Avoid These Mistakes When Choosing an E-Learning Development Agency
Choosing the right e-learning development agency will take the hassle out of creating training content, while also ensuring high standards of quality. As with other service partners you might hire, there are mistakes that are easy to make that can result in you making the wrong choice. Avoiding these mistakes is essential to ensure you choose the best e-learning development agency for your needs.
We’ve looked at the common mistakes that companies make when deciding on an e-learning developer. Here are the top eight.
Not Defining Your Needs
You need to start by thinking about what you want to achieve. What are the training courses you want to develop and/or what are the skills gaps you want to bridge? What are the objectives of the business and how do they impact your training strategy, and how will you measure success? These are just some of the questions you should as part of the process of defining your needs.
Not Reviewing the Developer’s Portfolio
E-learning development agencies can say lots of different things, but the proof is in the content they have produced. Therefore, it is important to review the agency’s portfolio so you can get a better understanding of the type of training content they have produced in the past and their capabilities. Assess the overall appearance, how easy the course is to use, and how well the information is presented.
Not Considering Relevant Experience
Does the e-learning development agency have experience relevant to your project? This could be experience in developing e-learning training courses for companies in your industry or companies of a similar size. It could also be experience in developing content on a similar topic, experience in making training courses accessible, or experience localising training courses so they are suitable for learners in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and any other location.
Not Checking Technical Capabilities
Make sure the e-learning developer has the technical capabilities to produce the type of course you need as well as the content. For example, does the agency have gamification or video production capabilities, or does it offer technical writing skills? It is better to know at the outset what the developer can and can’t do.
Not Checking Instructional Design Capabilities
There is a difference between design and instructional design. Design is about making things look professional, modern, and aesthetically pleasing, and should be a given with any high-quality e-learning developer. Instructional design, however, is a more unique skill.
Instructional design is about facilitating the learning experience, i.e., designing the course in a way that helps people learn. Learner flow, navigation, and how content is presented are all part of the instructional design process.
Good instructional design will help ensure the training courses you create are successful, so it is best if your e-learning development agency has instructional design capabilities.
Not Checking the Services Being Offered
Multiple tasks and services are typically required when developing an e-learning course. Video production, infographic creation, and content writing are all examples. Your e-learning development agency might offer all these services, but they might not.
You should think about the services that you need and then check whether the developer offers them. If you are unsure about what will be required to produce your e-learning course, ask for the developer’s advice and then check if they have the capabilities to cover all the elements.
Focusing on Cost Rather than ROI
Cost is important, as most learning and development departments have budgets that must be adhered to. However, cost should not be the only factor you consider, and it shouldn’t even be the main factor. The best approach is to focus on return on investment, where you judge the investment you make in the development of e-learning courses against the benefits those courses bring to the business in areas like skills improvement, talent retention, competitiveness, etc.
Not Discussing Availability and Timescales
Finally, you need to make sure the e-learning development agency has the necessary bandwidth to meet your delivery requirements. Many e-learning developers have pipelines of work, so it’s important to check when your project can be scheduled to start and how long it will take to complete. Finding out about the project milestones is also helpful as this will give you a better understanding of how the project will progress and what you can expect.
Choosing an E-Learning Development Partner
Avoiding the above mistakes is crucial to ensure you partner with the right e-learning development agency. There is one final point to highlight, as it is also important to partner with a team that you get on with and is the right cultural fit for your organisation. Working with an e-learning developer that is the right culture fit will lead to better quality outcomes, a smoother process, and enhanced return on investment.