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How to make your elearning project cost-effective

Thursday, 24th September 2020

Getting a professional to design and develop your elearning project is similar to getting an architect to design and manage the build of your new home. You may think you’re saving a few dollars by doing it yourself, but a professional knows the process, the industry, what can go wrong and, importantly, how to do it right.

Online learning can be cost-effective

Many are drawn to delivering their learning and training online because it has the perception of cost-effectiveness.

Compared to in-person training there are no travel or venue hire expenses, it can reach more people – around the world and around the clock - and the digital delivery also means it can be systematised and delivered to many more people than usually crammed into a training room.

And that was before we had to factor in the extra expenses now from making your in-person training COVID-safe.

Classroom learning

Beware the budget blowouts

Even with these savings, designing and developing online education and training modules can be an expensive exercise if not planned and prepared thoroughly.

Constant changes to content, updates, maintenance and delays all cost money. But there are steps you can take to minimise the risk of an elearning budget blowout.

20 Tips for Making your online learning cost-effective

Begin with your learner

  1. Be clear about the module’s objectives – your learners (and yours)

  2. Spend time getting the learner experience design right at the beginning

  3. Have examples of what you want your elearning to do, look and feel like including reference sites you like, media or a mood board.

  4. Don’t get caught up in whistles and bells. You want your course to be engaging but keep your eye on your learner outcomes.

  5. Engage staff and learners as narrators and talent. This not only means you don’t have to employ actors for photos and videos but using real-life examples increases the relatability of the content

Be prepared

  1. Have your content ready to go – making sure it’s objective-focused and relevant

  2. Unless you want a low-budget DIY feel, don’t make your own videos – reuse content (with permission) from reputable sources

  3. Avoid replicating something that already exists e.g. embed a blog feed rather than creating anew

  4. Approach the project with an awareness of your industry and what changes may be on the horizon that could impact on your elearning e.g. are there legislation changes about to be announced?

  5. Minimise future updates by making sure external links are top level links (e.g. elearnaustralia.com.au rather than elearnaustralia.com.au/menu/services/courses.htm)

  6. Once the course is released, collate any updates so that changes are submitted in a block rather than in dribs and drabs

Be clear about the process

  1. Start with a small scalable plan

  2. Use an iterative approach

  3. Factor in minor changes after release

  4. Have clear review processes and milestones

  5. Be clear about stakeholders and their responsibilities – especially who is signing off at each milestone and whether that person is going to be available to sign off at completion. Delays cause inconvenience and cost money.

  6. If your project is funded by, or requires approval from, a third party, then make sure they are included in signing off on content at each milestone.

  7. Allocate sufficient time to the storyboarding and content planning stages

  8. Be mindful of adding new content once the project enters development. It costs money.

  9. Get involved in the testing process – this is your chance to make sure the course does what you want to.

Start your cost-effective elearning journey

With a little bit of prepping and planning, your elearning will not only be a great experience for your learners but also a cost-effective way to deliver training for you.

Get in touch with us to start your elearning journey today.

Classroom vs elearning vs blended learning