E-learning courses are looked upon as a costly option, that require huge resources and finances. Budget constraints is an important factor that puts off institutions and organizations looking for alternate training options. People usually have a misconception that we cannot create effective e-learning courses with a tight budget. That is not true. It is a fact that simple and effective e-learning courses can be using a few tricks and following a few tips can be developed even under shoe-string budgets. There might be a few limitations on the usage of complex interactivities or gamification methods, however, we can still create effective and engaging courses within limited budget also. Proper estimation of budgets and use of right resources will help deliver quality-based e-learning outputs.
Here are five tips that will help you create amazing e-learning courses within a limited budget.
1. Show only “Need to Know” content
Visualizing and showing all content that the client has provided in inputs will increase costs of production. So, we have to first analyze the learning outcomes of the module and decide upon the essential content that the learner has to know to achieve those objectives. This will help us decide the content that should be visualized and shown onscreen. Once the ‘need to know’ content is decided we can show the rest of the information either in the form of resources or links.
2. Create Bite-Sized Modules
Creating courses that run for 30 mins or more takes a long time for development that can significantly increase the cognitive overload on learners. We can therefore create small bite-sized modules of 8-10 minutes’ duration wherever possible. This helps in reducing development costs and time taken without impacting the quality of learning. Moreover, small bite sized modules help the learner retain information longer.
3. Use In-house Narrator
Audio recording with professional narrators is costly often increasing the budgets of e-learning courses. We can have a few house narrators to develop cost-effective courses. A few audio samples of in-house narrators can be sent to clients letting them choose their preferences. This helps in reducing audio costs without compromising the quality of the course.
4. Reuse Existing Templates
A standard template library of existing templates can be created and templates can be used wherever necessary. Creating a new template each time you get a new project is time consuming and increases development costs. A library consisting of various templates suiting particular topics; subjects and most preferred by organizations and institutions ensures that IDs can simply access the already prepared models for creating new sets and courses.
5. Select Cost-effective Tools
Choosing the right authoring tools also plays a major role in reducing costs. We have many rapid authoring tools that can help us create courses quickly. We need to select the tool that best fits the project based on requirements. For instance, Articulate Storyline has many built-in characters and quiz templates that can save a lot of development time. For a simulation based course Captivate can help create alternatives quickly and allows you to Publish the course in any format (Laptop, IPad etc.)
Whatever is the budget of the project, the ultimate goal is to give a wonderful learning experience to the learner. Having limited budget doesn’t mean that we compromise with the quality of the learning. The five tips mentioned in this post can help deliver effective course to the learner. If you have any additional tips to add, please do share it.
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