With training budgets getting tighter and tighter, you may be in the position to find ways to deliver the same course content but in a way that is more cost-conscious. The good news is that elearning is flexible enough that it can empower you to create the courses yourself. With the right set of tools and the right mindset, you can create incredible online training.
Once the initial decision to build courses internally has been made then the absolute, most important first step in creating elearning is to come up with a rock-solid outline. It cant be stressed enough that this needs to be done before diving into the course authoring software itself.
Another way to speed up the development of your course is to use tools with which you are already familiar. If your course authoring tool supports it, you can import Word and Powerpoint files. Powerpoint enables you to create fantastic graphics that can really make your course stand out.
Use Great Images
There might be a case in which you would need to use an image in your course but stock photography might fall outside of the budget. One of the great tools that can help you out with that is Photopin. By typing in the search criteria and selecting either non-commercial (if the course is internal) or commercial (if you will be selling it to clients). The only copyright issue with using these images is that you must credit the original photographer. (crediting adds class to your work and is good for the photographer)
Record The Narration
One thing you might consider doing if you are thinking of adding narration to your course is to record it in-house. You can usually find someone in your office that has the type of voice that you think could work well with your course. Keep in mind, the narrator doesnt necessarily have to be the subject matter expert. Try and find a quiet spot with minimal echo to record the audio. The audio can then be edited and cleaned up using the great free tool Audacity.
Use Existing Video
You often need to have a full film crew if youd like to include video within your courses. For instance, you may already have some video available that can be converted to a digital format and uploaded to your course with the multimedia authoring tool.
Screencasts are a great way to use video in order to demonstrate software. You may already have a license for Camtasia in your office that you could use to simultaneously record the screen and narration. There are also a number of other free screencasting tools that you could also use to accomplish the same thing.
Your course authoring tool may have a set of templates that could be a helpful starting point to the creation of your course. These templates are often professionally designed and can contain a variety of interactions and question types that are ready for you to add your content to.
Some of the savings to be made can occur before you even go about creating the course itself! By going through a careful learning management system comparison and determining your needs, you may find that the LMS youre using is costing you too much. Potential areas of cost-savings could be: cloud-hosting vs. self-hosting, integrated ecommerce component vs separate ecommerce software. Significant money can be saved by choosing the best LMS for your needs.
With a bit of creativity and perseverance, elearning development doesn’t have to be an expensive prospect. You’ll be surprised at the compelling, exciting courses that you can create using readily-available tools. Also bear in mind that unlike physical media like manuals or DVDs, online courses can be revised as needed with the only cost being your time.