Both businesses and academic institutions are increasingly investing in eLearning as their preferred method for delivering knowledge and training to learners. If you want your organization to succeed, finding the right eLearning solution provider is vital. We’ve identified five factors to consider when choosing an eLearning solution provider.
1. The Market is Crowded
In 2015, the global eLearning market was an industry worth $107 billion, and that figure has grown. Due to the financial success in this market, there are more eLearning solution providers than ever, but not all of them are worth your time. Being confronted with a list of hundreds of potential providers can be daunting, but it’s important to do your research and dig into exactly what the providers you’re considering specialize in (you don’t want to hire a corporate eLearning content provider to design a collegiate eLearning course), how long they’ve been around, and what their reputation is.
2. Tailor Your eLearning Solution Provider to Your Organization
A huge company with plenty of financial resources can easily afford to outsource multiple aspects of its eLearning program to different, highly specialized eLearning solution providers. A startup that barely has enough money to create a training program? Not really.
Fortunately, there are resources that can be utilized to create effective, motivating eLearning that can be used regardless of the size (and budget) of your organization. Understanding your organization’s goals and financial ability is crucial to choosing the right eLearning solution provider for your needs.
3. Understand What It Means to be Hands-on
If you’re not a Learning and Development (L&D) professional or an educator, chances are your eLearning solution provider will make content design choices you don’t fully understand. In these situations, give them the benefit of the doubt. This is not to say that being hands-on with your eLearning solution provider is useless – in fact, it is quite the opposite. You understand the vision and goals of your organization more than anyone else, so making sure that your provider is designing content with those goals in mind – even if you don’t understand the pedagogy behind content design decisions – is still important.
In order to verify that a provider is credible, it’s always a good idea to ask for some examples of their previous work, such as case studies. If your provider is new and you’re their first customer, then try going for a “no cure, no payment deal,” in which you only have to pay the provider if their products or services function as advertised. While they may require a small amount of capital up-front to fund development costs, this should allow you to recoup most of your funds if your provider fails to give you the material you need.
5. Look Towards the Future
When you’re selecting an eLearning solution provider, do so with the future in mind. How will your organization grow in the future? What will you need out of your eLearning programs in one year? In five? Will your provider be able to scale with you as you grow? If they can’t, and you need to find a new provider, is that loss acceptable to you? Does your provider have any record of evolving their pedagogical approach to content as eLearning best practices evolve? Considering all of these questions is vital when choosing a provider for your organization.