Elearning has taken the business world over by storm - but one of the biggest barriers we have seen to businesses adopting this learning mindset to their own business is the cost. Creating content can be expensive, not to mention the man hours put into research, data analysis, software development and more. The costs can mount and surpass what a small or medium-sized business has to put towards the continuing education of their employees. Looking through other resources from larger or enterprise businesses, it is easy to see that they have the capital to create courses that far-exceed what an SMB’s wallet can handle. Here are our five tips to reduce e-learning costs for enterprise businesses, all the way down to entrepreneurial ventures. Education of employees is important and skimping on the costs doesn’t always mean a lesser return. Keep these tips in mind as you are budgeting for education this year!
- Create reusable content. Design your training content in a way that it can be easily updated and used for multiple training scenarios whenever possible. This is definitely easy to do. If you are creating videos of audio over a slideshow, it can be easy to edit out the slides that are outdated or even add additional slides where it is necessary. Similarly, in any written content that is provided to users, there is no need to reinvent the wheel, instead cherry pick what is important as the content changes throughout the years and new policies are adopted and keep what still works. There is no prize awarded for the most new content developed each and every year and instead your time, energy, and efficiency will reward you through the hours saved not creating new content for the same subject each time it needs to be reviewed by the company.
- Create a simple design and development process. This has nothing to do with the learning and everything to do with the time it takes to create a course for your employee’s sake. Getting and keeping everyone on the same page is key - from the content creators to the designers, outlining who is working on what and keeping a transparent deadline can reduce redundancies and increase efficiencies, improving the return on investment of providing online education for your employees.
- Don’t go for high-level interactivity. Evaluate the need of your e-learning course, outcome expected and your budget to determine the level of interactivity. When first starting out it is easy to get overwhelmed with the level of interactivity that can be achieved. Don’t start there - determine what will best help your employees with their learning now, analyze the results, and adjust later. It is not necessary to start at the top of the mountain with content and whittle down later, instead begin with a few different ways for employees to engage and adjust as time allows.
- Think of investing in a powerpoint elearning. Not only is it quick to set up a powerpoint (as opposed to other content creation methods), but it is quick to put audio over said powerpoint through some of the cheaper video authoring software solutions. This can be done without hiring out a videographer and providing space to create engaging video, and instead it’s a step up from reading and attending meetings that employees can engage with on their own time in the office.
- Choose the right vendor partner. Last but not least, choosing the right vendor can help you cut down on your development costs drastically. When looking for a vendor to partner with, keep in mind the importance of these four aspects: pricing, technical competency, quality, and service. If these things resonate with your organization and are in line with your expectations - then you will be well on your way to creating the content that will best resonate with your employees and aid in their learning.
WIth more and more resources on the market to help improve your e-learning content creation and course development, it is easy to begin over-spending in an effort to offer the best to your organization. However, with more resources out there it is also easier to find the help that your organization needs to keep costs low and come up with out-of-the-box solutions for your training courses. Do not let the cost of education development deter you from some of the most important roles within an organization. Continuing education can be a way to retain star employees, improve the underperformers and act as a catalyst to your organizations growth.