Cost Considerations for Your E-learning Projects

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How much does e-learning cost? That’s a difficult question to answer since it really depends on the circumstances surrounding the project. There are, however, clearly identifiable categories of costs and considerations.

By working through these various categories of cost for the particular circumstances you face, you should be able to derive responsible estimates of the total cost of e-learning or develop a list of questions to pose to vendors to ensure you have your bases covered.

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Cost Considerations for Your E-learning Projects

  1. 1. C O S T C O N S I D E R AT I O N S F O R Y O U R E - L E A R N I N G P R O J E C T S
  2. 2. COST CONS IDERATIONS FOR E-LE ARNING PROJECTS ~ Share This! ~ Post this to your blog, Twitter™, LinkedIn® or Delicious™ accounts or email this to someone who might enjoy it. Share Remix Attribute Share Alike 11639 E. Wethersfield Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85259 USA www.michaelsandassoc.com Toll-free: 877-614-84402Page © 2010 by Michaels & Associates Docntrain, Ltd. dba Michaels & Associates Copyright holder is licensing this under the Creative Commons License, Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. For more information, check out http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/
  3. 3. COST CONS IDERATIONS FOR E-LE ARNING PROJECTST HE C O ST O F E - LE AR N IN GHow much does e-learning cost? That’s a difficult question to answer since itreally depends on the circumstances surrounding the project. There are,however, clearly identifiable categories of costs and considerations.By working through these various categories of cost for the particularcircumstances you face, you should be able to derive responsible estimates ofthe total cost of e-learning or develop a list of questions to pose to vendors toensure you have your bases covered. 3 Page
  4. 4. COST CONS IDERATIONS FOR E-LE ARNING PROJECTS Factors that Affect Direct and/or Vendor Costs Development Considerations  Seat time/run time  Complexity of content  Availability of content  Stability of content  Desired level of learner interactivity  Desired level of professionalism of product  Use of established development process, templates and standards  How project will be managed? (communication, reviews, reporting, accountability)  Development tools (Which? Who provides?)  Developers’ expertise with tools  Developers’ pace4Page
  5. 5. COST CONS IDERATIONS FOR E-LE ARNING PROJECTSFactors to Consider for Internal Projects Direct Costs “Hidden” Costs  Infrastructure/LMS (purchase, support, management,  Ripple effect of development effort on other work maintenance)  Audience (Who? How many?)  How project will be rolled out? (facilitate adoption of new  Distribution costs learning initiatives – change management)  Equipment/facility costs  Market and promote training  Time away from job/disruption to productivity  Performance measurement  SME access and time – typically the same as Instructor Led Training (ILT) 5 Page
  6. 6. COST CONS IDERATIONS FOR E-LE ARNING PROJECTS Factors to Consider for Internal Projects “Hidden” Value  Will the company see the value in factors that don’t show directly?  Freeing up of premises  Less wear on ILT delivery, equipment  May free up subject matter experts to perform job related tasks rather than training tasks  Less travel costs for learners  Less travel costs for instructors, or subject matter experts  Consistency of training delivery; promotes company standards  Potential for increased learner effectiveness  Potential for attitude change of employees (impacting retention, job satisfaction)  Access to training 24/7 in or away from office6Page
  7. 7. COST CONS IDERATIONS FOR E-LE ARNING PROJECTSGeneral Considerations Company Culture Learner Impact  Can learners learn on the job? Will managers allow it?  Control of own learning – just in time, self-paced, easily referenced  Are learners/the company rooted in ILT?  Ability to train large numbers faster/simultaneously with  Will the budget process support e-learning? consistent content 7 Page
  8. 8. COST CONS IDERATIONS FOR E-LE ARNING PROJECTS Planning and investment in planning will reduce development costs whether yourHere are a few tips to help you drive down the costs of e-learning: project is developed in house or outsourced. Remember, though, that good development requires specialist skills as they relate to tools, design, instructional  Get organized, set goals and determine clear objectives! Don’t forget to include input from all key stakeholders to competence and graphics. How well you plan for it, position it and implement it avoid rework later on. determine the cost and outcomes to your e-learning project.  Build shorter courses that average about 15 – 30 minutes. Quicker development times will lower costs.  Be creative with a more blended approach to your training.  Reuse content and create templates to save time on future courseware development and updates.  Create pre-tests so learners may skip courses containing material they already know. This leaves them free to take only the training they need.  Consider supporting informal learning efforts in tandem with more formal ones. Social media allows for the use of “free” user-generated content in your training efforts.  Avoid using proprietary tools, technologies and media or those that are simply “in fashion.” Ensure these items will meet your development and learner’s needs over time. What’s hot today may not be so hot tomorrow.8Page
  9. 9. COST CONS IDERATIONS FOR E-LE ARNING PROJECTSIf you find that you need assistance with planning, positioning and implementation of your next e-learning project, contact us to learn how we canhelp. Michaels & Associates — making the most of your learners. info@michaelsandassoc.com www.michaelsandassoc.com toll-free: 877-614-8440 9 Page

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