Before you can proceed to adapt custom e-learning you must know what it is. Custom e-learning courses are tailor-made to fulfill your organization’s learning objectives. It weaves the content around the needs of your employees and creates a user interface that reflects your brand values. Custom courses are poles apart from off-the-shelf courses. Off-the-shelf courses usually cover generic topics like team building, compliance training, change management, negotiation skills, effective customer handling, courses on Microsoft Office, etc. They are not designed with a specific brand or industry in mind. Off-the-shelf learning can be viewed as ready-to-eat foods, just heat and serve; but, what’s fast is not always nice.
Custom e-learning solutions come with their own set of advantages that off-the-shelf courses just cannot match up to. Since you have complete ownership of the course, updating and enhancing your training programs according to the changing needs of the industry also becomes very easy. Assessment and feedback strategies can be fine-tuned to test users on important topics, helping you make the most out of the course.
As a novice, how should you create a custom digital program that can talk your company’s talk? Though custom e-learning is expensive at first, that cost is offset when learners reuse it over time. Creating a course that not only reflects your company’s unique identity but also adequately fulfills your business and learning objectives requires high level skills and expertise. Hence, the first step you need to take before you begin your custom e-course development is to pick the right e-learning vendor.
Below are some considerations to think about before making that choice:
With the advancement of many authoring tools, any new company can claim to develop a custom e-learning program. Select a vendor who is an expert in custom e-learning. You don’t want to select a vendor for whom e-learning is just a small part of their business. Vendors who dabble with multiple businesses can offer you a better deal, but that doesn’t guarantee quality. Choose vendors who have dedicated instructional designers, visual designers and multimedia experts for creating e-learning programs.
Developing a custom e-learning course can be an extensive and time-consuming process. There will be many stakeholders involved and the course content will shuttle back and forth many times before the final version is locked down. Such a volatile environment is the perfect recipe for things going wrong at some point or the other. To avoid this, make sure that your vendor has a tried and tested development process, like CommLab’s 5 step process. The process should keep adequate space for multiple revisions and assure top-notch quality.
Review Past Work
Review the vendor’s work to check credibility and understand their working style. The quality of custom e-learning courses that they have already delivered gives you deep insight into their capabilities. This allows you to evaluate whether the vendor can develop courses that meet the level of customization you want in your digital learning program. You should get in touch with previous customers to get a better idea about the vendor’s delivery timelines, competence, costs, etc. Always perform this check so that you don’t become a test subject for someone who is just starting out.
Know the Development Team
Every company will try to put up a spellbinding presentation, but in the end, it’s their employees who are going to take care of your deliverables. Hence, you should connect on one-on-one basis with the key people who are going to drive your custom e-course development. Something as simple as having a candid chat with them can go a long way in giving you a glimpse of the quality of work they can deliver. You get a good chance to judge their caliber and come to know how much experience they have. Since the training programs are to be customized, you can even motivate the team to come up with the most creative ways to achieve your learning objectives.
No Legal Worries
When it comes to custom e-learning courses, the last think you need is misunderstandings related to plagiarism. Since a course is developed for your organization, it becomes your intellectual property. If any aspect of the course is unduly copied from other sources, it can land you in legal troubles. Always make sure that your e-learning vendor uses licensed copies of all the e-learning tools and copyrighted images or infographics.
I hope that this article clears up your doubts about custom e-learning courses and is enough to get you started.