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How Long Does it Take to Create Learning?A Chapman Alliance, Research StudySeptember 2010By Bryan Chapman, Chief Learning Strategistbryan@chapmanalliance.comwww.chapmanalliance.comAbstract:Several years ago, I published some learning development metrics from several different studies that included ratios for how long it takes to create different types of learning. The information has been widely used and appears frequently throughout the Blogosphere. Recently, we have been receiving many requests to update this data, so Chapman Alliance created a survey to collect usable metrics that will help you benchmark your own learning development times. This time, all of the results were collected from a single audience (249 completed surveys) across several learning formats including instructor –led training (ILT), Level 1 e-Learning (Basic), Level 2 e-learning (Interactive), Level 3 e-learning (Advanced), and information about blended learning. The results are contained in this deck.Now, the good news… You are welcome to share this research with anyone you’d like. Because we feel that this information is so important to the industry, we have released it under Creative Commons, meaning that you can share the whole deck or pull-out slides/charts and add them to your presentations, white papers, conference presentations, etc.  The only restrictions are (1) you must ALWAYS list the source of information as “Chapman Alliance” and (2) you are NOT allowed to sell the results without written permission from Chapman Alliance. That’s it. Enjoy!Source Citation:  Chapman, B. (2010). How Long Does it Take to Create Learning? [Research Study]. Published by Chapman Alliance LLC. www.chapmanalliance.com
Survey DemographicsThanks to all of you who took time to complete the survey!If you would like to participate in future research surveys from Chapman Alliance, please join our list at www.chapmanalliance.com/join-our-mailing-list
The data contained in this research was collected from 249 organizations, representing 3,947 learning development professionals, who have created learning content  (ILT and eLearning) that is consumed by 19,875,946 Learners.
Instructor-Led Training (ILT)Development Benchmark
Development of Instructor-Led Training (ILT)Overall Times and RangesDevelopment of Instructor-Led Training (ILT)Overall Times and Ranges82:143:122:1
Development of Instructor-Led Training (ILT)Itemized Development Tasks – How much time is spent in each area through the development process?Snapshot: Average time allocation by task and time spent (all respondents)Number of  hours of development time in each task, per finished hour (people hours)= 43 hoursBased on average of 43 development hours, per finished hour of ILTNOTE: Times reflect time spent by all members of the development team including: instructional designers, writers, subject matter experts (SME), graphic artists, project managers, etc.
Development of Instructor-Led Training (ILT)How much are organizations spending, on average, per-finished-hour, to create instructor-led training (internally)?$5,934We asked respondents: List (if known) your average, internal cost for creating 1 finished hour of ILT.The cost shown is the average
Development of Instructor-Led Training (ILT)Combining Average Time and Average Cost to Estimate Development CostsVariables:*    Average time of development per finished hour of ILT: 43**  Average cost of development for 1 finished hour of ILT content: $5,934NOTE: The numbers above assume that all tasks are repeated for each hour of instruction. The study did not explore the efficiency and reduction of time for longer courses by task.
Level 1 - eLearningDevelopment Benchmark
Development of Level 1 - eLearningHow is Level 1 eLearning Defined?The following definitions were used to collect survey data…VERY IMPORTANT:  It is important to understand that these definitions were written to be relatively broad by design. Having conducted similar surveys for many years, we’ve found that defining the exact framework of each level makes it virtually impossible for survey respondents to reply (unless their courses just happen to match the definition completely). By allowing for some interpretation, we have found that these guidelines yield the desired results,  especially since respondents are also allowed to list low range, average, and high range based on further characteristics of learning content development.
Development of Level 1 - eLearningOverall Times and Ranges125:179:149:1
Development of Level 1 eLearningItemized Development Tasks – How much time is spent in each area through the development process?Snapshot: Average time allocation by task and time spent (all respondents)Number of hours of development time in each task, per finished hour (people hours)= 79 hoursBased on average of 79 development hours, per finished hour of Level 1 eLearningNOTE: Times reflect time spent by all members of the development team including: instructional designers, writers, subject matter experts (SME), graphic artists, authors, media producers, project managers, etc.
