In the past decade, rapid improvements in technology and changing lifestyle needs have made eLearning a popular alternative to traditional classroom learning. eLearning has developed to the point where it can provide your organization with the rigorous education you seek. But what goes into an eLearning program, and how much does an eLearning course cost?
A single eLearning course can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. When evaluating your options, remember a few major distinctions.
Off-the-Shelf vs. Custom
The biggest question to ask is whether a readymade, off-the-shelf product or a customized solution will better suit your needs.
Several eLearning retailers offer pre-designed courses — and many provide group or corporate discounts. This is the quickest option available.
Standardized modules work for standardized needs. For example, if you want to train employees on new software, you might try a course from an eLearning module marketplace.
By and large, off-the-shelf courses will cost less than custom designed solutions, but you should consider several factors:
- Some courses require ongoing subscriptions. Before registering, think about how long you expect to use a given course.
- Off-the-shelf courses tend to provide less customer/technical support.
- Lack of flexibility makes it hard to tailor learning objectives. You might have to buy more courses and/or have students commit more hours to achieve the results you want.
Custom: In-House Development
If you have the resources, you can customize eLearning options by working with in-house experts.
When developing an online course, measure cost in hours instead of dollars. Each hour of instruction can take anywhere from 42-143 hours to develop. The low end of the range applies to passive learning courses, in which students simply receive information. As course complexity and intended student engagement levels increase, so does labor cost.
Start with the three-tiered system employed by many education designers:
- Passive learning
- Interactive materials
- Advanced interactions for practical training
The higher the level, the greater the number of interactive elements — but the more expensive the course will be.
Custom: Professional Development
If you don’t have the resources to build your own course from scratch, you can find reliable professionals to help you bring your dream eLearning course to life.
A number of factors will affect your price tag.
- Interactivity: How much student engagement do you want in your course?
- Content type: Do you need text, video, or something more involved like a game?
- Content amount: Do you need a short training sequence or an extended course that will span weeks or months?
- Amount of ongoing support: How much ongoing technical support will you and your students need?
- Complexity of LMS: What tools do you need from your learning management system? Do you need options for live streaming or real-time engagement? What kind of assessments will you use, and how will you track student progress? Do you need your courses to be mobile-ready for students on the go?
The Team at Emerge
The experts at Emerge approach building your eLearning course with care and expertise, providing all the benefits of professional development even after the initial creation of the program. You can expect a four-stage process.
- Analysis: Compare performance goals to current levels to identify learner needs.
- Design: Develop training strategies and course materials based on needs analysis.
- Create: Deliver an eLearning module that incorporates multimedia static and interactive content to achieve performance goals. Brand learning materials to organizational marketing assets.
- Evolve: Evaluate learner outcomes to determine successes and areas for improvement. Modify accordingly.
Emerge will work with you to ensure the most targeted and effective learning solutions. For more information on pricing or to get started on your customized eLearning journey, contact us today.