The rapid rise of online learning technology in the last decade has created opportunities for higher education institutions to take advantage of a flexible learning environment.
However, to implement this kind of blended learning the right way, a qualified course development service provider is required who can understand your learning goals and work on online course solutions accordingly.
There are several things to consider when you’re looking for a new program development service provider, including top-notch software and the right skills to help you achieve your unique goals and objectives
Also Read: Choosing the Right eLearning Content Development Service Provider
In this blog, we lay out some of the key factors that you need to consider while selecting an online course development service provider for your organization -
1. Expertise & experience in developing online courses
A reputed eLearning course development company should have relevant expertise and experience in developing online courses for higher education institutions. They should have a well-defined strategy with the following elements:
- The goal of your overall eLearning initiative and the timeframe in which it is to be implemented
- A complete outline of the components to be developed
- Various tools and technologies to be used
- The frequency of updation of the above components
- Evaluation criteria
- A robust implementation plan
Such thorough experience in the field allows the vendor to clearly understand your needs and offer the appropriate online learning solution to meet the specific needs of your students.
2. Quality of the course
It is critical to pay attention to the educational and professional background of the course designers and their expertise in the subject matter.
Additionally, make sure to check the interactivity and engagement level of the course. Features such as gamification, including leaderboards, badges, points, certificates and appropriate tasks/tests after each course, make learning much more effective for higher education students.
3. Ask for recommendations
Asking for past clients who are already using the services offered by a course development company you have shortlisted can get you valuable recommendations to help you make an informed decision.
Apart from highlighting the key reasons why they chose the said development company, the past users can also offer various other insights in terms of helping you assess the course development service provider’s course portfolio to see if it’s well designed, organized and cohesive.
4. Accommodating different learning styles
More and more educational institutions are now embedding UDL or universal design for learning principles into their offerings. Based on the premise that every student learns differently, UDL primarily aims to give each student an equal opportunity to learn and succeed. While some students are visual learners, others prefer auditory or kinesthetic learning methodologies.
The online course development partner, therefore, should offer all students with the required tools to effectively navigate their learning process.
Some of the other features to look for here include the convenience of taking interactive notes directly on the platform during live lectures or offering students closed captions to allow them to utilize/turn off captions to facilitate their unique learning styles.
5. Willingness to develop sample courses
A professional and qualified web-based course development service provider should be willing to collaborate on developing sample projects, without additional costs. Apart from helping you understand their working style, this will also allow you to assess their ability to meet your custom requirements effectively.
It is always recommended to go for reputed online course development companies who willingly share/upload various case studies along with examples of their past solutions or your project with custom requirements. This will give you a fair idea of their line of work and allow you to evaluate their approach towards addressing varied learning situations.
6. Choose a vendor that offers both courses & software for learning management
Choosing a service provider that offers both courses and LMS software ensures that your courses are fully compatible with the learning platform. This helps you save a lot of time and effort on course adaptation and fixing mistakes.
Further, managing your online courses becomes more effective when you communicate with a single service provider instead of multiple teams as they will have a better understanding of what you and your students need in training.
7. Should follow a comprehensive course development process
Implementing an eLearning project requires a lot of planning and hard work. To streamline the process, you need to make sure your prospective partner follows an organized process for course development.
While there isn’t a single process to follow, it should have a logical progression through different project stages. It is recommended to select someone who follows an approach that makes sense to you and can align with your own team’s approach.
Regardless of the methodology, the vendor should use resources that are flexible and adaptable as per the requirement. This is especially important if you’re looking for a partner for recurring projects.
Having trust in their capabilities and work process will give you the required confidence to deliver courses smoothly.
The bottom line
While there can be multiple ways to run an eLearning project and online courses, it is important to collaborate with a prospective vendor who has a solid plan and appears fully ready and able to implement it.
In the end, the most important aspect of selecting a vendor for online course development is finding someone capable of creating engaging courses for your learners to help them improve their performance and learning outcomes.
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