10 Tips To Take The Stress Out Of eLearning Outsourcing

How To Take The Stress Out Of eLearning Outsourcing

There are a lot of perks associated with eLearning outsourcing. It grants you access to experienced eLearning professionals who can deliver a high quality eLearning course, and even has the potential to reduce development costs and time. There are also a number of downsides that can cause a great deal of stress and frustration, which is probably why many organizations consider eLearning outsourcing to be a “last resort” or “back up plan” that should only be used when all else fails. By doing so, they miss out all of the benefits that it can provide. Fortunately, there are ways to take the stress out of the process so that you can get the help and expertise you’re looking for.

1. Know When And What To Outsource

To outsource or not to outsource? That is the real question. Timing is also crucial, as you need to give the eLearning provider plenty of time to wrap up the eLearning project. The two primary reasons to outsource are lack of experience and lack of time. Chances are, you are hiring an eLearning consultant because they can produce a high quality product using their skills and expertise. More importantly, they can do it in a fraction of the time. Thus, your eLearning team or employees can work on other tasks in order to increase efficiency. Avoid outsourcing smaller eLearning tasks that you can tackle on your own, and ALWAYS consider the ROI.

2. Develop An eLearning Outsourcing Checklist

There are things that you NEED from your eLearning vendor or consultant. Create a checklist of these skills, abilities, and strengths before you start the vetting process. This list should also include a separate column for "wants", such as talents that you'd prefer the eLearning professional to have. Get your eLearning team on board and ask them to add items to the list. This ensures that you create a collaborative and productive environment for everyone involved.

3. Always Have A Point Of Contact

If you're working with a large eLearning outsourcing company, it's always wise to have a point of contact. This is the individual who will field your questions and address your concerns throughout the eLearning project. Make sure you have their email address, social media links, and phone number. Meet with them beforehand to clarify expectations and double check all of the details.

4. Get It In Writing

Speaking of details, everything you discuss with the eLearning consultant or vendor should be in writing. At least, all of the essential aspects of the eLearning project. This includes delivery windows, eLearning project requirements, and which deliverables they'll be providing. Have both parties sign an agreement. You might even consider bringing in a legal professional to write up the contract.

5. Look For Scalability

You don't want to have to go through this process all over again for your next eLearning project. So, it's best to find an eLearning professional who can handle eLearning projects big and small. In other words, they have to scale with the growing needs of your organization. Do they have a diverse eLearning team who can handle a variety of different eLearning projects? Can they offer rapid eLearning options, as well as fully customized eLearning courses built from scratch?

6. Verify References And Reviews

Most eLearning vendors and consultants will have eLearning portfolios or websites with references. Don't hesitate to verify those references by reaching out and asking about their experiences. The internet is a great place to find reviews for eLearning content providers. Just type in the company's name in the search engine and see what pops up. If you can't find anything, ask other eLearning pros via online forums and social media pages.

7. Analyze Every Aspect Of The eLearning Consultant's Portfolio

Go through the eLearning consultant's portfolio with a fine-toothed comb to see if they're a good fit. Take a look at their past experiences, skills, abilities, and work examples. You should also examine the design of the eLearning portfolio, itself. For example, does the website look polished and professional? Are there typos? Does the person have a way with words? eLearning portfolios can usually give you a good indication of their personality and work ethic.

8. Test Their Talents

You may not get all the information you need from their eLearning portfolio. When in doubt, put their talents to the test by assigning a sample eLearning project. Ask them to create a prototype or eLearning activity using all of the knowledge they possess. Once they've delivered, sit down with them and discuss their work process. How did they address the primary learning objectives? Which tools did they use? How long did it take them?

9. Have All Of Your Resources On Hand

The eLearning vendor or consultant you ultimately choose should have all of your resources at their disposal. Thus, you must gather and audit everything beforehand to give them sufficient raw materials. This includes existing eLearning materials both printed and online, eLearning authoring tools, and relevant notes. They may also benefit from reports and Learning Management System analytics that you've collected recently.

10. Make It A Partnership

eLearning consultants aren't working for you. They are working with you. It's a reciprocal partnership where in both sides are mutually benefiting. The eLearning consultant is being paid in money and experience, and your organization is gaining their valuable expertise. Truly effective collaborations involve open communication and respect.

Don’t hesitate to send out several estimate requests before narrowing down your list of potential candidates. There are a multitude of eLearning vendors, consultants, and companies to choose from. So, take your time finding the ideal match and look for eLearning providers who are going to be valued members of your eLearning team instead of occasional contributors.

Are you considering weather eLearning content development outsourcing is right for you? Read the article eLearning Content Development Outsourcing: Pros and Cons to help you decide whether you should create the eLearning course in-house or leave it in the hands of experienced eLearning content development companies.

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