What is important when sourcing off-the-shelf eLearning courses?

What is important when sourcing off-the-shelf eLearning courses?

You may have just launched a new Learning Management System and now you need good quality eLearning materials to make the most of your investment. Or perhaps you are looking to replace an existing aging catalogue of learning materials with a modern library of online courses that suit your business needs better. It’s important to ensure that any off-the-shelf catalogue of eLearning materials that you purchase is suitable for your organisation, it’s people, and their learning goals. Here are some questions to help you evaluate an off-the-shelf eLearning catalogue purchase.

Does the catalogue address your core training challenges?

What are your core training challenges over the next year, two years and five years? Does the training within the bundle of eLearning courses satisfy your training requirements? If there are other training needs that are unique to your organisation, can the supplier provide you with a bespoke eLearning development service to fulfil this requirement?

Does the licence agreement enable your business and staff numbers to grow?

Check that the license allows you to scale your business within the licence period, or consider what the costs will be should your numbers change significantly. Also, is there a cost for any new content developed during the license term? Some content providers will include any new content as it is added to the catalogue.

Are the course files compliant with your LMS or other learning technology?

There are a range of eLearning standards, including SCORM, AICC, xAPI, cmi5, etc. When sourcing a new digital content library to roll out throughout your organisation you will need to ensure the catalogue is compliant with your Learning Management System or other learning technology.

Are additional browser plugins required to run the courses?

Older eLearning courses and catalogues may require Flash or other plugins to play in the learner’s browser. Flash is now an obsolete technology. Modern eLearning is now published as HTML5. This doesn’t require any additional plugins to run and will work well in all browsers.

Do the courses run well on your corporate devices and network?

Do you have specific devices that your staff have been assigned? Perhaps you have a bring your own device (BYOD) policy. While most good quality course catalogues will work on any modern device in a recent browser it is worth checking with IT to identify any specific technical hurdles that may occur; firewalls, VPNs, etc.

Can the courses be tailored to include your branding or internal policies?

While a good quality library of courses should have a modern and well-designed interface, you may want to change the colour scheme, add your logo or even tailor parts of the content specific to your policies or procedures. If this is important to you, check whether this is a service they offer.

Is there a discount for education or charity organisations?

Are you sourcing content for an educational institute or a charitable organisation? Some off-the-shelf vendors may offer reduced pricing for such organisations.

Are the courses modern, multimedia rich and well designed?

Digital learning needs to meet a range of needs for your staff. Given the access to high quality video and user produced content online, people have high expectations and this expectation continues to grow. Staff expect high quality content with high production values, good quality imagery, video and animated learning content. It needs to be engaging and visually compelling as well as being professionally instructionally designed.

Do you need a Learning Management System to deliver the courses and track learner engagement?

To get the most out of a catalogue of off-the-shelf eLearning courses you will need a Learning Management System (LMS) to roll out the materials and track staff engagement and achievement. Most course catalogues will sit on any LMS. If you don’t have a technology infrastructure in place, a simple system like Moodle might help you get started. What’s more, if you have existing eLearning courses or have developed your own materials, the LMS will allow you to easily upload and host your own learning content.

Is the course catalogue accessible?

Accessibility should not be an afterthought when considering any learning solution. A set of eLearning resources that have been designed with accessibility in mind will not limit the amount of interaction or types of media used, rather they will provide a great learning experience for all people.

Can the eLearning modules support face-to-face training to develop blended learning?

While eLearning can deliver effective staff training in many areas, there are times when blended learning is more appropriate. When sourcing an eLearning catalogue consider whether the modules would complement your face-to-face training initiatives. Could you combine your existing training resources with off-the-shelf online modules to create blended courses to address your learning and development challenges?

Can you pick and choose the courses that are most relevant to your training needs?

Some eLearning course libraries offer a large number of courses, some of which may not suitable for your organisation. A smaller, or more tailored set of courses might be more appropriate and may be more cost effective. Perhaps you need courses on compliance or health and safety but not on management. Check what options you have around selecting categories of courses that suit your specific learning requirements.

Do you have a number of clients who could utilise a good quality catalogue of off the shelf courses?

Check whether the provider offers reseller agreements for their bank of prebuilt courses to consultants and other learning organisations? This can be a great way for you to add value for your clients with no upfront cost to your business.

The Learning Rooms catalogue of off-the-shelf courses

The Learning Rooms has developed a catalogue of off-the-shelf courses. The courses are written by subject matter experts and instructional design professionals and built by experts in multimedia for eLearning. The catalogue can be tailored to an organisation’s needs and provides a cost effective way to deliver high quality training to your staff in a range of key areas including people management, soft skills, Health & Safety, compliance and induction. Talk to us about arranging a demo or a quotation, or to see how we can help with your digital learning requirements.