Successful e-learning development and deployment needs multiple skill sets such as instructional design, visual design, multimedia, ICT, and project management. So, as a training manager in a large organization, if you consider outsourcing your training requirements, that is the right decision. However, in a hurry to relieve your burden, ensure you don’t shake hands with the wrong partner and spoil the whole purpose of equipping your workforce.
Here are five quick tips to assess the right e-learning vendor within a short span of time.
1. Don’t be Misled by Their Website
Yes, if you go by the claims of the official websites of e-learning solutions providers, all companies boast the same, and use jargon such as decades of experience, serving Fortune 500 customers, excellent instructional design strategies, and what not. Even when you Google the best e-learning development partners, you may end up with a confusing list as the search engine displays websites with more traffic first, and not according to the quality of their solutions. You can browse through the websites to get an idea, but depending wholly on them can mislead you. So it’s not advisable to consider an e-learning partner solely based on the claims of their websites.
2. Check their Experience
The experience of the vendor in training and e-learning actually counts. Consider an e-learning vendor who has at least seven years of real time experience in corporate training. The vendor should be an expert in e-learning design and development and at the same time, know how training works for organizations. This helps in the smoother execution of projects with less risk. The practical experience of an e-learning vendor aids him when faced with the challenges that arise in e-learning development.
3. Know the Project Management Process
To assess the e-learning vendor’s expertise, you can enquire about their project management process and execution. Knowing the processes and procedures the vendor follows will give you hints of how well they can manage your orders. Check whether they follow global standards such as the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide and allocating a dedicated Project Manager who will be the Single Point Of Contact (SPOC) to ensure the quality of deliverables. Such information will help you identify whether the e-learning vendor is ideal to shake hands with.
4. Seek for a Sample Project
If you cannot assess all other points mentioned in this post due to time constraints, the ONE thing you can do is – seek for the ‘no cure-no pay’ sample project. It’s the surefire tip to blow away the chaff and only serious players will remain. This is the litmus test to find out the genuineness of their claims. Serious e-learning vendors pass this test with flying colors.
5. Take their References
To assess the e-learning vendor quickly, speak to some of his customers. You will get the customers’ perception on the vendor’s work immediately. It will make your shortlisting task much easier than you think. The willingness of the e-learning vendor to reveal the details of his existing customers will show his confidence levels. The given customer profiles and the references talk aloud even before you contact the vendor. So do that.
Assessing an e-learning vendor is easier said than done. You may shoot the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) such as qualifications & experience of the team, current projects in the pipeline, experience on various Learning Management Systems (LMSs), etc. However, these five quick considerations will steer you in the right direction to gauge the e-learning vendor for your training outsourcing requirements.
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