What To Consider When Choosing An eLearning Agency
When creating an eLearning program, choosing the eLearning agency you will collaborate with is going to be one of the most important decisions you make. Although outsourcing is a sensible and efficient solution for most businesses, there are many things you need to consider before making the final decision. Getting it right will lead to a well-designed course that accommodates your audience’s learning needs and perfectly captures your company’s style. On the other hand, getting it wrong will compromise the quality of the learning experience and waste your resources. Read on to discover 8 tips that will help you select the right eLearning agency and create eLearning content that aligns with your standards.
8 Factors To Help You Select An L&D Outsourcing Partner
1. Know What You Are Looking For
We know what your first thought is when you’re looking for an outsourcing partner: get online and start searching. However, if you start this process unprepared, all you’re going to achieve is waste time and end up overwhelmed. Resist this temptation and take a look at your business first. What is it that you need from a third-party provider? Which problems are you hoping to solve with their help? What are your budgetary and time constraints? If you’ve worked with an agency before, write down everything you liked about the collaboration to make sure that this new partnership fits your needs. Defining all that will help you effectively communicate your expectations to a potential collaborator and quickly realize whether they are the right fit for you or not.
2. Experience And Expertise
The eLearning agency you pick must have the necessary experience to help you effectively achieve your training objectives. And that doesn’t only mean the years they have been in business. An eLearning content provider may have decades of experience but never worked with companies in your industry. What you’re looking for here is a team of professionals who have proven success in developing and delivering learning strategies that match your requirements. In addition, verify that they employ the right personnel who know the best techniques and solutions for your audience and their training needs and preferences.
3. Quality Of The Content
Another thing to focus on during outsourcing is the quality of the end result. Although every agency tries its best to keep its customers satisfied, it’s possible its products may not meet your expectations. For this reason, it’s crucial that you ask to look through their portfolio of previous works. In there, you will find examples of projects they have completed for other clients and get a feel for what their courses look like, as well as if they incorporate elements that you consider essential, such as gamification, interactivity, videos, etc.
4. Project Workflow
Something that many businesses forget when they are in discussions with potential outsourcing partners is asking to see their complete project workflow. An eLearning agency that is truly experienced and knows how to deliver quality content must be able to demonstrate all the steps that make up their process, including Training Needs Analysis, design, development, post-production, and so on. Don’t forget to ask about additional services, such as analytics and reporting, quality assurance, as well as technical support and updates after the development of the eLearning solution. This ensures the agency will always support you in providing an effective eLearning course and a satisfactory learner experience.
As your business grows and new trends emerge, your eLearning content must be able to adapt accordingly. If you don’t want to be switching providers every time the needs of your learners change, make sure that the eLearning agency you collaborate with has the capacity to scale up to meet your growing demands. Scalability refers to the size of your audience as well as the technologies you choose to leverage. In an industry that is as closely connected to technology as eLearning is, finding a provider that is willing to be innovative and forward-thinking is of utmost importance. So, if you’re interested in that, discuss whether multi-device access, blended learning, or even virtual learning are included in their services.
6. Company Reputation
No matter how thoroughly you examine the contracts and portfolios of the eLearning providers you’re considering, sometimes the most important information can be found in what other businesses have to say about them. Most vendors include previous case studies and reviews from clients they have worked with before. You can also find customer reviews in credible directories, accompanied by ratings on factors such as ease of use or quality-to-cost ratio. This way, you will get a better understanding of the real-life user experience these providers offer to businesses that developed projects with similar requirements to yours.
7. Meeting The Team
The relationship you form with your outsourcing partner is essential to the success of the project. Besides, this collaboration could last from a few months to even years. Therefore, make sure to meet the development team of the eLearning agency during the selection process. Inquire who will be the account manager, and use this interaction as an indication of how committed and professional they are. For example, how carefully do they listen to what you say? Or, adversely, are they brushing off your questions or taking too long to get back to you? The first impressions you get during this early stage will probably reflect your future collaboration, so make sure to pay attention.
You need to be certain that you are working with an eLearning agency that is transparent about its pricing. The last thing you want is to receive a disappointing end product because the extra features or resources you wanted came with a different pricing plan. Before you commit to anything, ensure that you have received a realistic estimate of the final costs, as well as any extraordinary expenses that might come up. Transparency is not only crucial to all business collaborations but will also help you know what to expect and use your budget wisely.
The quality of your eLearning course is essential to your organization’s success and reputation. Therefore, you need to pay extra attention to the outsourcing partner you select to develop it for you. The tips we shared in this chapter will help you make your way through the providers that are available to you and narrow down your list to the few that will truly make a difference to the growth of your business.
Download the eBook Beginning At The End: How Solution-Based Learning Can Transform Your L&D Program And Prove Your ROI today to discover how you can leverage the solution-based approach to achieve your objectives and make your eLearning development process more problem-centered. You can also listen to the eLearning Unscripted podcast today to delve deeper into the solution-based strategy and all the benefits it has to offer.