Not every company can justify hiring a content development team or taking time away from training coordinators/HR staff members in order to create new training courses. However, before deciding whether to outsource eLearning, take a moment and consider these five factors:
One of the first factors to consider is budget. After all, if you have little to no budget then chances are making plans to outsource eLearning isn’t very realistic.
If you have been designated a budget for eLearning development then you have some options. You can choose to outsource all eLearning development to a content vendor or freelancer, choose to outsource certain training courses, or develop all training materials yourself.
Costs will vary greatly based on length of training, training format (PDF, video, interactive course, etc.), freelance developer vs. content development company, timeline, and more.
Depending on the type of training courses you’ll want to create, resources can be an issue companies will need to take into consideration.
If you plan on creating training courses utilizing mostly PowerPoint presentations then the only resources you may need are a content creator and a graphic designer, which is sometimes the same person.
But, if your ideal training program includes custom video work, interactive modules and more advanced coursework then outsourcing may be a better option to ensure the quality of the training doesn’t suffer.
We’re constantly reminded that time is not always our friend and nowhere is this more apparent than when you need to create either one or multiple training courses in a short period of time.
Those who have built time for training development into their schedule may not need to outsource eLearning courses. But, those who are trying to fit it into an already packed schedule might find it increasingly difficult to meet deadlines.
Much like budget, the time it takes to complete a training course depends on a number of factors. Even simple PowerPoint presentations can take hours to create from the beginning of content creation to laying out the actual presentation. In fact, one researcher put together this presentation breaking down how long (and how much money) it takes most organizations to create eLearning.
Training courses can cover a wide variety of topics, departments, regulations, products, etc. Carefully consider whether you (or other within your organization) have the level of expertise needed to both intelligently speak on the topic as well as create content that is easily understood.
For this, maybe you don’t need to outsource your course creation, but rather hire a subject matter expert (SME) to assist with the meat of the course. Then, you can take that content and put it into whatever eLearning format you’d like.
Quality (and in a sense, a course’s effectiveness) is one area where you don’t want to compromise.
You’ll want to make sure you can not only make the course look good and lay information out in a way that is most beneficial to your learners but you’ll also want to make sure any other elements (pictures, graphics, animations, music, etc.) are all high quality as well.
Make sure the course is relevant. Make sure it’s branded to your organization. Make sure it’s engaging.
Planning on selling your courses? Then it would definitely behoove you to outsource. Hire a vendor that can develop training courses worthy of the investment your buyers are making.
There are many other factors that go into deciding whether or not to outsource eLearning. These will be based on your organizations particular needs and situation, but using the five factors listed above should help get you started on making the right decision for your training program.
Do you have any other words of wisdom to impart when it comes to outsourcing eLearning?