Everything You Need to Know Before Outsourcing eLearning [Part 1]

If you are a training manager thinking about outsourcing eLearning, you must understand why you should outsource eLearning, what is preventing you from doing so (if anything), and, most crucially, the prep work needed prior to outsourcing. This blog goes through all these topics in depth.

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eLearning Outsourcing – Everything You Need to Know Before Getting Started

Corporate eLearning design and development is both an art and a science. And to create an effective eLearning training program, you’ll need skilled and competent instructional and visual designers, authoring tool experts, smooth project management processes, and technological support. That’s why organizations that don’t have an in-house L&D team or whose existing team is busy with other tasks prefer to outsource eLearning.

These may include course design, development, and hosting support. Outsourcing eLearning design and development is preferred by organizations that do not have an in-house L&D team or whose workforce is overburdened with other responsibilities. One of the many benefits of outsourcing eLearning design and development is having access to skilled resources and the flexibility to scale up.

Why Outsource eLearning?

Outsourcing eLearning can give businesses a one-stop shop for all of their eLearning design and development needs. If you’re unfamiliar with the world of eLearning, the vendor’s expertise (and access to a large number of qualified professionals) will be quite useful. Outsourcing eLearning will help with:

Quick TurnaroundBecause developing eLearning courses is the primary business of the outsourcing vendor, they will be able to deliver high-quality eLearning courses within tight timelines. Outsourcing partners will usually provide round-the-clock services with a time-zone advantage. Every minute saved equates to reduction in cost.

Knowledge on Trends and Tools – A competent outsourcing partner will be up to date on the latest technology, authoring tools, and eLearning trends, and will be able to work effectively even with new tools. They will have a large pool of professionals including instructional designers (IDs) and authoring tool experts to design and develop learner-centric courses, utilizing iterative project management processes.

Resources – The sole business of a custom eLearning services provider is developing eLearning courses! That means they will have the resources to deliver your courses within timelines, without stressing out. Their robust quality assurance (QA) processes will ensure you won’t have to compromise on course quality. Most of them also offer value-added services such as eLearning translations and legacy conversions.

Explore instructional strategies to make eLearning engaging and personal.

So, that was about the ‘why’ of outsourcing eLearning. Let’s discuss some of the constraints that are preventing you from outsourcing eLearning and their solutions.

What’s Holding You Back from Outsourcing eLearning Development?

There may be problems or issues with project management, communication, confidentiality, deliverables, or quality. Here’s how you can work around them.

Constraint

Solution

Project Management
  • Have a single point of contact
  • Be clear on all expectations upfront
  • Communicate often
  • Ensure thorough quality checks
Communication
  • Ensure regular communication (via calls and email)
  • Plan for regular status updates
Confidentiality
  • Have legal NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) in place
Timely Deliverables
  • Ensure the vendor has an agile project management approach
  • Agree on regular milestones and deadlines
Quality

And that was about what could be the potential constraints of outsourcing eLearning, and their solutions. Now, let’s go into the groundwork you need to do (before actually outsourcing) that’ll help the project to be successful.

What Prep work Should You Do Before Outsourcing eLearning?

Define Specific, Measurable Learning Objectives

Specific and measurable performance-based learning objectives determine the scope of the course content, the instructional strategy, the course duration, the level of interactivities, and so, ultimately, the costs. Making your intended objectives clear will help your eLearning vendor create online learning courses efficiently. The instructional objectives should include performance, condition, and criterion.

Review Available Content & Fill Any Gaps

Thoroughly review all available content on the topic – classroom PPTs, whitepapers, PDFs, manuals, and guides. Remove unnecessary and irrelevant information that is not aligned with the set learning objectives. Check for content gaps and take the Subject Matter Expert’s (SME) help in filling those gaps. Update any content which has become obsolete. And then, your content is ready to be sent to your outsourcing vendor.

Bring Your Subject Matter Experts On-board (SMEs)

There cannot be a successful eLearning program without the subject matter experts’ (SME) inputs and contribution. They are experts in their domains, usually very sceptical about online training. So, investing some time to convince them about the need for eLearning is critical. They are also very busy individuals who find it difficult to take time out for training. You need to respect their time and contribution. And so, plan for curriculums and schedule SME reviews according to their convenience.

Wrapping it up!

Outsourcing eLearning content design and development may save your organization a lot of time and money since it allows you to offer personalized and unique eLearning courses. I’ll be exploring other facets of eLearning outsourcing in my next blogs. 

Outsourcing eLearning design and development is a delicate and intricate process that you can master, provided you have the right advisor by your side. Download this eBook that goes beyond simply describing what outsourcing eLearning entails. It gives you ideas on what can be outsourced, tips for choosing the correct vendor, ways to support your vendor, and more.

E-learning Development Outsourcing: A Comprehensive eGuide to Select the Right Vendor
eLearning Outsourcing – Everything You Need to Know Before Getting Started
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