When it comes to investing in an online training course, organizations have two options – to buy a course, or to create a customized course. The dilemma organizations face however, is deciding between the two, and which would yield better results. From our experience, we know that organizations can truly benefit much more from customized courses that are created from scratch.
Buying a course is easy enough – it’s available off-the-shelf, saves time, meets your industry’s requirements, is compliant with your learning platform, and may even seem inexpensive. All this makes ‘buying’ the perfect choice; but is it the right choice? It is, if you are looking for a popular, mainstream course that meets standard requirements and reaches out to a wide audience. Soft skills such as good communication skills, listening skills, and even leadership development courses can be bought off-the-shelf. However, off-the-shelf courses can leave a feeling of incompleteness and dissatisfaction.
Here are some reasons off-the-shelf courses might not work. The courses:
- Are ‘industry-specific’ and not ‘organization-specific’
- Don’t fit in with your organization’s branding
- May not contain critical, value-added information for your employees
- May contain irrelevant information that could confuse your employees
Customized solutions on the other hand, are different. They are built from scratch and can be tailored to meet specific requirements. Listed below are some ways that your organization can benefit from customized courses:
1. Customize content according to your organization’s training requirements
With no two organizations being alike, it’s highly unlikely you will find an organization that mimics your training requirements. So why mimic someone else’s training program?
Customizations help organizations personalize their courses, down to the minutest detail – a necessity in today’s cut throat competitive world, where there’s just a hair’s breadth between winning and letting your competitor win.
2. Increase the completion rate of courses
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have a completion rate of only 13% – even with several thousand enrolling ever year. According to a survey, poor quality courses, incorrect content, unrealistic expectations, inability to comprehend course content, and an inability to keep up with the level of difficulty due to lack of prior knowledge were all stated as reasons courses were not completed.
Organizations constantly battle dwindling online course completion rates. By creating courses around your learners’ needs, you make content relatable and contextual to their requirements, thereby increasing engagement and ensuring course completion.
3. Easily upgrade course material
The rate at which knowledge changes is phenomenal. What’s new today, is old tomorrow. It’s important to be able to always keep your training courses updated and provide your employees with the latest knowledge.
For example, by upgrading a course on a product’s features, a manager can make sure that his sales reps are up-to-date with what the company is selling. This is just an example, but the same principle can be used in other areas as well. The bottom line is that, it’s important for organizations to continuously improve on their efficiencies; and making sure that training is always up-to-date is a crucial part of that process.
4. No hidden costs
Unlike off-the-shelf courses that can come with hidden annual licensing costs, customized courses have no hidden costs. What you create is what you get, and you own what you get. Upgrading can be done in-house and won’t cost you anything, or get a course vendor to upgrade them for you at a very minimal cost. With shrinking training budgets, it doesn’t hurt to own what you buy.
Ultimately, the decision is yours. Perhaps there is a course out there that has already been built, that you could use for your training purposes. The question to think about and honestly answer is this: Would an off-the-shelf course completely fulfill your training requirements, or could you build it better?