As the world goes digital, enterprises and educational institutions are increasingly taking the eLearning route to fulfil their learning and training objectives. While setting up enterprise eLearning, rather than just taking the plunge, it is important to first define the objectives and key metrics that can help you measure tangible outcomes and allocate budget and resources to ensure smooth set-up and implementation. The next step is to identify the right eLearning company that can help you achieve your goals.
Here are some things you must consider before selecting an eLearning company:
1. Conduct Needs Analysis
Conduct a needs analysis to understand what you wish to achieve through eLearning. To gain market insights, one can interview end users about the e-course or use an analytics tool. Studying past training outcomes can help in identifying and bridging the gaps in skills or knowledge and make learning more relevant. Your needs analysis should help you address the following questions:
- What problems, challenges or skill/knowledge gaps does your eLearning seek to overcome?
- What outcomes do you expect from eLearning?
- How will your enterprise meet its business goals?
2. Understand Your Audience:
Remember there is no one-size-fits-all in eLearning. For example, writing a course in a foreign language to teach the language to a group of beginners may not be the best way to teach. While designing an eLearning course, keep in mind the target audience’s technical capabilities, existing knowledge and skills, and how they will use the new learning outcomes in real-time. By knowing your audience, you can create better eLearning content and ensure better learning outcomes.
3. Choose the Right Technology and Resources to Implement eLearning:
Determine whether you have the technology and trained personnel available in-house to host and implement the eLearning courseware. The following questions can help you determine if you have the right technology to support the eLearning course:
- How many people will access the eLearning course at a time?
- Do you have the hardware, server and required bandwidth to host the course?
- What back-up plan and security measures do you have in place?
- Do you need to install any applications to run the course?
- Do you have an in-house team to smoothly implement the course?
- Will the learners access the course on the company’s devices or their own?
These questions will help you plan your technology and personnel requirements and determine whether you should outsource some of these functions to eLearning development companies that can function as an extension of your internal team.
4. No One-Size-Fits-All:
Remember that an eLearning company with off-the-shelf courses may not provide you a solution that meets your organizational needs. For example, an eLearning company specializing in providing learning programs for higher education may have little experience in providing corporate learning and training solutions. As said above, it is a good idea to choose a service provider with a track record in servicing organizations similar to yours, or those that have the right combination of knowledge, skills, expertise and experience in providing custom solutions across the spectrum.
5. Skill Set Offered by the eLearning Companies:
Developing eLearning courses does not simply mean transferring your existing Word docs or PDF files online. More than that, it means transforming your existing course material into visually aesthetic and functionally-rich content that can provide the end-learners with an engaging, immersive and exciting learner experience that leads to the right outcomes. For this, select an eLearning company that has an experienced instructional design team that can transform your existing course material and make it available for online consumption across all platforms, be it laptops, desktops, mobiles or tablets.
6. Quality Assurance:
The eLearning company you choose should be able to provide you a high-quality solution within the defined timeline, budget and scope of work. Besides, it should have a robust quality assurance process to ensure that the final product you receive is free of errors and technical glitches.
7. Availability of Resources:
Ensure that the eLearning company you select has a rich library of resources such as images and templates, and also the necessary licenses to use the e-learning development software.
Find eLearning companies with experience in implementing eLearning courses in organizations like yours, and converse with them about their experiences. Their lessons learned can help you anticipate and plan for possible pitfalls that may occur during the procurement and implementation processes.
Here is a checklist for an initial evaluation of an eLearning company:
- Identify vendors: Conduct an Internet search or solicit information from other users who have similar business goals.
- Develop evaluation criteria: The evaluation criteria to evaluate an eLearning company should focus on overall requirements, such as:
- ‘Fit for purpose: Does the eLearning company have an LMS that delivers a feature set that aligns with your business objectives?
- Architecture: Does the eLearning company meet your requirements in terms of hardware, scalability, security, modularity, and robustness?
- Interoperability: Does the eLearning company provide an LMS with ease of system integration and standards compliance?
- Usability: Is the LMS user-friendly?
- Cost of ownership: What are the costs of development and support?
- Maintenance: How difficult or simple is the maintenance?
Search the Internet and you will find scores of eLearning companies that can help you transform your existing resources into e-courseware. However, keep in mind, a wrong decision can cost you in terms of money, time and other resources. If you are looking for a reputed eLearning company with several satisfied clients worldwide, you may wish to consider HurixDigital that uses its own award-winning proprietary software Kitaboo to create interactive eBooks and e-courseware customized to your unique needs.