The internet has given us, among many other things, a revolutionary genre of learning – online learning. Over the years, online learning has proven to be an effective, powerful tool to grasp and absorb new information, irrespective of the age of the learner. This is the reason why a number of educational institutions are focusing on including elements of e-learning in their curriculum. Here’s more about the Importance of Digital Curriculum Development in Higher Education
It requires specialized skills and expertise, so the choice of an online course development partner is really important to add a unique differentiator to the learning programs.
Related: Online Learning Programs: Why Every Institution is Going Digital
Why do Institutes Need a Vendor for Online Course Development?
Online learning is significantly different from its offline counterpart in character, approach and context. Teachers and educators with a remarkable grasp on their subject and years of experience behind them sometimes find themselves ill-equipped when it comes to developing online courses or learning modules.
This is primarily because digital learning must be designed to capture the attention of its audience. It should be interactive, possess elements of entertainment, and deliver on these parameters without compromising on the quality or depth of the content matter. Here’s the making of future-proof online learning programs and courses.
A right blend of all these elements is essential for learners to understand subject matter without the presence of a teacher. The content needs to strike a balance between simple and sophisticated.
A well-rounded curriculum for online learning uses relevant content with interactive tools and multimedia elements, an engaging learning approach and instructional design. In addition to that, the course material must be customized to suit the cognitive abilities and learning objectives of the target group.
Creating such e-learning modules requires more than just subject matter expertise. Instructional, multimedia, visual design and medium-specific authoring abilities are crucial.
This is why it bodes well for educational institutes to collaborate with a third-party education services and elearning content developers who specializes in online program development. Maintaining an in-house team of people with such diverse and high-powered specializations can get financially overbearing.
10 Things to Consider When Selecting an Online Course Development Partner
Outsourcing can prove useful only if it is done the right way, and with the right partner. Here’s Why Should You Outsource Your Content Development.Here are ten things to consider when selecting an online course development partner —
Experience is often considered the most crucial factor when choosing a third-party vendor for developing an e-learning module. However, instead of the number of years, look at the quality of experience. Take a closer look at their past projects, assess the value addition in each to understand their expertise, and whether or not it resonates with your goals.
You are entrusting this team with an important task that will determine the quality of education you offer in the long run, so it is only logical to assess their profiles closely. Don’t hesitate to sit down for a discussion with different team members to understand the kind of resources they will deploy for your online course development.
Any company looking to bag a project is expected to make tall claims about their abilities and achievements. Before you settle on a vendor, it is essential to understand to what extent these claims can be corroborated.
Looking at samples of past work is one quick way to do that. If a company is unable to present elaborate samples on account of non-disclosure agreements, you can ask for their portfolio or even ask them to complete a couple of sample tasks for you, offering to pay in case these meet your expectations.
This is an important consideration, especially in case you are looking for a long-term collaboration. This will allow you to understand the odds of working with the same set of people, project after project.
As a general rule of thumb, the chances of that happening are more with small organizations than larger ones. On the other hand, bigger organizations offer greater stability. View these factors vis-a-vis your requirements to zero-in on an appropriate fit.
Once again, this is a crucial consideration for long-term projects. Does the third-party vendor you are considering have the resource to scale up operations to meet an increase in your requirement? Do they have the capital or infrastructure to expand their team to cater to your growing needs?
Smooth execution of a project takes more than just the skill of the team members involved. The maturity and depth of different management processes is a critical element in ensuring that the project moves from one stage to the next seamlessly and that different teams collaborate to create a cohesive, well-rounded e-learning module.
A reliable system of checks is essential for quality assurance of the end program. Make it a point to discuss the process of checks, what these checks involve, and what kind of guidelines are adhered to. This due diligence, in the beginning, can save you a lot of inconvenience in the final stages of the curriculum development process.
Even if a third-party vendor seems like a perfect fit on all counts, it is always a good idea to check what their existing or old clients have to say about them. Every company displays testimonials like a badge of honor. Some may provide client references on request due to confidentiality agreements. Ask for client references before you finalize the contract.
Credibility can be a lot harder to pin down than other tangible factors, but it is also the most critical to consider. Look at the licenses, sources of images and content, policy on plagiarism and so on, to make sure that the content they create for you will be credible and not end up in legal tangles.
What is the pricing model of the online course development partner you are considering? Have they laid out all costs clearly, or are there any variables? What about hidden costs? Spend time on these questions to make sure there are no unpleasant budgetary surprises after the completion of the project.