Development of Level 1 eLearningHow much are organizations spending, on average, per-finished-hour, to create Level 1 eLearning?$10,054We asked respondents: List (if known) your average, internal cost for creating 1 finished hour of Level 1 eLearning.The cost shown is the average
Development of Level 1 eLearningCombining Average Time and Average Cost to Estimate Development CostsVariables:*    Average time of development per finished hour of Level 1 eLearning: 79**  Average cost of development for 1 finished hour of Level 1 eLearning: $10,054NOTE: The numbers above assume that all tasks are repeated for each hour of instruction. The study did not explore the efficiency and reduction of time for longer courses by task.
Level 2 - eLearningDevelopment Benchmark
Development of Level 2 - eLearningHow is Level 2 eLearning Defined?The following definitions were used to collect survey data…VERY IMPORTANT:  It is important to understand that these definitions were written to be relatively broad by design. Having conducted similar surveys for many years, we’ve found that defining the exact framework of each level makes it virtually impossible for survey respondents to reply (unless their courses just happen to match the definition completely). By allowing for some interpretation, we have found that these guidelines yield the desired results,  especially since respondents are also allowed to list low range, average, and high range based on further characteristics of learning content development.
Development of Level 2 - eLearningOverall Times and Ranges267:1184:1127:1
Development of Level 2 eLearningItemized Development Tasks – How much time is spent in each area through the development process?Snapshot: Average time allocation by task and time spent (all respondents)Number of hours of development time in each task, per finished hour (people hours)= 184 hoursBased on average of 184 development hours, per finished hour of Level 2 eLearningNOTE: Times reflect time spent by all members of the development team including: instructional designers, writers, subject matter experts (SME), graphic artists, authors, media producers, project managers, etc.
$18,583We asked respondents: List (if known) your average, internal cost for creating 1 finished hour of Level 2 eLearning.The cost shown is the average
Development of Level 2 eLearningCombining Average Time and Average Cost to Estimate Development CostsVariables:*    Average time of development per finished hour of Level 2 eLearning: 184**  Average cost of development for 1 finished hour of Level 2 eLearning: $18,583NOTE: The numbers above assume that all tasks are repeated for each hour of instruction. The study did not explore the efficiency and reduction of time for longer courses by task.
Level 3 - eLearningDevelopment Benchmark
Development of Level 3 - eLearningHow is Level 3 eLearning Defined?The following definitions were used to collect survey data…VERY IMPORTANT:  It is important to understand that these definitions were written to be relatively broad by design. Having conducted similar surveys for many years, we’ve found that defining the exact framework of each level makes it virtually impossible for survey respondents to reply (unless their courses just happen to match the definition completely). By allowing for some interpretation, we have found that these guidelines yield the desired results,  especially since respondents are also allowed to list low range, average, and high range based on further characteristics of learning content development.
Development of Level 3 - eLearningOverall Times and RangesNOTE: Several respondents listed times greater than 2000+ hours of development per finished hour (very advanced learning simulations and games)716:1490:1217:1
Development of Level 3 eLearningItemized Development Tasks – How much time is spent in each area through the development process?Snapshot: Average time allocation by task and time spent (all respondents)Number of hours of development time in each task, per finished hour (people hours)= 490 hoursBased on average of 490 development hours, per finished hour of Level 3 eLearningNOTE: Times reflect time spent by all members of the development team including: instructional designers, writers, subject matter experts (SME), graphic artists, authors, media producers, project managers, etc.
Development of Level 3 eLearningHow much are organizations spending, on average, per-finished-hour, to create Level 3 eLearning?$50,371We asked respondents: List (if known) your average, internal cost for creating 1 finished hour of Level 3 eLearning.The cost shown is the average
Development of Level 3 eLearningCombining Average Time and Average Cost to Estimate Development CostsVariables:*    Average time of development per finished hour of Level 3 eLearning: 490**  Average cost of development for 1 finished hour of Level 3 eLearning: $50,371NOTE: The numbers above assume that all tasks are repeated for each hour of instruction. The study did not explore the efficiency and reduction of time for longer courses by task.
