Here’s How You Can Find the Right Custom E-learning Partner

Here’s How You Can Find the Right Custom E-learning Partner

Here’s How You Can Find the Right Custom E-learning Partner

Over the last few years, a number of companies are outsourcing their e-learning projects to off-shore vendors. Firms across the world are partnering with online learning solutions providers overseas to meet their e-learning development needs. This growth is primarily driven by considerations of cost. Other factors such as high-quality communications facilities, a large pool of highly talented technology-enabled learning development professionals, and an outsourcing-friendly policy framework are also playing a key role in making e-learning development outsourcing an attractive proposition.

Do you too intend to outsource your e-learning development project? How can you get the best ROI on your outsourcing initiative? Among various aspects you need to consider, the choice of the right custom e-learning development company is inarguably the most important. Today, we will look at 7 best practices of selecting a good web-based course development partner.

1. Select a vendor with at least a decade of experience in providing corporate e-learning development solutions

You need to remember that developing a good e-learning course takes much more than the ability to use rapid authoring tools and graphic design expertise; it requires a clear understanding of your learning needs. See that the firm has a solid understanding of instructional design and adult learning principles. It is advisable that the company earns its bread and butter developing online courses. The firm’s team must be able to make the best use of state-of-the art technologies and latest developments to offer tailor-made technology-enabled learning solutions of high quality.

2. Make sure that the vendor has an experienced, qualified team

I’m sure you’d agree that an organization is as good as its people and bespoke e-learning development service providers are no exception. Outsource your course development project to an online learning solutions company that has a healthy mix of professionals as indicated below.

Project Manager
  • Acts a liaison between the stakeholders and project development team
  • Ensures timely delivery of the product and that the project stays within the defined budget
Instructional Designers
  • Develop Storyboards
  • Ensure content is designed in accordance with adult learning principles and instructional design strategies
Visual DesignersDevelop user interface and all visual assets such as images, templates, animations in accordance with client corporate branding
Authoring Tool Experts
  • Develop the course according to the Storyboard, in the desired e-learning authoring tool
  • Ensure the course functions technically and is compatible with LMS standards

3. Enquire about the e-learning company’s project management process

Good project management is the key to the success of your outsourced bespoke online course development initiative. It is extremely unlikely that you, as a customer, can visualize exactly what you want your end product to look like. As a result, the specifications of your e-learning project may undergo changes from time to time. This calls for the project management process of the vendor to be AGILE, at every stage of the web-based course design and development.

The company must be in constant touch with you and be able to implement your feedback to produce a high-quality online learning product. It must be able to coordinate with stakeholders and reviewers and meet deadlines, effectively.

4. Request the vendor for a free sample

Most prospective bespoke e-learning development companies would shy away, once you make this request. Only firms seriously interested in taking up your project will be ready to provide a free online course sample. A sample goes a long way in helping you judge whether the vendor is capable of meeting your needs. The response time for providing the sample is an indicator of how much they value their customers.

5. See if the company has case studies on their website

Case studies help you get an idea of how the company has met online development needs similar to yours. Many a time, due to non-disclosure agreements with their customers, custom e-learning development companies cannot reveal the names of their clients in case studies. However, they are a valuable source of information of how the companies have addressed various learning needs.

6. Ask for at least 3 references of companies in your industry they have worked for

There is no better way to assess the vendor than to speak with a few of the custom e-learning development firm’s customers. Asking for referrals will enable you to get feedback about their customer service. How ready the vendor is to provide details and the profile of these references will tell you a lot, even before you actually call or write to them.

7. Make sure the company you partner with is a thought leader

Check the bespoke online learning solutions provider’s contribution to the larger community – sharing their knowledge, expertise and vision. Find out if the company blogs regularly and shares its experiences and thoughts about developments in the domain. It is also necessary to check their presence on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and whether they facilitate conversations among people in the domain. You also need to check whether the company shares resources that help clients address their training and learning needs through webinars, eBooks and so on.

The choice of the right vendor goes a long way in making your custom e-learning development initiative a grand success. Follow the tips listed above to zero-in on the right bespoke online learning solutions provider.

View E-book on Practical Guide on Custom E-learning: A Handbook for Managers