eLearning has the potential to make a great impact as long as it is crafted exclusively for a particular organization. Apart from conveying the learning objectives effectively, it can also maintain a brand’s tone. A successful custom eLearning development benefits in performance improvement and altering learning behaviours thereby making the entire experience memorable, meaningful, and motivating.
Even though customization of eLearning courses can be expensive at times, they are easy to update as and when required which offers decision-makers of a company a great return on their investments in the long run. Besides, without customization, a particular digital learning course will consist of irrelevant information for employees. It will not be engaging nor impactful to make the learners retain the knowledge. Hence it can defeat the purpose of online employee training in general. These scenarios can be avoided by customizing the courses via –
Themes and backgrounds in the learning environment.
Audio, video, text, graphics, etc.
Interactive elements and social shareability in the course.
Assessment and feedback components such as quizzes, games, etc.
Additional elements like simulations, tutorials, discussion forums etc.
So, how can one create an online course which stands out? Here are some best practices to follow while developing a custom eLearning solution.
Define the needs of your employee training:
While creating a learner-centred online training programme, make sure that you define the target group of employees who need to be included in it and what kind of learning they require. Sometimes budget and time constraints may become a challenge to this process. However, training need analysis is an essential way to focus on learner needs while addressing the factors of motivation and engagement which in turn aids companies to achieve their business goals and employee expectations. Brainstorming with the project stakeholders and subject matter experts (SME) is the best way to analyze and define employee training needs.
Implement the perfect eLearning approach:
After you have defined your training need, you need to make sure that it is created in such a way that it captures the learner’s attention. To achieve this objective, you should adopt the best principles of instructional and graphic designing to aid the employees retain the training information for a longer time and upskill themselves in the process. It is essential to implement the appropriate eLearning approach coupled with the right online course design techniques for custom eLearning course development. These approaches may consist of branching scenarios, storyboards, case studies, interactive multimedia elements, simulations, and gamification for creating an engaging learning experience.
Adding relevant eLearning content:
The average attention span of human beings is less than 8 seconds hence it is essential to avoid irrelevant content in an online training programme. The information which is important and needed for a particular job designation should be presented in these programmes. Another important aspect to keep in mind should be to refrain training the employees what they already know and respect their prior knowledge. Instructional designers and subject matter experts need to work closely to ensure contextual eLearning content is presented in digital training programmes.
Encourage collaborative learning:
In today’s socially connected world, collaborative training helps employees facilitate peer-based learning. Adding social shareability options allows them to interact with each other through discussion forums, knowledge portals, and social media groups. Additionally, simulations and real-life scenarios can help employees get a better understanding of the training topic. Hence from the standpoint of problem-solving in a group setting, collaborative eLearning experience creates a stronger training environment in an organization.
These practices increase the potency of your overall corporate training programme if executed in the right way. SMEs need to play a big role in the entire custom eLearning development process. These courses should be curated keeping in mind the company’s future and should allow updation based on industry knowledge from time to time. At the end of the day, knowledge fuels the employees to go the extra mile and improve your business outcomes
The Advantages of Outsourcing Custom eLearning Development
While we discussed areas that can be outsourced but may also be handled in-house in the section above, we need to touch on a few of the more critical advantages that outsourcing custom eLearning development can offer.
Expertise and Knowledge: How much expertise and knowledge does your team have when it comes to eLearning design and development? They might be subject matter experts, but are they experts in user experience? What about curriculum development? How many times have they created course content in the past? Are they familiar with ensuring that the content developed meets industry or government rules and regulations? These are just a few of the expertise and knowledge-related reasons that organizations opt to outsource eLearning development.
Time and Money Savings: Another critical reason to consider outsourcing custom eLearning development is that you’ll save a great deal of time and money. Your teams have other responsibilities, so tapping them to create content just adds to what they have on their plate. It also slows down mission-critical processes. After all, every minute that your team spends developing eLearning content is one more minute that they’re not focusing on their core responsibilities within your organization.
Of course, you might choose to build your team of content development specialists. That comes with its own time and cost constraints. It will take you time to recruit and onboard those individuals, and yet more time for them to get up to speed on your brand and training requirements. You’ll also be on the hook for things like payroll, taxes, and even physical space for the team to work. With an outsource provider, none of those are your responsibility. With a trusted outsource provider, your team can focus on what they do best, saving you time and money without sacrificing content quality.
Custom eLearning Development: Which Way Should You Go?
The answer to the question posed above about custom eLearning development will lead you to either reach out to an outfit like eLeaP or choose to work in-house. We can tell you there are many good reasons to develop in-house if you have the resources (time, money, expertise, etc.). After all, no one knows your brand, your customers, or your product/service range like you do.
As a matter of fact, we give classes on how to use the popular Articulate Storyline program. Not familiar with it? You can see an Articulate training outline here.
Of course, there are also equally compelling reasons to let folks like us, who enjoy doing this for a living, take care of the task of developing your custom eLearning course content. This is particularly true for startups and SMBs who lack the time, money, in-house expertise, and other resources necessary for custom eLearning development.
Besides, there may be some areas of custom eLearning development worth outsourcing, while others may be best suited to in-house design and creation. Below, we’ll discuss four areas where you need to carefully consider your options.