The key to a truly engaging and effective online course that your students will love and enjoy is to include a variety of course multimedia. In doing so, you’ll appeal to a wider audience and will have a higher level of interaction from your students.  

As a designer, I’ve used tons of great tools for online course creation, some great and some, well, not so great!  Below are 9 of my absolute favorites, that I’ve used to successfully create my online courses:

1. Keynote – for creating awesome presentations

Since converting from Windows to Mac, I’ll have to admit that I haven’t used PowerPoint again. This Mac tool lets you easily create dynamic and beautiful presentations. All you need is a bit of imagination and creativity.  It’s so incredibly easy to use and even allows you to export your finished file as a PDF, image or PowerPoint.

2. Screencast O Matic– for free screen recordings

This free program can be used by Windows and Mac users and will record up to 15 minutes of on-screen activity for short tutorials and visual presentations. You can publish your completed files to Youtube or save them as video files. And for only $15 a year, the paid plan will give you access to all the premium features.

3. Canva – for designing really cool graphics

Canva is one of my favorite tools for online course creation!  This totally free tool is like Photoshop’s baby brother. It’s super simple graphic design software, perfect for beginners. Make presentations, infographics or e-books for your online course! The Canva library gives you access to tons of free photographs, graphics, icons and fonts, or you can choose to upload your own or buy images from the premium library for $1 an image.

4. Haikudeck – for designing visually appealing slides and presentations

This cloud-based online presentation tool will help you to create visually-stunning slide decks. Choose from a range of stylish designer templates and over 40 million free stock images. Their motto is simple: simplify your message, use images to amplify emotional impact, and keep your formatting clean and consistent.

5. Audacity – for recording or editing professional sounding audio

This completely free tool is used by e-learning experts and course designers around the world. It’s not an easy tool to use at first but once you get the hang of it, I guarantee you’ll be super impressed. It does require a download and I’d recommend you watch a few tutorials to get started. But soon you’ll be able to remove background noise, insert pauses, correct your pitch and tone, and create all sorts of crazy sound effects.

6. Powtoon – for creating short explainer or introductory videos

A free account lets you create super cool animated videos (albeit with their branding). You can choose from a range of ready-made templates, designs, images, animations and icons. Adding voiceover recording and importing background music is super easy too.

7. Bensound – for free, cool background music

Looking for creative commons background music to spice up your videos or presentations? This site by a French music composer lets you choose from a number of free and paid tracks. You can use as many free tracks as you like, as long as you credit the site www.bensound.com.

8. Piktochart – for creating awesome infographics

An easy-to-use web tool for building beautiful professional infographics. The free account allows you to use all the features but only offers access to a limited number of templates. However, if you’re a design guru, the create-from-scratch option will be right up your alley.

9. Befunky – for photo editing and designing graphics

Think of this one as PicMonkey and Canva rolled into one. Use the photo editor to create photographically-rich images with amazing effects. Or check out the graphic design tools and premade templates to create blog and social media graphics.

10. Freepik – for free vector images, icons and photos

Visuals help your students see the bigger picture. So take advantage of the Freepik collection of icons, vectors and photos, which you can download and use for free. But for a small price of $10 a month, you can download an unlimited amount of icons, photos, vector images and cool backgrounds daily.

I hope that these tools for online course creation help you get a jumpstart on creating an epic course! Remember, one of the most important aspects of creating an epic online course is to include media and content that help promote student engagement. If you’d like to learn how to put all your course content together in a way that makes sense, download my FREE ultimate guide to help you Plan, Design and Create Online Courses.

Tracey-headshot-round
Bio: Tracey Meyer is an online course creator, writer and blogger. She helps passionate infopreneurs to share their knowledge, create profitable online teaching platforms and sell engaging online courses and programs. Tracey has a 7 year background in the adult education industry and has been blogging since 2009. She lives on the gorgeous Gold Coast with her cheeky toddler and loves spending time at the beach or farmer’s markets.