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Instructional Design

The 13 Best Instructional Design Tools & Resources

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By Fatima Mansoor

instructional design tools

With the best instructional design tools, you can build and deploy powerful online course content quickly and easily.

From learning management systems and LMS hosting solutions to video editing and eLearning authoring tools, these instructional design software tools provide everything you need to create engaging and effective learning experiences for your audience.

Check out our full guide to the best tools for instructional designers below.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost for you, we might get a commission if you click the link and purchase.

What are the Best Instructional Design Tools?

Here are some of our favorite ID tools that can make your life easier…

1. Best for LMS Hosting: Cloudways

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Plans starting as low as $10/month. 3-day free trial.

Cloudways offers affordable, dependable LMS cloud hosting that emphasizes performance, security, and scalability.

This service helps you quickly and easily deploy your online course content without worrying about server management or downtime.

It supports all WordPress LMS plugins, including LearnDash, LifterLMS, and Tutor LMS, amongst others.

With its impressive suite of features, Cloudways offers a secure cloud environment to easily manage your courses and learning materials.

Key Features

  • 100% data privacy policy
  • Digital advertising to promote the business as per modern trends
  • Access real-time analytics for better progress
  • Facility to monetize content
  • Intuitive database
  • Strong backup to prevent loss of data
  • Dedicated support team to assist 24/7
  • Bandwidth allowance to ensure smooth operation
  • Built-in upgraded caches
  • Fast server speed
  • Free of cost SSL certificates

Click here to try Cloudways free for 3 days.

2. Best for Video Editing: Camtasia


  • Individual: $299.99 per user. Low-cost renewal.
  • Business: $299.99 per user. Volume discount available.
  • Education: $212.99 per user. Renews at a lower cost.
  • Government and Non-Profit: $268.99 per user. Volume discount applicable.

Camtasia is a popular screen recording and video editing tool that can be great for creating course content.

The platform offers an easy-to-use interface, making it the perfect choice for instructional designers who want to create engaging videos without having to learn complex editing software.

Camtasia also comes with a library of royalty-free music, audio clips, and sound effects that you can use in your course content.

This beginner-friendly platform is all set to make your all-in-one video editing dream come true.

Key Features

  • Ability to add avatars in videos
  • Access filters and other prominent features
  • Enhanced video quality
  • Ready-to-use video templates
  • Ability to export to SCORM
  • Four different quizzes are available
  • Easy transitions and text for readability
  • Free Mobile App to enable Mobile screen recording

3. Best for Creating Mobile-Friendly Courses: Adobe Captivate


  • $33.99 per month
  • Free trial downloads are also available

Adobe Captivate is another great platform for creating instructional content for online learning courses. It’s one of the very best instructional design software tools out there today.

This platform allows you to create interactive, high-quality custom eLearning courses with an intuitive interface.

With animated features and multimedia aid, interactive e-learning material can be designed in no time.

Key Features

  • Ability to organize a content library with preset feature
  • Integrated with popular formats like SCORM
  • Assessment tools such as quizzes are available
  • Integrated with LMS to store eLearning courses in one place
  • Direct audio recording is available

4. Best for Course Design: iSpring Suite


Plans starting at $470/year

iSpring Suite includes a full set of tools for creating interactive, responsive courses and tests with no skills required.

This one-stop solution includes an authoring tool, a learning management system (LMS), quiz maker, and PowerPoint conversion capabilities.

It’s a great choice for instructional designers who want to create content without coding or design experience.

The platform also offers built-in tools to track course progress, assign tasks and grades, manage analytics, and more.

Simply put, iSpring Suite helps you develop engaging LMS– and mobile-ready courses, and collaborate on them with your team members.

Key Features

  • PowerPoint features are fully supported
  • Quizzes and assessments
  • HTML5/SCORM course creation
  • Existing templates to choose from
  • Thousands of icons to make content interactive
  • Team collaboration tools to create content

5. Best for Live Training: Articulate Storyline 360


  • Freelancer personal plan: $1099 per user/year
  • Freelancer teams plan: $1399 per user/year
  • Company teams plan: $1399 per user/year
  • Academic personal plan: $549 per user/year
  • Academic teams plan: $699 per user/year
  • Volume discount automatically applicable on 10 or greater users
  • Free trial available

This incredible tool is commonly used for employee training programs. It helps launch eLearning courses and lesson plans using various templates. It also includes real-time live environment training sessions to add a personalized touch.

Key Features

  • Supported by popular platforms like SCORM & AICC
  • Live webinars can be conducted
  • Helpful for small to medium-scale organizations
  • Template alignment with brand
  • Gamification to develop user interest
  • Data can be imported & exported
  • Collaboration tools available
  • Available in multi-language

6. Great Authoring Tool: Lectora Publisher


  • Silver Suite (individual): $999 per year
  • Gold Suite (teams, per author): $1399 per year
  • Platinum Suite (teams, per author): $1999 per year

Lectora Publisher allows the user to publish course content in a no-fuss manner.

With ready-made course frameworks and mobile themes, the development process is shortened.

All you need to do is import PowerPoint slides, attach a recording of the screen, and publish the chosen courses in the preferred LMS format. And you’re done! You can choose to insert add-ons to make the end course advanced.

Key Features

  • End-to-end user experience tools
  • Frequent addition of new templates
  • Supported by mobile interface
  • No technical knowledge is required for the use
  • Integrated with SCORM, HTML, AICC, and CD

7. Scalable Authoring Solution: Elucidat 


  • Pricing available upon quote
  • Plans available: Basic, Team, Enterprise, and Scale

Elucidat helps you create effective eLearning experiences quickly and easily.

With a full authoring suite, advanced features like social polls and branching pathways, and intuitive workflows, Elucidat is an unbeatable tool for crafting unforgettable learning journeys at scale.

