I don't know quite what to call them, but they are growing in popularity. They are web-based applications that create "LMS-ready" elearning, supporting SCORM and/or AICC standards. A year or two ago, this seemed to be more of an in-house tactic with 1-2 commercial products along these lines. Now it seems like there are half a dozen commercial products with web-based authoring of Flash-based output.
In some cases they even offer their own LMS, in other cases they partner with LMS providers or professional services companies. Some of the systems focus more on SME-authoring, others on extensibility/customization, and still others on project management. Here are a few I've come across:
- SmartBuilder- This was probably the first one I remember seeing, back in 2000 or 2001. At that time they relied on Generator, but it has been updated many times since. It has several marquee clients in the Fortune 500.
- CourseAvenue- I first saw this in 2004, though it may have been around slightly earlier than that. It also has several customers that are household names. It was featured in the July 2005 Macromedia Edge newsletter.
- QMIND- This may be the newest of the bunch, but I like their product positioning which emphasizes the instructional design workflow and project/production management. They also have an interesting pricing model based on the modules used and roles.
- Mohive Toolbox- Mohive is based in Oslo, and seems to have garnered quite a few customers in Europe. I'm not sure how long the product has been around.
Are there some commercial products like these that I am missing? Let me know.