Explore the Benefits in Outsourcing eLearning Development

Even an organisation with an experienced eLearning development team may need to consider outsourcing from time to time when confronted with unexpected spikes in work volume.  Lets look at some of the benefits in engaging an experienced eLearning company over a short term contractor or a long term employee.

  1. Tap into a strong mix of different skills across a large team – instructional designers, graphic designers, Articulate developers, adult educators, LMS experts, illustrators, animators, professional voice talents.
  2. Allows your SME and other resources to focus more on the quality of the content
  3. Output is far larger than a contractor therefore offers more value for money and faster turnaround time
  4. More aware of recent developments and innovation
  5. Utilise their knowledge and experience in dealing with clients across the same and multiple industries
  6. Access to the latest tools and technology
  7. Typically remote workers so no equipment or space required

They will need regular assistance from a project manager within your organisation and if you are looking at software simulations may also need access to a SME to assist with procedures.

As part of your selection criteria you should always make sure that at the end of the development project you receive both the published output AND the source files for the content. These are two very different things.

ROI on Individual Contractor/Employee Vs eLearning Company

Consider this simple ROI model for outsourcing with a budget of $25k over 8 weeks.

  • Option 1: Individual Contractor – Output = 2 modules @ 30mins/screens
  • Option 2: eLearning Company – Output = 5-6 modules @ 30mins/screens

That’s over double the output and you can also expect some value added features by choosing an eLearning company such as professional audio narration and complimentary training to upskill your team to maintain the content.  To take this one step further, some eLearning companies, like B Online Learning that also have LMS expertise will include the setup, load and testing the content at no additional cost.

Now consider this ROI model:

  • Option 1: Designer/Developer Employee – Salary $90k – Output over 12 months = 12 modules
  • Option 2: eLearning Company – Contract $35k = Output over 2-3 months = 12 modules

You can also expect more value as the volume increases. Development doesn’t work on a per course basis for eLearning companies when you have say 50 modules to be built. Discounts for volume are applied. Plus timeframes are drastically reduced because they can scale the load across their team.

Suggested Approaches to Outsourcing

1. Build one course and replicate in house 

By outsourcing one module then using the source files of that initial course to build all the remaining courses in house has a number of significant benefits:

  • Get a fully built and functional course to go live with immediately
  • Easily re-use components of the original course to quickly build new courses
  • Gain an understanding of the actual effort in development of a course end to end which assists planning for other courses

2. Outsource all development  

By outsourcing all your development and maintaining the course in house you will gain the advantages above but also:

  • Meet deadlines easily
  • Reduce the load on our team
  • Protect your IP and maintain the content
  • Reduce cost

3. Choose one preferred provider 

Developing a relationship with a preferred provider means you can access their expertise when demand is too much load for your team. It will:

  • Provide a fresh perspective of what can be done for all projects
  • Adjust your expectations to a new higher level of standard

You should expect the partnership to be flexible to meet your needs. For our clients, we act as an extension of their team. Response, quality and innovation expectations should be the same if not higher as working with an individual within your own team.

At B Online Learning, we encourage partnering with organisations and one of our key drivers is to build and maintain strong and ongoing relationships with all our clients. We also believe in empowering your team with skills to maintain the content and build new courses. Besides our content development services we also provide Certificate Articulate Training and the eLearning Design Essentials course.  If you want to learn more about partnership possibilities then please get in touch.

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