Everything You Need to Know Before Outsourcing eLearning [Part 2]
Toying with the idea of outsourcing your eLearning to a third party, but struggling with budgetary constraints? Here’s some good news. Instead of outsourcing the entire eLearning design and development, you could choose to outsource only those parts that can’t be done in-house. Interested? Read on.
Organizations have long recognized the advantages of outsourcing their eLearning requirements – cost-effectiveness, freeing in-house resources for other important tasks, ability to deliver training on schedule, and more. And many have begun to hire skilled vendors to help them achieve their training goals. In today’s competitive economy, businesses must ensure their staff constantly gain new skills sets and competencies to remain relevant. This can only be accomplished through effective and timely training that improves performance, supports successful outcomes, and helps learners be more productive to achieve the organizational goals.
Modern learners prefer online courses that include a healthy dose of multimedia and interactivity. Outsourcing eLearning development to a seasoned third-party vendor increases the likelihood of success of your training. When learners are offered high-quality, meaningful, and engaging training, it increases their motivation, which ultimately increases their productivity.
Tasks That Can Be Outsourced in eLearning
- Rapid eLearning design and development
- Only eLearning development
- Decisions on training formats and strategies
- Instructional design
- Multimedia components
- Digital assets for performance support
In my previous post on eLearning outsourcing, we had discussed:
- Why you should outsource eLearning
- What might be holding you back from outsourcing eLearning (and the solutions)
- The prep work you should do before you outsource eLearning
In this blog, we’ll go another important aspect of outsourcing eLearning – what can you actually outsource?
What eLearning Design and Development Tasks Can You Outsource?
If you were under the impression that eLearning outsourcing would mean delegating the entire eLearning design and development of your eLearning courses to an eLearning vendor, think again. Because you can choose to outsource only a part of it. Especially if you are facing budgetary constraints or have an in-house team who can perform some of the tasks.
Here are 7 different tasks you can outsource in eLearning design and development.
1. Rapid eLearning Design and Development
If you have the content in different formats and different states of readiness (PowerPoint presentations, ILT material, Word documents, videos), eLearning courses will need to be designed and developed from scratch.
That requires expertise in instructional design and authoring tools. If you don’t have an in-house ID team and authoring tool experts, outsourcing the entire design and development of the eLearning will make sense.
Rapid eLearning is a speedier, equally effective version of custom eLearning – but with a much shorter development time and reduced costs. Rapid eLearning also saves on SMEs’ time by minimizing their touchpoints in the eLearning design and development.
Rapid eLearning takes 30% less time than traditional eLearning for development. And how is that possible? By repurposing available content, creating templates, and standardizing the process. And by eliminating all the frills that are so much a part of traditional eLearning courses. Faster training yields faster results!
2. Only eLearning Development
If you have the content in the form of well-designed storyboards that are ready for production, but lack the resources to develop them into eLearning courses using rapid authoring tools, consider outsourcing only the course development part to the eLearning vendor. This has the added benefit of requiring minimal SME time and course development resources.
You can also outsource the conversion of mobile incompatible legacy courses to HTML5.
3. Decisions on Training Formats and Strategies
Competent eLearning vendors will offer consultation services, and because their core business is eLearning, their inputs will be very useful for you.
You could consult with them on the appropriate formats (eLearning? Microlearning? Blended learning? Standalone course or a curriculum of courses?) and strategies for your online training.
4. Instructional Design
If your in-house team lacks instructional design expertise (learning design and understanding of adult learning principles), you could choose to outsource only the instructional design part of the project. The vendor (with his team of expert instructional designers) will then help you define effective performance-based objectives, decide on the best instructional design strategy, and create assessments that are perfectly aligned with the learning objectives, and more.
5. Multimedia Components
In case your in-house team is finding it challenging to develop, customize, or program complex animations, interactivities, graphics, or videos, you could choose to outsource only the development of those media to a vendor.
Outsourcing will help you save on the costs of hiring people or purchasing tools for these jobs.
Outsourcing ensures your courses are translated by a network of competent professional native translators as it is very rare to find good quality translators (native speakers of the language) who also have domain knowledge among your in-house staff.
7. Digital Assets for Performance Support
If you have a good in-house team of instructional designers and authoring tool experts, you could use the eLearning vendor to generate engaging and compelling performance support assets.
Outsourcing eLearning content can be a one-stop solution to the issues that businesses face while creating eLearning content. Outsourcing allows businesses to gain access to a huge number of qualified specialists. If you are new to eLearning or just starting with it, their knowledge and expertise would be immensely valuable.
If you find the entire idea of eLearning outsourcing too complex and challenging to pursue, here’s a free eBook that can help. It explores when eLearning outsourcing is appropriate for your training requirements, how to use it effectively, how to identify the right eLearning vendor for your unique needs, how to make a business case for outsourcing, and more. Don’t believe me? See for yourself!