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What Drives E-learning Development Outsourcing: 4 Key Factors

Over the last few years, the demand for online corporate training has continued to grow. Many organizations are moving away from the traditional teaching methods to more innovative training programs that are in line with the organization’s goals. Along with this comes the realization that an organization may not have all the resources necessary to design amazing online training programs. This is the reason e-learning outsourcing is in demand. There are certain key drivers that influence the training outsourcing decisions made by organizations. If you would like to find out what they are…read on.

1. Staffing Capacity

Not every organization has the luxury of hiring dedicated staff to cater to their e-learning needs. Though learning and development (L&D) is a critical part of any organization, L&D staff may have multiple roles to play. For example, a subject matter expert may be actively involved in conducting classroom training programs to address specialized skill development needs. A training manager may be involved in taking care of the training needs of different departments in the organization. In some organizations, HR and training functions are integrated.

Hiring staff dedicated for e-learning development may not be something that appeals to organizations, unless there really is a huge volume of work that warrants exclusive resources to be assigned. For example, you might want your online training programs to be instructionally sound, for which you will need the services of an instructional designer. You might want the online course to be video-based or highly interactive. All this requires people with specific skill sets to be working on the project, and this is possible with the help of an outsourcing partner.

The sensible decision for functional managers and L&D heads to take would be to look for an e-learning outsourcing partner. Many organizations realize that it takes multiple skillsets and resources to create quality content, and partnering with an e-learning vendor would be the best bet.

2. Transformation of Workplace Learning

Today’s workplace is a lot different from the one that existed a decade ago. Earlier, training programs in organizations were centered on the availability of trainers, but not any longer. Workforce today needs access to information at their fingertips. They are also looking for information to be presented in interesting formats such as videos and gamification. Training programs have become learner-centric. The focus is on where and how learners want to learn. For example, if the learner is a new hire or expected to learn a particular skill, then macrolearning or a full-fledged e-learning course might be required. On the other hand, if a learner is looking for quick help to complete the task on hand or wants training reinforcement, a microlearning module would be apt.

Organizations would benefit from outsourcing e-learning as they can leave it to the e-learning experts to design awesome learning experiences for employees. E-learning vendors by virtue of their vast experience, might be able to suggest the best format for training or the right instructional design strategy to be followed, depending on your training needs.

3. Growth of Technology

Technology has grown by leaps and bounds and that has influenced the way we train employees. Gone are the days when employees used to sit through long lectures that lasted an entire day, sometimes more. Digital transformation is all around us. This is the age of anytime, anywhere learning. In that case, shouldn’t organizations be focusing on responsive learning that lets employees access online training programs on mobile devices of their choice?

Having said that, it does not mean that companies must invest heavily in tools and technologies for e-learning development, unless it is going to be leveraged across the business and not just for learning. In such cases it makes better business sense to outsource.

Every organization may not have in-house experts who can design responsive e-learning courses using the right authoring tools and e-learning outsourcing is the method to adopt. Concepts such as flipped classrooms and online performance support tools are fast catching on in the learning space. Outsourcing learning needs to a digital learning expert would be the best way to go about leveraging the growth in technology to address learning needs. 

4. Growing Need for Global Training

An organization that has its offices spread across diverse geographical locations would need to look at training diverse learners with diverse needs. A one-size-fits-all training program may not work well when you have a diverse group. Instead, you might need to concentrate on designing custom e-learning solutions that are delivered with cultural sensitivity in the native languages of your diverse workforce.

It would be difficult for organizations to rollout training programs in multiple languages and also take care of cultural relevance. Global learning programs are one among the key drivers for e-learning outsourcing.

Apart from the factors mentioned above, cost will continue to be a major determinant in e-learning outsourcing. Organizations might be willing to bear the additional cost and look at outsourcing as a long term investment, as long as they are able to prove the return on investment (ROI) from their online training programs.

Would you like to share how outsourcing your organization’s e-learning requirements has proved to be beneficial? If yes, please make use of the Comments section.

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