14-Point Checklist When Choosing an E-Learning Developer
Choosing an e-learning developer is not always an easy thing to do, particularly if you are going through the process for the first time. Here are some key points you should look out for to ensure you get an e-learning developer capable of delivering on your requirements.
Checklist for Selecting an E-Learning Developer
- Specialist e-learning developer
It is important the e-learning developer you hire specialises in creating e-learning courses, as not all do.
Many have the technical skills required, so they will offer e-learning development in addition to a range of other services. However, having technical skills doesn’t make them effective at producing training content for your business.
Similarly, there are companies and individuals that offer training services that include e-learning development, but they lack the full range of technical expertise that is required.
So, it is much better to hire a specialist e-learning developer for your project.
- Full range of technical skills
The custom e-learning course you are having developed may benefit from special features that will facilitate the learning experience and help achieve your goals. Your developer must be able to deliver on these requirements, so they will need to have a full range of technical skills.
- Training expertise
As mentioned above, technical expertise is not enough to create great e-learning courses, as it’s important to also have training skills and experience.
- Instructional design expertise
While instructional design is a complex topic, an easy way to think about it is to combine both technical and training skills. In other words, instructional designers think about how people learn before creating content, features, and elements to match.
What level of experience does the e-learning developer have, and what is the nature of that experience? The developer doesn’t necessarily need experience in your industry, although that can help. It also helps if the developer has experience creating e-learning courses for companies that are a similar size to yours. That said, overall levels of experience are important to consider too.
- Local knowledge
Local knowledge is an often-overlooked characteristic of an e-learning developer, but it can be of crucial importance. This is because one of the main aims when creating an e-learning course is to make it relevant to learners, as this helps to keep them engaged with the content. However, it can be difficult for a developer to make the course relevant when they have minimal local knowledge.
So, for example, if the people you need to train are in the UAE or Saudi Arabia, you need an e-learning developer with experience and knowledge in those regions.
- Proven track record
A proven track record of success is also important. In other words, knowing that a developer has a certain number of years of experience is not enough. You should also review previous projects and, where possible, review the results that were achieved.
- Project management process
Developing an e-learning course can be a complex process with a lot of different people involved and a lot of moving parts. Therefore, it is essential the e-learning developer you choose has a tried and tested project management process.
- Dedicated project manager
Having a dedicated project manager will be a significant help as you will always have a point of contact when you need one. A project manager will also oversee things like the timeline and ensuring milestones are met.
- Capacity and resources
Make sure you check whether the e-learning developer has sufficient capacity to take on your project and see it through to completion. If the developer’s resources are spread too thinly, problems can occur with everything from quality to communication to timelines.
It is also important to make sure the required expertise for your project is available within the developer’s organisation, and that specialist resources are not overly stretched.
- Development process
E-learning development projects need to follow a clear structure to ensure they are completed successfully. This includes, for example, creating wireframes and storyboards before proceeding with development. Rushing through the project without a plan will result in elements being missed and a lot of re-work, wasting time and money.
Therefore, you should check the development process used by the e-learning developer. Knowing they have one and can comprehensively explain it to you will give you confidence in their abilities.
- Quality process
Quality checking is a part of e-learning development that is often overlooked, particularly when you are in the early stages of a project. However, it is incredibly important, with that importance amplified according to the size and complexity of the course.
- Specialist services
The development of your e-learning course might involve specialist expertise. The e-learning developer might not have this expertise in-house, but they should have access to professionals they can call on when required. Examples of these specialist services include translation, localisation, voiceovers, animation, and writing.
- Transparent prices
The pricing policy of your e-learning developer should be as transparent as possible. Get them to explain everything up front, and make sure there are no additional or hidden fees.
Choosing the Right E-Learning Developer for Your Business
Choosing the right e-learning developer should not be about price. Price will be a factor, of course, as you will have a budget to stay within. However, there is no point getting a cheap deal on e-learning development only to spend money, as well as valuable time and resources, on a course that ultimately doesn’t work.
Spending sufficient time choosing an e-learning developer with the help of this checklist will ensure you begin a relationship that will be beneficial for your business and that will help you achieve your business and training goals.