The Benefits of Outsourcing eLearning Development Costs

elearning development costs

Even an organisation with an experienced eLearning development team may find themselves at a crossroads when faced with unexpected surges in workload. The decision to outsource can be a game-changer but understanding the potential benefits and return on investment (ROI) is crucial.

In this blog, we delve into some of the advantages that stem from engaging external eLearning providers. From leveraging diverse skill sets across a team of experts to enabling your in-house resources to focus on content quality, outsourcing can dramatically increase your output, reducing project timelines and costs. We’ll also explore different approaches to eLearning outsourcing, providing insights on how to make this collaboration work seamlessly.

In a nutshell, here are some of the top benefits of outsourcing eLearning development:

  1. Tap into a varied mix of different skills across a large team – instructional designers, graphic designers, Articulate 360 developers, adult educators, LMS experts, illustrators, animators, professional voice talents, and video producers.
  2. Allows your employees or the Subject Matter Experts (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. Awareness of recent developments and innovation – understanding of best practice eLearning
  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. Get a fixed quote for the total eLearning solution and ongoing technical support

It’s important to acknowledge that even when outsourcing, regular assistance from a project manager within your organisation and access to a Subject Matter Expert/s is still important.

Another important tip is to always make sure that at the end of the project you receive both the published output AND the source files for the eLearning content. These are two very different things.

ROI on individual contractor and employee Vs eLearning company

Consider this simple ROI model for outsourcing eLearning development costs with a budget of $15k over 8 weeks.

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

That’s over double the output and you can also expect some value-added features 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 ours, also have Learning Management System (LMS) expertise and include setup, load, and SCORM 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 $60k – Output over 4 months = 20 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 eLearning development

  1. Build one course and replicate in house 

Outsourcing one module and then using the source files to build all the remaining courses in-house has a number of significant benefits:

  • Immediately get a fully built and functional course that can go live
  • Easily re-use components of the original course to quickly build new courses
  • Gain an understanding of the effort that goes into the development of a course end to end which assists in planning for other courses.
  1. Outsource all development  

By outsourcing all your development and maintaining the course in-house you will gain the advantages outlined above as well as the following:

  • Easily meet deadlines
  • Reduce the load on your team
  • Protect your IP and maintain the content
  • Reduce cost
  1. Choose one preferred provider 

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

  • Provide a fresh perspective on what can be done for all projects
  • Given they are experts in the area, you should expect a very high standard of work

The provider should be flexible to meet your needs. For our clients, we act as an extension of their team. Expectations around responsivity, quality, and innovation should be the same if not higher as working with an individual within your own team.

We’re here to help

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 how we can help then please get in touch.

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