With digital footprint fast-growing in every walk of life, eLearning is taking center stage in enterprise training as well as academic learning. It is no longer looked at as an alternative or a supplementary tool to support learning objectives but a go-to choice to deliver customized and pointed content modules. Naturally then, incorporating effective eLearning programs remains a key focus area for organizations across the board. To be able to achieve that goal, finding the right eLearning content development provider is a must. Here is all you need to know about choosing one whose services and capabilities align perfectly with your training objectives.
Before you go looking for an eLearning content development provider, you must have your requirements clearly chalked out. If you skip over this process in a rush to find a vendor to collaborate with, even the best content development providers cannot do justice to your needs. To avoid that eventuality, you need to focus on three key factors:
1. An eLearning Strategy
A clearly defined strategy is critical for the successful incorporation of eLearning into any professional setup. For this, you should focus on the following elements:
- The objective for which you are adopting an eLearning program
- A timeline for implementing it
- A detailed outline of the components you want to incorporate in your eLearning modules
- Performance and support resources you need for these modules to function seamlessly
- The frequency at which you’d need these components updated or revised
- The tech tools necessary for the dissemination of your eLearning program
- Criteria for performance evaluation
2. Capabilities vis-a-vis Requirements
Before you jump to find an eLearning content development provider, take a long, hard look at your current and future capabilities. Evaluate them vis-a-vis your eLearning requirements. If you are just testing the waters with a generic course to understand the receptiveness of your workforce, purchasing ready-made eLearning programs is a more sensible choice.
Similarly, if it’s a one-off training program, explore the resources within your organization – quality content writers, efficient developers, and so on – to see if the course material can be created in-house.
Only when you’re ready to embrace employee upskilling and training as an integral part of your work ethos should you consider working with a third-party content development provider who can take care of your extensive, ongoing requirements.
3. Identify the Necessary Skill Sets
Once your eLearning initiatives venture outside the confines of isolated efforts, it’s vital to identify the skill sets needed to implement such projects. Some that are most commonly required for any eLearning program include:
- Instructional Designer
- Content Writer
- Subject Matter Expert (SME)
- Graphic Designer
- Quality Checker
- Project Manager
Related Read: How to Find the Best Custom eLearning Services Provider
How to choose the right eLearning content development service provider?
With this broad framework as a point of reference, you can start looking for the top eLearning content development service providers and identify the one best suited to your requirements. Today, there is no dearth of third-party vendors providing customized services. Among the myriad options available to you, choose the one who fares well on the following criteria:
1. Expertise and Experience
When looking at the expertise and experience of an eLearning content development service provider, don’t just focus on statistics and figures. Ask them for case studies, and take the time to evaluate the projects they claim to have completed successfully, and if they brought real value to the enterprises they were developed for. Most importantly, see if any of their past projects are in line with your eLearning outline, objectives, and requirements. Past experience in handling projects similar to yours is definitely a big plus.
2. Evaluate Resources
You are going to entrust these people with an important project, one that will benefit from a long-term collaboration. It is only wise to look at the individual profiles of the different members who would be working on your eLearning requirements to assess if they’ve got what it takes to deliver results. If you feel the need for it, don’t hesitate to schedule one-on-one meetings with each team member to ascertain their grip on their respective fields of work.
3. Ask for References
Some eLearning content development providers may not be able to give you details on the past projects they’ve worked on, owing to non-disclosure agreements. Be that as it may, you can always ask them for reference of clients they have worked with. Once again, try to look for clients whose projects closely resemble your requirements. Reach out to these businesses for feedback about the vendor’s performance. This will give you a fair insight into their capabilities and professionalism.
4. Company Size
When choosing an eLearning content development service provider, their company size does matter. Particularly if you’re seeking to make eLearning initiatives an integral part of your work culture. You will need a strong partnership with your third-party vendor to sustain such an effort. Evaluate whether the company you’re considering for the job will be able to dedicate the same team of professionals for all your future requirements. Are they financially stable enough to be in the business 5 or 10 years down the line? Is this firm too big in its size and footprint to take your project seriously? Switching over to a new vendor mid-way can disrupt your training initiatives. Therefore, it is crucial to do your due diligence right in the beginning.
Do you plan to scale up your eLearning initiatives over time? Can your content development partner meet those changing requirements? Do they have the resources for it? What if you decide to scale down in the future? Are they willing to adjust the economics accordingly? Clear up these things upfront, and include these in the contract you draw up for them so that there are no unpleasant surprises down the road.
6. Transparency in Pricing
As an entrepreneur who doesn’t necessarily understand the inner workings of content development for eLearning programs, do you understand a potential partner’s pricing clearly? Are they honest and transparent? Is the ROI justifiable? To rule out any budgeting disasters later, spend the time to understand this nitty-gritty. If you need, bring in a trusted ally or someone from your team who understands eLearning well to walk you through this often confusing maze of pricing.
7. Quality Assurance Practices
Does this service provider have robust practices and procedures in place for quality checks? Is there a dedicated team for it? Do they follow any defined guidelines or checklists? How many layers of the quality check will the product pass through before it is delivered to you? These are all important questions that you must find the answers to before making up your mind to work with a content development provider.
Your eLearning program is as good as the team that curates it. Making this selection count is imperative to meet your training goals and objectives. Taking the above-mentioned points into consideration will help you narrow down the best eLearning content development service provider to create compelling and engaging content for your training needs.
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