Key Features

  • Localization workflows to enhance the reach
  • Access control allows the primary user to collaborate
  • Supported by all device types
  • No high-level skills are required
  • Ready-to-use templates
  • Ability to save and edit
  • Supported by eLearning formats like HTML5 & SCORM
  • Data encryption

8. Great for Screen Recording: Cloud App


  • The basic plan is free
  • Individual Advanced plan: + $9.95
  • Team Advanced basic: + $8 per user
  • Enterprise price available after consultation

Cloud App is a free downloadable App that enables professional content creation with a highly equipped toolkit. It allows the user to create and share video content from their computer quickly and easily.

Key Features

  • Screen capture feature to showcase details
  • Add annotations to make screenshots interesting
  • Make your GIF
  • Demonstrate and communicate via screen recording
  • Web recording for a personalized touch
  • Upload & share files of varying types
  • Add a CTA button for accessibility
  • Create folders to organize data
  • Customize logo, domain name, redirect URLs, and a lot more

9. Great for Video Editing: Screenflow


  • The basic plan costs $169 per year
  • Premium plan: $259 per year
  • 20% discount available for a limited time
  • Subscriptions and renewals are non-refundable

Telestream’s Screenflow is a popular software used to create content through screen recording. It also enables the user to edit and customize the content with animated features. Audio can also be recorded alongside the video to create content.

The editing functionality may be complicated to understand for beginners, though, as many options are available. Practice and tutorials may be required.

Key Features

  • Easy upload to popular social media sites
  • Convert recordings into fun GIFs
  • HD quality recording of the screen
  • Ability to record multi-screens
  • in-built library to add images and videos
  • Text animations & video animations
  • Multi-channel audio
  • Animated graphics and logo
  • Ability to record phone screen
  • Ability to add subtitles/closed captions
  • Interactive templates

10. Great for Training Teams: Brainshark 



Brainshark provides the necessary tools to equip large-scale organizations to conduct mass training programs and ensure that everyone takes their learning journey seriously. You can track employee readiness, create learning paths, and more.

It is excellent for both standalone courses and detailed curriculums.

Key Features

  • Information can be updated and revised
  • Track learner’s progress via analytics
  • Records can be updated on HRMS
  • Track the attendance of each learner
  • Ability to send reminders
  • Built-in course authoring
  • Versatile and easy-to-use
  • Audio input is customizable

11. Great for Gamified Learning: Kahoot


Different plans are available for varying prices. Quote available after consultation

Kahoot is a unique platform that provides gamified learning with many quiz options. You can create engaging learning experiences at work, school, or home with the help of Kahoot.

It is a great tool to motivate learners and get them engaged in the learning process with fun activities.

Key Features

  • Make adaptable content for different industries
  • Multiple language feature
  • Ready-to-use quiz bank
  • Supports all devices, including Mobile Phones
  • Interactive interface
  • Special emphasis on trivia
  • Ability to conduct live tests to ensure transparency

12. Easy Video Creation: Moovly


  • Pro plan: $33.25 per month
  • Max plan: $49.92 per month
  • Enterprise plan: custom pricing
  • Price increases with features addition

Moovly is home to special tools to create videos in differing styles. It adds value to different departments. For example, Sales & Marketing benefits from attractive video ads to highlight brand visuals. The Human Resources department benefits from video tutorials created to aid workers and communicate important information.

Besides this, it is equally valuable for the education sector, where video lectures can be prepared to train faculty members and students.

Key Features

  • Screen and webcam recording available
  • Text conversion to speech
  • White labeling to enhance viewability
  • Ability to add subtitles automatically in a video
  • Ability to remove color
  • Video templates creation
  • HD quality
  • Numerous downloads
  • Styles: footage, motion graphics, and cartoons.

13. Great for Delivering Courses: SCORM Cloud


  • Little plan: $75 per month
  • Medium plan: $150 per month
  • Big plan: $300 per month
  • Bigger plan: $1000 per month
  • Even bigger plan: $5000 per month

This is a SaaS training content provider platform that helps host your e-learning content. Think of it as a testing tool to ensure that courses deliver as per the desired performance. You can even send direct links and emails to your target audience.

However, it does not offer customized user management, progress reports, stock libraries, competition certificates, and collaborative space.

Key Features

  • Integrate with online systems to share courses
  • Actionable analytical reports to keep a track
  • Language localization available
  • Upgrade to an advanced version
  • ADL-conformant Learning Recording Store

A Final Word on the Best Instructional Design Tools

Hopefully, you’ve found our guide useful. We’ve included a full selection of instructional design tools that range from LMS hosting services from Cloudways to video editing tools and a whole lot more.

As an instructional designer, you’ll need a variety of tools that can help you create, host, and manage instructional material. From the above-mentioned list of best tools for instructional design, you should be able to find something that fits your requirements.

And remember, instructional design is always evolving, so it’s important to stay on top of the latest tools, ID models, and technology by taking ongoing instructional design training courses.

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge and skills in instructional design, we strongly suggest exploring the Professional Certificate in Instructional Design program offered by Emeritus. This rigorous, five-month-long course provides students with a firm grounding in the essential principles of instructional design, including popular ID models and proven best practices for effective implementation in online learning contexts, among many other valuable topics and insights.

You can learn more about the program and request a brochure at this link.

Best Overall
Emeritus Professional Instructional Design Certificate | Online Certificate Course Emeritus Professional Instructional Design Certificate | Online Certificate Course

Gain firsthand expertise in instructional design principles and methodologies through this unique Professional Certificate program. Create impactful learning solutions and improve people's ability to learn.

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Have any questions about our guide to the best instructional design tools? Leave a comment below so we can help.

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