Create online courses yourself or buy them?
If you are in the process of introducing eLearning to your day-to-day business, you will soon be wondering: Where does the content for my eTraining courses actually come from? Can I buy ready-made eTraining courses? Can these then be customized for my company? Could I actually create the courses myself? And which of these options would be the right solution for my particular eLearning project? Finally, the preparation of courses is directly related to progress with learning. The more professional and appealing the course is, the more motivated learners are.
At the same time, creating course content is of course also a question of resources: On the one hand, you need the appropriate specialist knowledge; on the other, the materials have to be prepared with the appropriate expertise. You need to decide whether the content can be created in-house or whether you can outsource it partially or completely to eLearning agencies. This article sets out 4 common ways to get high-quality eLearning content for your company.
Why is it so important that eLearning content be professionally prepared?
It goes without saying that the goal of eLearning is to impart knowledge. But even if eLearning has exactly the same aims as good old face-to-face teaching in school, it works differently. So when we are creating eLearning courses, we have to take account of different educational approaches than the ones we ourselves experienced in school or during our later studies. These approaches ensure that learners are motivated and are able to absorb and process knowledge in the most effective way. Otherwise, all you would need to do is pack subject knowledge into a PowerPoint presentation and have faith that everyone would be able to rattle if off and apply it the next day. However, where this likely to fall down is that people wouldn’t bother to open the presentation in the first place. The practical issue here is eLearning’s ability to bring learning needs, learning objectives, content, method, types of knowledge and media together in such a way that learners are truly motivated to sit down with their tablets or smartphones and are able to absorb the new knowledge. Below are four ways to achieve this kind of eLearning course.
Four routes to good eLearning content
Option 1: Buy ready-made online courses (standard content)
eLearning has long been a trend. This is why there are now companies that offer ready-made online courses for you to download and simply upload to your learning content management system—provided that the file is created in the universal and compatible SCORM file format. So if you’re looking for data protection or occupational safety training, for example, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a suitable ready-made course. However, the more specific the knowledge to be imparted—and the more closely you want content to be aligned with your company practices—the fewer ready-made courses you will be able to find. You should also bear in mind that ready-made courses are of course not designed to fit your company’s corporate design and do not contain information that is tailored to your company or sector.
- Save time and resources
- Generally cheaper than creating your own content
- Courses do not fit your corporate design or other company policies
- Not suitable for specific or specialized subject knowledge
Option 2: Buy ready-made online courses (standard content) and customize them
eLearning agencies usually have access to extensive specialist databases of online courses on thousands of topics. Since the agencies usually conclude framework contracts with the providers of such databases, they can buy the courses at lower prices than end customers. This also gives you the option of a second step in which the agency tailors courses to your individual requirements. They can be adapted to fit your corporate design, but visual language can also be aligned, content can be customized to your company’s guidelines and circumstances and, if necessary, company-specific details can be added. And so standard content bought at a reasonable price can be turned into a perfect fit for your company.
- Save time and resources
- Cost-effective yet visually adapted with tailor-made content
Option 3: Have an eLearning agency create online courses
As already mentioned at the beginning, it is not always easy to create a professional eLearning course. In addition to the subject knowledge itself, educational expertise is also necessary to prepare the material so as to present the knowledge in the most effective way. You may already be familiar with this problem from your own experience, but many people have incredibly deep knowledge of their subject, real mastery of it, but are just not able to explain it so that others can understand it. This is quite normal, but it’s clear that eLearning courses also have to be prepared by education professionals. So if you have accumulated expertise in your company that you want to pass on to your employees, but you don’t have staff with education training, you can also have content prepared externally. This involves you give passing your specialist knowledge to agencies such as chemmedia AG, who then turn it into an appropriate eLearning course for you. Combining your specialist knowledge with the education expertise of the eLearning experts ensures you high-quality online courses in terms of both education and method, that guarantee the best learning outcomes.
- Maximum learning impact and efficiency by combining your specialist knowledge with the educational expertise of the eLearning agency
- Content as customized and practical as you need
- Courses are tailored to your corporate design and individual company policies
Option 4: Create online courses yourself
Of course, you can also just create your own eLearning courses. State-of-the-art authoring software such as Knowledgeworker Create provides you with a user interface where you can use drag-and-drop to organize your expertise into professional eLearning courses. This variant offers you a great deal of freedom, but at the same time it means you are responsible for keeping content up to date. Please also bear in mind that converting specialist knowledge into educational materials requires a certain amount of expertise. Without this, learning outcomes cannot be guaranteed.
- Unlimited freedom and creative scope when creating courses
- Independence from agencies
- Can be better value than courses created by third-party experts
The bottom line.
Deciding whether to have your eLearning courses created by an agency, to buy ready-made products or to create the courses yourself depends on the content you want to communicate and your human resources. So it would be quite common for you to create some courses yourself while buying others. Training on occupational health and safety in the office is always the same throughout Germany. So why take the trouble to use valuable resources creating the course yourself if it has already been designed several times over!? However, we recommend that you have bought-in content adapted to fit your corporate design.
You may also be interested in the following articles
7 tips for successful online courses
Creating online courses: The educational workflow
Comparing eLearning software solutions: How do I choose the right authoring tool for my online courses?
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