A recent study by Raccoon Gang reported that one hour of eLearning content takes an average of 8,542 – 36,320 (22,431 on average) and clocks between 100 to 160 hours of work depending on the complexity of the modules. With the current stratagem of WFH, L&D teams need cheaper, lower-maintenance solutions that deliver quality concomitantly to create long term value.
The Key decisive factors in e-course creation are:
- Resource persons – The experts who will author the content can be outsourced, freelancers, instruction designers or SMEs. The cost of outsourcing is much higher, instruction designers are more efficient in content creation but lack the expertise of business knowledge. SMEs have knowledge but need to be extensively trained to use the tool.
- Content Strategy –Decisions to identify learning goals, use existing content or make from scratch and degree of interactivity are critical.
- Technology – The authoring tool requires careful consideration. Don’t end up paying for features you will barely use.
- Relationship between content and delivery program – It makes sense to keep the authoring tools and LMS independent, SCORM compatible, for flexibility in distribution.
While costly authoring tools are not an option, free tools have severe limitations and always will incur hidden expenses before they create value.
Cost-effective strategy to create value
Our solution is a bottom-up learning approach termed as Employee-generated Learning (EGL). With EGL, any employee, whether a trainer, subject-matter expert (SME) or L&D expert, can create and share domain-specific relevant knowledge. Content creation as well as maintenance can be immediately started. SMEs share their daily working best practices and author the content themselves to leverage EGL. As SMEs do not have a didactic background to create meaningful knowledge that could be consumed by their peers, it is important for e-learning authoring tools/platforms to provide the necessary support and are easy to use.
Easygenerator’s authoring tool provides the right knowledge sharing platform for SMEs with its simple structure. Its didactic support features make it even easier to use. The company’s goal was to offer the right platform with just enough features for SMEs to capture their expertise and share it with their colleagues. The tool provides the appropriate didactical support and structure to make this possible. This is the unique characteristic of the Easygenerator authoring tool. Clients across the world have been using Easygenerator in a very cost-effective way to power their training interventions for:
- HR / Formal training
- Product Training
- Work instructions
Employees become their own growth drivers is the unfathomable value that EGL harnesses. Adopting EGL with Easygenerator speeds up the circulation of knowledge throughout the organization while saving L&D time, and will significantly slash down the e-learning creation and maintenance costs.
EGL is a cost-effective solution, but subject matter experts may not have the right e-learning background when it comes to creating e-learning courses. That’s why we have identified nine cornerstones — or e-learning development best practices that can guide them in creating an effective e-learning content design.
Let us now unbox the nine corner stones or eLearning best practices for you to slash the cost further.
- Define your goals and objectives for the course. – Start with the end in mind. All your content decisions will be informed and then circle back to this end. Setting the Learning Outcomes before creating any content helps to keep all the steps and further processes properly aligned.
- Create a course in the correct order– Assessment methodology, question for assessment should be created to meet the learning goals and objectives. Content creation is then mapped to the answer to the questions. It helps to create the learning journey from known to unknown. Content thus created will be shorter, crisper and relevant.
- Use Variety of Templates – Incorporate multiple formats and templates for enhanced engagement and assimilation. Use of Images, audio and video at appropriate places in the content is very effective as it is multi-modal and includes more learning styles. Use a variety of templates to repeat and reinforce learning. This increases motivation as well as beats the forgetting curve.
- Keep it Small – Small bite sized modules of average ten minutes addressing around two learning objectives is a good bet. Sentences and paragraphs also should be short and simple.
- Write for the Learner – It is important to know the background of the learner. Present the big idea and the overarching concept before diving into the details. The content should be properly introduced in the start and effectively summarised or concluded. Use of active voice is most effective to increase readability and create impact. Review the content for correct flow of thought and proof read it to avoid grammatical errors. This ensures clarity and comprehension.
- Establish Feedback Culture – Use formative assessment tools to keep a track of degree of learning. Help learners strengthen their weak concepts. Explain in detail why their answer to the posed question is wrong and how they should correct it. Feedback pathway is also of great value when authoring the content. Collaborate with colleagues, co-authors and reviewers to request feedback, via comments. Quality content thus created will create value for all stakeholders.
- Solicit Learner input with NPS feature – Incorporate rating scale or use NPS survey to get the opinion of learners regarding the course. Analyzing it objectively will help in iterating the course to keep it relevant and updated. Timely course corrections will create value.
- Curate before Creating – Writing from scratch brings in value only if it is something new. Use the pre-existing content if available. Revise and repurpose it for the learner. Organize and structure the knowledge already available although scattered all over, to make it engaging, presentable and meaningful for the learner.
- Create Knowledge Sharing Milieu –Sharing your experience and expertise with colleagues helps to build your reputation as an expert on one hand and on the other helps you to learn much more. Embracing a knowledge sharing culture goes a long way in being a cost-effective method to create content, value as well as a supportive working environment.
It is evident that you do have quite a bit of control over the factors that impact cost while you create value for the business. There is absolutely no expert opinion that says that high-quality eLearning experiences can’t be created on a relatively low budget. However, when weighing the factors and making investment decisions about e-learning, you must have a clear understanding of your overall training strategy and the value your innovative learning strategy can accrue for business growth. Go ahead and make an informed decision to kickstart your eLearning journey.