authoring tool is a software package which developers use to create and package content deliverable to end users.
Though authoring tools have a range of uses, they are commonly used to create e-learning modules. These modules are generally written to conform to some international standard, such as SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) or AICC (CBT) (Aviation Industry CBT Committee).
Distribution of content created with authoring tools also varies. Distribution methods include: web, kiosk, interactive CD-ROM, and executable file.
Since the term is somewhat general, many programs can be considered authoring tools, including Flash, and PowerPoint. However, only a small group of programs specifically include support for e-learning content standards including Elicitus, Macromedia (Adobe) Authorware, Director, Lectora, and iSpring Suite.
An authoring language is a programming language used to create tutorials, computer-based training courseware, websites, CD-ROMs and other interactive computer programs. Authoring systems (packages) generally provide high-level visual tools that enable a complete system to be designed without writing any programming code, although the authoring language is there for more in-depth usage.
- Hollywood (programming language) with its Hollywood Designer graphical interface.
- Learning management system
- XML editor
- Web design program
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