Every organization that’s spending on eLearning would like to reduce some of their eLearning development costs, of course without compromising on the quality of learning. Let’s look at 10 ways of achieving this objective.
1. Develop templates
For recurring courses or large-scale e-learning projects, templates can be an effective way of providing cost savings. Templates can include a range of things like layouts, buttons, logos, navigation bars, font sizes, etc. Templates not only help in saving costs but are also useful from the perspective of standardization.
2. Choose a basic level course
E-learning courses can be of different levels. Basic courses include minimum media such as photographs, and don’t use any audio. Whereas advanced courses include much more media such as audios, interactive graphics, quizzes and games, etc. If you want to save costs, it is a good idea to opt for a basic level course to start off. However, it needs to be remembered that advanced level courses have their own advantages, and these courses enable much more effective learning. You can choose basic courses where the courses are not expected to have a material impact on revenues or profitability.
3. Outsource your eLearning to specialists
Organizations that manage their eLearning on their own have to deal with various fixed costs. Whereas outsourcing the development to external vendors ensure you spend only when there’s a need for developing a new course. Also, external specialists are constantly updated on the various developments in eLearning technology as e-Learning is their bread and butter, and thus they have to always remain up-to-date on latest industry developments to remain competitive. On the other hand training in-house staff involves extra costs.
4. Create shorter courses
It is a good idea to have short courses that cover only the essentials of a particular topic. This not only reduces development costs but also helps in effective utilization of learners’ time. Shorter courses also provide more flexibility as they can serve different purposes, such as just-in-time training.
5. Reuse content
You should be on the lookout for opportunities where already developed courses can be reused with a few minor tweaks. Also, you should instruct your course development team to store purchased assets such as images and reuse them for future courses.
6. Save on narration costs
If the courses have an audio component in them, you will have to spend on professional narration, which can cost anywhere between $15 and $50 per finished audio minute. This is a lot of money, especially for longer courses. One way to save on narration costs is to use in-house staff for recording audio. Also, while the in-house staff cannot match the skillsets of a professional narrator, they will have better knowledge of the subject matter which can improve the quality of the course. If needed, you can invest in some high quality equipment such as professional microphones to give a professional touch to the audios.
7. Use rapid authoring tools
Rapid authoring tools have several in-built features such as pre-loaded templates and media elements. Also rapid authoring tools make it very easy to update eLearning courses without incurring additional development costs. Thanks to these features, rapid authoring tools provide significant cost savings. Examples of rapid authoring tools include Articulate Storyline, Articulate Studio, Lectora, Camtasia, etc.
8. Use technology for collaboration
Whether you are outsourcing course development to an external vendor or having an in-house course development team, it is a good idea to use collaboration tools like Microsoft SharePoint or Google Documents. These collaboration tools can be very effective for sharing the latest drafts, project timelines, status of each module, etc. and getting feedback at each stage of the development. Effective communication at all stages can minimize back and forth and provide significant savings in redevelopment costs.
9. Set small milestones for deliverables:
By setting small deliverables, especially in the initial stage, you can get an idea of whether the developers have clearly understood your requirements. Remember, no matter how much time you spend in prototyping, in most cases the output you will get from your developer (in-house or outsourced) will be different from your expectations. With small deliverables, if there are any major discrepancies, they can be corrected at the initial stage and thus save a lot of time and resources.
10. Have a cost-savings mindset:
This is the first most important aspect of reducing eLearning costs. Having a cost-savings mindset will mean you look for opportunities to save costs at all stages. For example, wherever possible you should always first look for free eLearning tools and software as opposed to investing in paid tools.
These are only some examples, and there are many more ways of reducing your eLearning development costs. Contact us to find more!