Comparison ChartsDevelopment Ratios and Costs
Development Ratios - SummaryILT, Level 1 eLearning (Basic), Level 2 eLearning (Interactive), Level 3 eLearning (Advanced)
Average Cost Comparisons - SummaryILT, Level 1 eLearning (Basic), Level 2 eLearning (Interactive), Level 3 eLearning (Advanced)
Blended LearningBenchmark of Blended Learning Components
Blended Learning ComponentsRadar chart showing components most frequently used as part of a blended learning course (across all respondents)
Blended Learning ComponentsComponents used most frequently as part of a blend
Blended Learning ComponentsAverage mix of major components: Classroom, Virtual Classroom and E-Learning (survey respondents)
Blended LearningWhat is the average size of a Blended Learning Course?  …and what are organizations typically paying for internal development of blended learning (on average)?NOTE: These were asked as three separate questions. Components used in blendTypical length of blendAverage cost of blendWe realize that this data doesn’t mesh well with previous questions about development per finished hour ratios. If you average out the costs, it would seem to suggest that blended learning is created at a rate of $809 per finished hour ($25,900 divided by 32). We thought it would be helpful to share the data anyway.  Please understand these constraints when interpreting the data$25,900Average Duration 32 hoursAverage Configuration
About the AuthorBryan Chapman is Chief Learning Strategist at Chapman Alliance; a provider of research-centric consulting solutions that assist organizations in defining, operating and optimizing their strategic learning initiatives. As a veteran in the industry, he has over 20 years experience and has worked with such organizations as American Express, Shell, Kodak, Sprint, Sharp Electronics, Honda, IBM, Microsoft, Avon, UNICEF, American Red Cross, The Food and Drug Administration, U.S. State Department, and many others; to help them optimize learning efficiency through the use of innovative learning techniques and technologies. Click here for a full bio.Please feel free to contact me if you need some assistance…working through learning management system (LMS) or any other learning technology selection project
finding and applying learning industry research; custom research projects

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How Long Does it Take to Create Learning?

  • 1. How Long Does it Take to Create Learning?A Chapman Alliance, Research StudySeptember 2010By Bryan Chapman, Chief Learning Strategistbryan@chapmanalliance.comwww.chapmanalliance.comAbstract:Several years ago, I published some learning development metrics from several different studies that included ratios for how long it takes to create different types of learning. The information has been widely used and appears frequently throughout the Blogosphere. Recently, we have been receiving many requests to update this data, so Chapman Alliance created a survey to collect usable metrics that will help you benchmark your own learning development times. This time, all of the results were collected from a single audience (249 completed surveys) across several learning formats including instructor –led training (ILT), Level 1 e-Learning (Basic), Level 2 e-learning (Interactive), Level 3 e-learning (Advanced), and information about blended learning. The results are contained in this deck.Now, the good news… You are welcome to share this research with anyone you’d like. Because we feel that this information is so important to the industry, we have released it under Creative Commons, meaning that you can share the whole deck or pull-out slides/charts and add them to your presentations, white papers, conference presentations, etc. The only restrictions are (1) you must ALWAYS list the source of information as “Chapman Alliance” and (2) you are NOT allowed to sell the results without written permission from Chapman Alliance. That’s it. Enjoy!Source Citation: Chapman, B. (2010). How Long Does it Take to Create Learning? [Research Study]. Published by Chapman Alliance LLC. www.chapmanalliance.com
  • 2. Survey DemographicsThanks to all of you who took time to complete the survey!If you would like to participate in future research surveys from Chapman Alliance, please join our list at www.chapmanalliance.com/join-our-mailing-list
  • 3. The data contained in this research was collected from 249 organizations, representing 3,947 learning development professionals, who have created learning content (ILT and eLearning) that is consumed by 19,875,946 Learners.
  • 5. Development of Instructor-Led Training (ILT)Overall Times and RangesDevelopment of Instructor-Led Training (ILT)Overall Times and Ranges82:143:122:1
  • 6. Development of Instructor-Led Training (ILT)Itemized Development Tasks – How much time is spent in each area through the development process?Snapshot: Average time allocation by task and time spent (all respondents)Number of hours of development time in each task, per finished hour (people hours)= 43 hoursBased on average of 43 development hours, per finished hour of ILTNOTE: Times reflect time spent by all members of the development team including: instructional designers, writers, subject matter experts (SME), graphic artists, project managers, etc.
