One of the pillars of eLearning’s success in the workplace is its potential to save employers money. When you take into account the costs accrued by a trainer, classroom and employee travel, and then compare them with the costs of in-house hosting and periodic content maintenance, the benefits are clear. But the great risk of eLearning course development is the potential for runaway costs that can make any employer see red.
The good news is that thorough project planning and prioritization can prevent scope creep and runaway costs. Here are seven tips to help reduce the cost of eLearning courses:
1. Keep video and animation to a minimum.
Videos and animations are premium features with a high price tag. But they aren’t essential to make content interactive. Consider static avatars for scenarios, and video or animation only to demonstrate processes that cannot be taught through images and text.
2. Avoid custom interfaces.
You may have a very specific look and feel in mind, but unless you’ve got deep pockets or specific needs that demand a custom interface, try to stay within the capabilities of your authoring tools.
3. Limit the number voices.
Voiceovers may be beneficial for some content and for some audiences, but their benefits should be weighed against significant disadvantages. In addition to the costs of voice actors and of recording and editing your audio, audio cannot be changed as easily as text. This makes future updates, corrections or localization more expensive.
4. Don’t customize images.
To create labeled graphics, use available images and add labels onto pages. This avoids the cost of customizing images in graphics editing programs, and makes it easier for you to change them as needed.
5. Plan ahead.
Always storyboard your content; this allows you to work out concepts and content prior to spending time and money on full-fledged development. Develop templates prior to authoring content, and implement them consistently so they are easy to update across your course from a central location.
6. Test efficiently.
Using provided templates in a good authoring tool helps ensure your content is likely to look professional across platforms, screen dimensions, browsers and operating systems. You can save money by using a responsive template that resizes elements automatically and works in a variety of common browser frames.
7. Account for translation and localization.
Audio will need to be re-recorded for any additional languages you need. Consider flexibility when designing templates and authoring content; wrapped text is a must, and automatic scrollbars can help ensure that translated text will not break your template or disappear off the page. Keep all source files organized and on hand; these will make translation and localization much easier, not to mention regular course updates.
For more information on how you can create your eLearning content more efficiently, talk to one of our eLearning experts today.