Custom elearning development can bring a depth of knowledge that takes your course to the next level. But how do you find one that fits your needs? Also, how do you avoid aligning yourself with one that doesnt quite measure up to the abilities they advertise?
Making the wrong choice will cost you time and money.
Your First Priority
Despite what you might expect, the first priority is not to compare functionality and features. Rather, the course developer themselves should be the focus. They will, in effect, be your business partner and require the same due diligence as their product. It simply makes good sense to do your homework before you purchase. The kind of information you need is readily available. Here are four possible sources:
Get To Know The People
Better Talk with the e-learning developer and others in their organization. Speak with their salespeople, programmers, graphic designers, and support staff – as many of the people who will work on your project as possible. Do they hold similar values? Do they seem genuinely interested in your project? Are they passionate about elearning and its future? Some additional questions to ask are:
- How many projects have they delivered?
- How long have they been in business?
- How much repeat business do they get?
- Do they do all of the work in house or contract out parts of the process?
Look At Their Website
Review the builders website. A host of information can be gleaned from their website. Typically samples of previous work are available for viewing. You can also get a feel for their design esthetic and attention to detail in the look and feel of their website. If their website is confusing, dated, or buggy chances are their work for you will share a similar fate.
Speak With Previous Clients
Any custom elearning development house worth their salt will have references from previous clients. Ask to speak with two or three of them. There is no good reason for this request to be denied. You will want to learn about their experience with the course developer; Was there a single point of contact? were timelines met?
Look At Their Course Build Process
Custom elearning development must follow an established process. There are too many dependencies. Do they use a collaborative or iterative process? Are there sufficient defined opportunities for client sign-off?
Its worth spending the time to find a custom course builder who can help you realize the potential of your courses. A good course builder will give you what you want; an even better custom course builder will give you what you didnt know you could have and what your learners will love.
Once your elearning course has been developed, it needs to find a place to call home. Your learning management system can do the job if it has the right set of features. Find out the features you need by downloading our free ebook Whats The Difference Between An LMS And An LCMS?