  • 7. Development of Instructor-Led Training (ILT)How much are organizations spending, on average, per-finished-hour, to create instructor-led training (internally)?$5,934We asked respondents: List (if known) your average, internal cost for creating 1 finished hour of ILT.The cost shown is the average
  • 8. Development of Instructor-Led Training (ILT)Combining Average Time and Average Cost to Estimate Development CostsVariables:* Average time of development per finished hour of ILT: 43** Average cost of development for 1 finished hour of ILT content: $5,934NOTE: The numbers above assume that all tasks are repeated for each hour of instruction. The study did not explore the efficiency and reduction of time for longer courses by task.
  • 9. Level 1 - eLearningDevelopment Benchmark
  • 10. Development of Level 1 - eLearningHow is Level 1 eLearning Defined?The following definitions were used to collect survey data…VERY IMPORTANT: It is important to understand that these definitions were written to be relatively broad by design. Having conducted similar surveys for many years, we’ve found that defining the exact framework of each level makes it virtually impossible for survey respondents to reply (unless their courses just happen to match the definition completely). By allowing for some interpretation, we have found that these guidelines yield the desired results, especially since respondents are also allowed to list low range, average, and high range based on further characteristics of learning content development.
  • 11. Development of Level 1 - eLearningOverall Times and Ranges125:179:149:1
  • 12. Development of Level 1 eLearningItemized Development Tasks – How much time is spent in each area through the development process?Snapshot: Average time allocation by task and time spent (all respondents)Number of hours of development time in each task, per finished hour (people hours)= 79 hoursBased on average of 79 development hours, per finished hour of Level 1 eLearningNOTE: Times reflect time spent by all members of the development team including: instructional designers, writers, subject matter experts (SME), graphic artists, authors, media producers, project managers, etc.
  • 13. Development of Level 1 eLearningHow much are organizations spending, on average, per-finished-hour, to create Level 1 eLearning?$10,054We asked respondents: List (if known) your average, internal cost for creating 1 finished hour of Level 1 eLearning.The cost shown is the average
  • 14. Development of Level 1 eLearningCombining Average Time and Average Cost to Estimate Development CostsVariables:* Average time of development per finished hour of Level 1 eLearning: 79** Average cost of development for 1 finished hour of Level 1 eLearning: $10,054NOTE: The numbers above assume that all tasks are repeated for each hour of instruction. The study did not explore the efficiency and reduction of time for longer courses by task.
  • 15. Level 2 - eLearningDevelopment Benchmark
  • 16. Development of Level 2 - eLearningHow is Level 2 eLearning Defined?The following definitions were used to collect survey data…VERY IMPORTANT: It is important to understand that these definitions were written to be relatively broad by design. Having conducted similar surveys for many years, we’ve found that defining the exact framework of each level makes it virtually impossible for survey respondents to reply (unless their courses just happen to match the definition completely). By allowing for some interpretation, we have found that these guidelines yield the desired results, especially since respondents are also allowed to list low range, average, and high range based on further characteristics of learning content development.
  • 17. Development of Level 2 - eLearningOverall Times and Ranges267:1184:1127:1
  • 18. Development of Level 2 eLearningItemized Development Tasks – How much time is spent in each area through the development process?Snapshot: Average time allocation by task and time spent (all respondents)Number of hours of development time in each task, per finished hour (people hours)= 184 hoursBased on average of 184 development hours, per finished hour of Level 2 eLearningNOTE: Times reflect time spent by all members of the development team including: instructional designers, writers, subject matter experts (SME), graphic artists, authors, media producers, project managers, etc.
  • 19. $18,583We asked respondents: List (if known) your average, internal cost for creating 1 finished hour of Level 2 eLearning.The cost shown is the average
  • 20. Development of Level 2 eLearningCombining Average Time and Average Cost to Estimate Development CostsVariables:* Average time of development per finished hour of Level 2 eLearning: 184** Average cost of development for 1 finished hour of Level 2 eLearning: $18,583NOTE: The numbers above assume that all tasks are repeated for each hour of instruction. The study did not explore the efficiency and reduction of time for longer courses by task.
