If you are thinking of outsourcing eLearning, I am sure you will find it a good option for the following 3 reasons:
- You get a good-quality eLearning course before you give it to the experts!
- You will get the best of your training budgets as you get the advantage of offshoring.
- And you will save a lot of time if you understand the process well.
Before you start outsourcing it is important that you answer these 3 questions.
1. Do you know the scope of your eLearning course?
Of course, I know what would be your answer. “I want a 20-minutes, highly interactive course that will help learners impart training effectively and make it fun and easy”. It is not as simple as you may think. This indeed is a good objective to have, but we should have a little more clarity on what it means to be “highly interactive”. This impacts many areas such as learning strategies, selecting of authoring tool, time of development and ultimately cost.
The clearer you are about the scope, the better you will be able to get the most suitable eLearning course that you will be delighted with.
Some examples of a clear scope:
- I want a 20-minute course on Product Training that demonstrates the key features of products and the Unique Selling Tips through sales scenarios.
- Looking to build a 20-minute course with rich multimedia and audio and that also runs on IPad.
- A 20-minute course on the basics of accounting with minimum multimedia and audio
- A 10-minute course on culture through videos from employees.
2. Do you know the process of Developing an eLearning course?
Hmm… that is a tricky question.
So what is the process? Is it linear?
How I wish this was true! ELearning process is not a linear process. It is science and art at the same time. It is an iterative process and we become better and better as we come nearer to the goal.
If this is understood at an intellectual level and also at an emotional level, we will be more persistent in achieving our goals.
Some tips to make this process effective.
- Communicate, communicate and communicate: The more we communicate, the better the quality of the eLearning design.
- Get all the stakeholders for a kick-off meeting: This step is always helpful in understanding all stakeholders’ expectations from the course. If this step is done well, you are successfully half way through the process.
- Make a functional prototype; make iterations till all learner and technical requirements are met. Do not move forward if you are not satisfied. If this step is approved, then the process becomes faster.
- Expect that the course will need 3-4 iterations before it actually gets launched on the LMS. Again, once it is launched, you may still need to make some more minor iterations.
- Last but not the least, I want to emphasize this: be prepaid to see a good product developed only over time and not at the first go!
Mature companies worldwide that outsource eLearning perfectly understand this. They don’t expect that you get a great product at the first go. They select the right eLearning vendor who understands this agile process and doesn’t consider it as a scope creep and add to the cost. Choose a vendor that:
- has the eLearning agile process in place – Quality assurance – checklist, standardized templates based on eLearning industry design standards
- has an excellent team of instructional designers, multimedia developers and technology experts
- has exceptional project management skills having a track record of working with multicultural teams.
3. Do you know how long it will take to develop an eLearning Course?
After going through the process, you may be wondering that it looks like it will take quite a long time to develop a 20-minute course. Not really… if you select the right outsourcing vendor, you can develop a course quickly.
- A 20-minute course can be developed in 5 – 6 weeks’ time from start to finish.
- A full curriculum of 5 courses of 20 minutes each can be developed in 12 weeks.
Hope these points were useful to you in understanding the nuances of developing an eLearning course. Do share your views.