Even though eLearning has increased opportunities for organizations to decrease their training budgets and to cut down their traditional training costs, we still see many of them getting stuck with low budgets and looking for ways to cut down on their eLearning development costs.
But the instant we think of cost cutting, we imagine that the quality will go down, which is not true in all instances. So are there any ways to cut down the costs without compromising on quality?
Yes there are. We can enhance our resources to be more efficient and effective and get the job done at a lower cost. Here are some simple tips that can help you
1. Is your training need analysis done properly?
We tend to assume that all our employees need the same training and at the same time, which is incorrect. Evaluate the skills of your learners to find out what exactly is their training need and what they need right then.
By knowing this information, you will not try to meet needs such as, for example, ‘what is not needed immediately’. Also you may also find that there are ‘not too many exigencies at any given time’ and therefore save on cost. Accurate training need analysis is a cost-effective way to develop a training program that can increase staff productivity, and targeting the specific needs of your organization.
2. Keep the course trim /Shorten your course
Sometimes it so happens that our clients come up with lot of content and they ask us not to remove any single line out of it. But the courses that offer too much information can frustrate learners and at the same time increase the cost of development. So it is always better to avoid an information dump.
Let the course include only the essential content that suits your training objective and that can reduce both the development time and cost.
3. Create reusable content
esign your training content in a way that it can be easily updated and used for multiple training scenarios whenever possible.
If you are using a vendor (which is advisable) you can instruct him to store all the elements (Images, Content, interactivities etc.) in a catalogue and ask him to reuse those elements in your other courses, thereby reducing your future costs of training.
4. Create a simple design and development process
Come up with a clear and simple design and development process. The process should outline the necessary steps that are to be followed throughout the development task keeping everyone organized.
5. Don’t go for high level interactivity
Evaluate the need of your eLearning course, outcome expected and your budget to determine the level of interactivity.
You don’t need to create a highly interactive course to address every topic, see if you can address your training need with level 1 /2 interactivity. Your level of interactivity will have a high impact on the cost.
6. Think of investing in a PowerPoint eLearning
Now-a-days converting a PowerPoint to eLearning has become very simple and cost effective because of rapid authoring tools.
So you can try investing in a PowerPoint eLearning. If your existing content is already available in PowerPoint format both your SME and audience will be happy with transformed PPT learning. This is true especially if you have low budget and time constraints. This then would be ideal.
7. Leave it to the experts
ELearning courseware development is a highly labor intensive, mechanical and technical job. So do not attempt to use your internal resources to develop the courses until and unless they are experts in the areas of instructional designing, graphics and authoring tools. Otherwise doing so will double your expenses and doesn’t give you the expected results.
We also see this when companies’ think of course translations. They try to use their internal employees located in different countries for content translation and fail. The output falls short on quality because they are not trained professionals. And on the other hand the company might be spending a large amount on these internal resource personnel for the delivering of some value added task which need not be so.
Outsource the course development and let the experts handle it!
8. Choose a right vendor partner
Last but not the least, choosing a right vendor can help you cut down your development costs drastically. Rate the vendor on four important criteria i.e. Pricing, Technical Competency, Quality and Service.
Make sure that the vendor has broad range of skill-sets across all functions of learning design and course development.
These are some tips I have captured which can help you in reducing your eLearning development costs even while maintaining high quality standards. Hope you have found them useful. Do share with us if you have any such tips.