  • 21. Level 3 - eLearningDevelopment Benchmark
  • 22. Development of Level 3 - eLearningHow is Level 3 eLearning Defined?The following definitions were used to collect survey data…VERY IMPORTANT: It is important to understand that these definitions were written to be relatively broad by design. Having conducted similar surveys for many years, we’ve found that defining the exact framework of each level makes it virtually impossible for survey respondents to reply (unless their courses just happen to match the definition completely). By allowing for some interpretation, we have found that these guidelines yield the desired results, especially since respondents are also allowed to list low range, average, and high range based on further characteristics of learning content development.
  • 23. Development of Level 3 - eLearningOverall Times and RangesNOTE: Several respondents listed times greater than 2000+ hours of development per finished hour (very advanced learning simulations and games)716:1490:1217:1
  • 24. Development of Level 3 eLearningItemized Development Tasks – How much time is spent in each area through the development process?Snapshot: Average time allocation by task and time spent (all respondents)Number of hours of development time in each task, per finished hour (people hours)= 490 hoursBased on average of 490 development hours, per finished hour of Level 3 eLearningNOTE: Times reflect time spent by all members of the development team including: instructional designers, writers, subject matter experts (SME), graphic artists, authors, media producers, project managers, etc.
  • 25. Development of Level 3 eLearningHow much are organizations spending, on average, per-finished-hour, to create Level 3 eLearning?$50,371We asked respondents: List (if known) your average, internal cost for creating 1 finished hour of Level 3 eLearning.The cost shown is the average
  • 26. Development of Level 3 eLearningCombining Average Time and Average Cost to Estimate Development CostsVariables:* Average time of development per finished hour of Level 3 eLearning: 490** Average cost of development for 1 finished hour of Level 3 eLearning: $50,371NOTE: The numbers above assume that all tasks are repeated for each hour of instruction. The study did not explore the efficiency and reduction of time for longer courses by task.
  • 28. Development Ratios - SummaryILT, Level 1 eLearning (Basic), Level 2 eLearning (Interactive), Level 3 eLearning (Advanced)
  • 29. Average Cost Comparisons - SummaryILT, Level 1 eLearning (Basic), Level 2 eLearning (Interactive), Level 3 eLearning (Advanced)
  • 30. Blended LearningBenchmark of Blended Learning Components
  • 31. Blended Learning ComponentsRadar chart showing components most frequently used as part of a blended learning course (across all respondents)
  • 32. Blended Learning ComponentsComponents used most frequently as part of a blend
  • 33. Blended Learning ComponentsAverage mix of major components: Classroom, Virtual Classroom and E-Learning (survey respondents)
  • 34. Blended LearningWhat is the average size of a Blended Learning Course? …and what are organizations typically paying for internal development of blended learning (on average)?NOTE: These were asked as three separate questions. Components used in blendTypical length of blendAverage cost of blendWe realize that this data doesn’t mesh well with previous questions about development per finished hour ratios. If you average out the costs, it would seem to suggest that blended learning is created at a rate of $809 per finished hour ($25,900 divided by 32). We thought it would be helpful to share the data anyway. Please understand these constraints when interpreting the data$25,900Average Duration 32 hoursAverage Configuration
  • 35. About the AuthorBryan Chapman is Chief Learning Strategist at Chapman Alliance; a provider of research-centric consulting solutions that assist organizations in defining, operating and optimizing their strategic learning initiatives. As a veteran in the industry, he has over 20 years experience and has worked with such organizations as American Express, Shell, Kodak, Sprint, Sharp Electronics, Honda, IBM, Microsoft, Avon, UNICEF, American Red Cross, The Food and Drug Administration, U.S. State Department, and many others; to help them optimize learning efficiency through the use of innovative learning techniques and technologies. Click here for a full bio.Please feel free to contact me if you need some assistance…working through learning management system (LMS) or any other learning technology selection project
  • 36. finding and applying learning industry research; custom research projects
  • 37. optimizing or establishing your learning governance approach
  • 38. exploring best practices for rapid learning development
  • 39. learning strategy “jam sessions” (available as a 2-hour block, full-day onsite, or as a workshop)
  • 40. Click here for more available servicesContact information:Bryan ChapmanChief Learning StrategistChapman Alliance(801) 568-7011bryan@chapmanalliance.comwww.chapmanalliance.com