7 Point Checklist to Select the Best eLearning Vendor
With many eLearning vendors in the market, it is difficult to select the right partner. This post highlights seven pertinent issues to check, to make the right choice.
India is the warehouse when it comes to e-learning outsourcing. Many US and European organizations rank India as their preferred destination for eLearning development. Despite facing tough competition from other countries (including China, Mexico, Ireland and the Philippines), India has outmaneuvered them to emerge as the top outsourcing destination. However, there is competition in India as well. Hundreds of organizations have sprouted up in the recent years that claim to offer the best eLearning service.
This blog breaks some myths and reveals the key aspects that you need to keep in mind while choosing an eLearning vendor. Following this checklist will help you narrow down your search for the best eLearning partner.
1. Experience, Expertise, and Trustworthiness
The perfect eLearning partner is someone who is like a natural extension of your team. Before you outsource, ensure that your vendor puts in the effort that is collaborative, and economical. They should provide you with specialized expertise in custom eLearning development, instructional design development, that will increase quality and decrease development time.
The age of the company is just a number, look at the quality of their experience in domains that are similar to yours. You could also consider their presence on social media. The kind of posts they post, information and educational material promoted, opinions shared, views and comments, embodying the training programs they’ve created.
2. Quality Practices
Select a vendor who prioritizes quality over other things and ensures that rapid eLearning development takes place with high quality. Assess the kind of quality checks that are carried out by the team. Check if they have a robust checklist and guidelines to ensure quality is maintained. The best vendor would give you excellent value for money and would be willing to help you ensure satisfaction.
3. Size & Scalability
It is highly essential to consider the size and scalability of the eLearning company. As no two eLearning projects are the same, the skill sets required for projects are very different. Each project requires Instructional Designers, Visual Designers, production and technology personnel, etc., Vendors would require extensive knowledge of ID principles, a strong background in training, and in-depth expertise in working with the latest eLearning authoring tools.
This is especially true if you’re considering building a partnership over a period of time. To build the comfort level, you will need to be assured that you get to work with the same set of people. This is because they will understand your requirements better and will ensure your needs are met. As a company, you will surely scale over time. Ensure that your eLearning vendor is able to ramp up the necessary infrastructure to meet your requirements. Also, check for the e-learning translation experience of your prospective vendor. Your prospective eLearning partner should have considerable experience in e-learning translation, apart from e-learning development.
4. Client Testimonials
Your eLearning partner may have the best projects to present and a long list of clientele. However, that does not define the quality of work or the client-servicing capabilities. Call the references or the clients of the vendor before going ahead with the deal. Be open to all sorts of opinions and views about the vendor. Ask the eLearning company’s clients to be candid about your vendor. Find out if they faced issues during the course of development and how they were addressed.
Check if they had dedicated teams for projects or if the firm had employee turnover in the middle of the project. If so, how was that handled? Did it affect the timeline? These will help you choose your vendor wisely. Find out if the team had any problems understanding your eLearning requirements. Check how they handled feedback and iterations. You also need to consider their ability to work across time zones and communicate effectively with clients.
5. Samples of Similar Projects
Many of the projects developed by eLearning vendors cannot be shared due to non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). This is a good sign as it proves their trustworthiness. However, there will be generic courses that can be shared with clients. Sample courses will give you a fair idea of the kind of work that is being done and their capabilities in using authoring tools and serve as a demonstration.
6. Transparent Pricing
You need to have a set budget in mind before entering a project. From the vendor’s side, they should be able to guide you better to make the right decision. As a stakeholder, you need to have an understanding of what you want and as a vendor, they ought to say if it’s within budget. If not, they should be able to suggest effective alternatives. The elearning vendor may offer some pricing and scope options while negotiating. Ensure that you are sure of your understanding about your choices and the implications. At the end of the day, you need to get a training program that is engaging, practical, and useful, with a focus on knowledge retention for your learners.
7. Project Management Processes
Project Management is absolutely essential to manage and control the initiatives of an organization. Each project is handled in different ways, but they all follow a well-disciplined approach, complemented with general management skills. The success of any project depends on how well it is managed, and the process followed. Hence, it is highly essential to have thorough knowledge on the key elements of the project management process followed by your clients.
These are a few of the top considerations when it comes to choosing an eLearning vendor. Do share your thoughts and views on the same.