8 Tips To Select The Right eLearning Content Provider For Social Learning
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How To Choose The Best eLearning Content Provider For Social Learning

Many eLearning content providers now specialize in social learning in online training. You can benefit from their industry experience to foster knowledge sharing and improve workplace performance. Even if your L&D team doesn’t have room in their schedule to develop resources from the ground up, or you simply want to stretch your budget and reduce their workload as they’ll be able to help you improve resource allocation, repurpose existing assets, and boost employee engagement. So, how do you choose the ideal eLearning content provider for your social learning program?

eBook Release: Social Learning In The Workplace
eBook Release
Social Learning In The Workplace
Find out what social learning is and how you can implement it in the workplace.

1. Choose A Provider In Your Industry

There are numerous eLearning content providers to choose from, but only a selected few specialize in your industry or use case. These companies have a proven track record in your niche. They’re aware of the unique challenges you face and how to tackle them via social learning resources. The provider must also be aware of employee expectations, task protocols, and compliance policies that pertain to your industry.

2. Look For An Outsourcing Partner Who Offers The Total Package

Consider how an eLearning content provider offers many different solutions so that you don’t have to hire another company for future projects. That said, you should try to avoid companies that overreach. For instance, they offer every service in the book instead of focusing on their strong suits. So, ask about their areas of expertise and which projects they’ve worked on in the past. Have they already developed social learning resources for another organization and what was the outcome? Where there any tie-in tools they used to achieve the best results? Such as a microlearning support library or animation?

3. Consider Online Reviews And Ratings

Chances are, other organizations have contracted the eLearning content provider for their social learning development. Especially if the content provider has been in the business for some time. Evaluate online reviews and ratings to gauge their level of service, quality of work, and deadline adherence. What do others have to say about the vendor’s time management skills or work practices? Did they meet their expectations or were there major issues during the project?

4. Ask For References And Work Examples

There’s no shame in asking for references to their past work. eLearning content providers won’t be offended if you want to verify their credentials and experience. You should also request examples or samples that highlight their talents. Many companies even have online portfolios so that you can evaluate the design and delivery methods. Pay close attention to the objectives and use cases behind the work. Are they similar to yours and does the finished product align with your expectations and company vision?

5. Set Up A Meeting To Discuss Your Training Requirements

Once you have a shortlist of potential vendors, set up meetings to determine if they can meet your training requirements. Ask the pressing questions, such as whether they can deliver on time and how they plan to address performance and skill gaps. Clarify your budget and what they can provide in your price range. Now’s your chance to ensure that your team meshes with yours and that their business practices will deliver the best ROI.

6. Don’t Base Your Decision On Estimates Alone

I've just mentioned the budget, but the cost shouldn’t be the only factor. An eLearning content provider who charges more for their services may lead to better returns because of their expertise and customer service. They provide a more comprehensive solution to the problem and faster turnaround times. Thus, you should consider the complete package instead of just looking at the price tag. That said, it’s wise to have an accurate budget in place beforehand to avoid overspending.

7. Turn To Social Media For Recommendations

Ask around on social media to see who others have worked with in the past and if they were worth the investment. You can also put out ‘feelers’ for vendors on your shortlist. Has anyone dealt with the company and what was their experience? Did they encounter any glaring issues? For sensitive topics, it’s best to reach out to the contact directly. For example, private message them to ask about honest opinions or specific people they worked with, or to ask about pricing options that aren’t publicly posted. Another great place to check for recommendations is online forums and eLearning blogs.

8. Use An Online Directory To Do Your Homework

Last, but not least, use an online directory to do your research and find a content provider in your niche. You can filter results by solution and specializations to choose a vendor that’s just right for your social learning strategy. It also includes ratings and reviews for the leading providers. Every company has the opportunity to provide background information about their services. So, you get a feel for their work practices and professional history, like how long they’ve been in business and their level of experience in your field. There’s even contact info so you can learn more about their pricing packages, list of services, etc.

The key is to look for an eLearning content provider who understands the unique needs of your industry. As well as your company vision and employees’ expectations. Ideally, you want to bring a vendor on board who becomes a collaborator. Someone you can call on for future projects without having to bring them up to speed or clarify your objectives all over again. This article can help you choose the best company for the task, regardless of your budget, use case, or training gaps.

Wondering what social learning is and how you can implement it in the workplace to motivate employees, facilitate knowledge sharing and talent development? Download our eBook Social Learning In The Workplace: How To Cultivate A Collaborative Online Training Culture and get to expose all the common myths around social learning!

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