How To Avoid 8 Top eLearning Outsourcing Pitfalls
eLearning outsourcing allows you to tap into the expertise of experienced eLearning software vendors, consultants, and eLearning content providers. However, there are some hurdles that you may have to hop over throughout the process. The good news is that there are ways to steer clear of these eLearning outsourcing pitfalls altogether. Here are the top 8 eLearning outsourcing pitfalls you should be aware of, as well as tips to circumvent them and get the most from your eLearning collaboration.
1. Lack Of Project Management Control
eLearning outsourcing means that you give up control over the eLearning content development process. That's one of the perks, as you free up time to pursue other eLearning projects. But that's also one of the downfalls, especially for those who like to oversee every aspect of the work process and offer continual input. You can avoid this eLearning outsourcing pitfall altogether by clarifying expectations with your eLearning content provider or consultant. Schedule regular update meetings where they share their progress and discuss future phases of the eLearning project. In addition, you should let them know that you still want to have some say in how the eLearning content is developed and deployed. For example, they should give you the opportunity to review the eLearning materials after each stage.
2. Compromise Sensitive Data
There are some outsourcing eLearning projects that involve sensitive data, such as user information or confidential company policies. You need the consultant to do the work on your behalf, but you don't want to put your data at risk. You can safeguard your sensitive information with a non-disclosure agreement or similar contract. In addition, you should inquire how the eLearning company will store your data. For example, do they have a secured server that reduces the risk of data theft?
3. High-Demand eLearning Companies Are Busy With Other eLearning Projects
Your eLearning project may not be the only eLearning project the eLearning company has in the works. As such, there is a chance they have a busy schedule that impacts your eLearning course development timeline. This is yet another reason why it's important to clarify expectations and be fully transparent about your deadlines and estimated launch dates. For example, you need to have the online training materials ready by June so that you can deploy your new compliance online training course. Doing so, allows you to keep up with the new rules and regulations that go into effect shortly thereafter.
4. You Have Trouble Deploying The Finished Product
Your eLearning provider has provided high quality eLearning content. But there's one major problem: you don't know how to deliver it to your online learners. The format is incompatible with your eLearning course οr you simply don't have the eLearning authoring tools to deploy the eLearning content on a global scale. It may even be that your eLearning team encounters glitches or technical issues that prevent them from uploading the eLearning content. For this reason, you should ask your eLearning company about the support services they offer after the fact. Will they be able to assign someone to help you deploy the eLearning content? Do you need to hire an IT expert to offer assistance? And do you need additional software to deliver the eLearning materials to your online learners?
5. Your eLearning Team Misses Out On Valuable Experience
You outsource eLearning in order to benefit from the experience and skills of the eLearning consultant or provider. However, this takes away valuable experience and skill-building opportunities from your eLearning team. They no longer have the chance to learn by doing or overcoming eLearning project challenges. There are two solutions to this particular eLearning outsourcing pitfall: The first is keeping it in house and utilizing the talents of your eLearning team. The second is inviting the eLearning content provider to complete the eLearning project locally so that your eLearning team can observe. You might even consider an "apprenticeship," where a member of your organization shadows the eLearning content developer.
6. Unexpected Fees
You hired the eLearning development company to do the work at a specific rate, but the fees quickly pile up and you end up going way over your eLearning budget. You can avoid this by asking for a detailed estimate up front and ask directly about hidden expenses. For example, how many hours of work does the package cover? How many people will work on your eLearning project? Will the company charge extra for support services?
7. You Don't Have The Tools Or Resources To Update The eLearning Content
The outsourcing eLearning provider delivers the eLearning content, but then you realize that you lack the eLearning authoring tools to make revisions or updates. As a result, you must contact them every time you have to modify the eLearning course or add new topics. This takes time and resources that eventually put you over your eLearning budget. You can avoid this eLearning outsourcing pitfall by asking about the necessary eLearning authoring tools up front and purchasing them for your organization. Alternatively, your eLearning content provider may offer ongoing maintenance services that are included in the upfront cost. For example, every year you are allowed 10 minor eLearning content updates or revisions at no extra expense.
8. Lack Of Communication
Your eLearning provider isn't aware of your learning objectives or desired outcomes. Likewise, you don’t receive regular updates about their progress. The lines of communication are down and no one is on the same page. This scenario can be prevented through effective communication guidelines. How often should the eLearning outsourcing company provide updates? What is your preferred contact method? You should also schedule an eLearning project kickoff meeting to outline your goals and objectives, as well as determine the scope of the eLearning project.
Don't let these challenges derail your eLearning outsourcing project. Use these 8 tips to take the stress out of eLearning outsourcing by finding the right eLearning provider and clarifying expectations. It also helps to keep the lines of communication open and ask for detailed estimates beforehand. Last, but not least, know the talents, skills, and time constraints of your eLearning team so that you only outsource when it's absolutely necessary.
Do you know who you need on your eLearning team when you outsource eLearning? Read the article 8 Key Players To Consider In eLearning Outsourcing to explore the key players that you should consider for your next eLearning outsourcing project