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Seb Anthony

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Bespoke E Learning course


The software company I work for are launching a new computer program. Has anyone any idea how much a dedictaed E learning (from CD or web page) might cost to set up and the lead time ?
Bill PIper

8 Responses

  1. How long is piece of string…
    Depends upon the amount of content and the interactivity required. Good e-learning content isn’t cheap simply because it combines many skills to get it right – and those skills are in short supply. If you’re on a tight budget consider an authoring tool and do-it-yourself, at the very least you’ll discover the pros and cons of developing online learning content.

  2. Cost and Lead-In Times
    Exactly, how long is a piece of string. It depends on a number of factors and whether you do this in-house or out-source. From our experience as an e-learning developer and provider I will give you the following as rough guide for 1 hour of e-learning.

    Cost – around £10k to £30k depending on complexity, content, video requirement and development environment.
    Lead-in – if well written and comprehensive background/reasearch materials available – graphics are relatively simple and programming fairly straight forward + no video required lead-in could be 4 to 5 weeks. This time depends on the amount of reviews carried out and how fast the client can turn queries around. In addition this doesn’t really allow for the time required to identify what content is needed, what the programme should look and feel like to the user, the inevitable changes of mind and the myriad of other things that require to be decided upon before production can start. Although in-house production looks cheaper the unwary have many pitfalls to avoid, and out-sourcing can often work out cheaper in the long run.

  3. Use An Expert
    Hi Bill,

    David has given you a very good response. To add to that and the other comments –

    A budget of £10k will get you something although it may not be entirely what you need. Likewise a budget of £30k will get you a lot more (supposing you spend it wisely) but may not be worthwhile.

    It is also very important that whatever the methods you choose, the quality of learning matches the quality of your product – after all it will be a direct reflection of it’s value.

    From this point, personally I wouldn’t do-it-yourself – use an expert!

    If this is a commercial piece of software rather than an internal one you may wish to consider:

    • Building a sample and getting a client to pay for further development.
    • Making sure the program can be updated, developed and branded to your client needs.
    • ‘Doing a deal’ with a production company to share some form of revenue.

    I have a good number of examples I can share with you if it is of use.

    Feel free to contact me & good luck.

  4. Bespoke E Learning
    Hi Bill
    You might like to take a look at
    DotWorld built bespoke e-learning solutions from simple e-training modules to more complex systems that integrate with your corporate intranet. There are a couple of case-studies on their website that will give you an idea of the type of work they do. If you want to chat things over contact Tony Probert, 01926 421005

  5. Rule of Thumb
    The ‘norm’, if there is one, in e-learning design, is that it will take 200 hours of design work to produce 1 hour of e-learning on screen!

    This may seem alot, but there are many skills involved from teaching to technical skills.

    There is alot of ‘rubbish’ e-learning courseware on the market and you have to realise that someone took the time to produce it. They obviously lacked some of the vital skills a design team needs to create good quality online training. Its not easy to get it right. It is very easy to get wrong.

    An expert is ideal. Consult several and ask to see their work in action. They should be able to ‘demo’ their products to you.

    Finally, ask to see the design brief from the clients who commishioned the work and see if it matches the outcome on screen. Don’t be surprised if it does not match. Remember that a camel is a racehorse designed by a committee!

    Like others, I do wish you the best of luck.

  6. 200 Hours
    I think expressing figures like “200 hours” effort for 1 hour on screen learning does not really help anyone! In fact it can cause much confusion.

    I would think that the effort involved is much like any development project – it depends on the requirements that must first be defined in relation to the overall technical and learning environments.

    Remember, in some parts of the world bandwidth is a very limiting factor – so no point creating all singing all dancing video and flash screens if you expect to deliver it down a 56k modem! Then all the “200 hours” effort is lost!


  7. Costing per learner hour

    As previous contributors have pointed out, the amount of time required to create one learner hour of e-Learning content will vary hugely depending on the subject matter, degree of complexity, level of media richness and so on.

    Figures like 200 to 1 are often bandied around, but without much discrimination or explanation.

    Bear in mind the fact that your first hour of e-learning will be most expensive and labour intensive you ever produce. This is because a wide range of standards need to be agreed and adopted before this first hour can be produced. These standards relate to key issues like target hardware/software spec, technical interoperability, file naming conventions, the look and feel, visual treatment, graphical user interface, navigation options, level of support provided and so on.

    Once adopted for your first module all these things should remain consistent. As a result the number of man hours required to produce all subsequent modules should drop to a lower ratio.

    The level of reduction will vary. If your team has never been involved with this type of project and has no specialist training (e.g. CeLP Manager/Developer qualifications), then you are also very likely to make several time consuming mistakes in the process of developing this first (and some subsequent) hours of content.

    Fortunately e-Learning content relating to software user training is generally quicker and more economic to produce than say, management or soft skills training. This is because you can make so much use of grabbed screenshots and automatically generated system sims (eg. screencam) instead of expensive and laborious hand drawn graphics and photos.

    If outsourced to a specialist this kind of content generally costs an average of under £20,000 per finished hour to produce, providing you do not expect the product to include high volumes of audio content and have no requirement for video clips.

    I hope this helps.


  8. Elearning Set Up Cost
    Dear Bill

    We would be able to provide you with your own online elearning platform, fully re-branded to your company’s identity, with over 200 programmes covering management, sales, service, HR, Finance, IT, Communication and legislation e.g. employment law, data protection, anti money laundering, freedom of information act etc, an easy content creation tool, full learner reporting system, personal development planner and skill gap assessment tool for each learner, plus much much more. The set up cost this is £5000 + VAT. Please call me on 0870 908 2 908 if you would like further information.

    We have set systems up in under 48 hours before when required, but most are done within 10 days.

    Nick Fry


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