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Seb Anthony

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Customised e-learning materials


I am considering commissioning some e-learning materials for a client. Frankly I have rather little experience or information on how much to budget for.

I have seen references ranging from 20 hours of developemnt time for each hour of "online contact" through to 300 or more hours.

Assuming the latter includes multimedia etc I am probably looking at the lower end of this spectrum. Does anyone have any views on this and also an idea of a typical hourly rate that I should expect to pay? I know it's the olde "length of a piece of string" but any guidance or examples would be welcome
Tom Boydell

3 Responses

  1. Let your budget define it
    The most cliched answer to this is about asking you the length, content, and complexity of the eLearning material that you need to make.

    Coming from a company that makes “eLearning materials” for a living, I suggest you define a budget, wrap a specfication around it, and take it to vendors who would be willing to work for you. Definitions of online contact, seat time, per hour development cost are different for different people.

    The answers that you will get to such a question will vary hugely.

    Hope this helps!

    Atul Sabnis

  2. Budget should be driven by the client value

    Budget is one of the hardest areas to cover with a client. My advice is similar to others:

    1. How much does the client want to pay?

    2. What do they need to achieve?

    3. What cost is involved in completing the training by other methods – if this is possible.

    4. What is the content & how should the content be delivered – obviously using video / audio etc will have an associated cost.

    In my experience I’ve seen all sorts of ‘rules of thumb’ given for costing CBT / WBT / e-Learning etc – IMO most are rubbish because a) they assume all content material (and treatment) is the same, and b) most e-Learning providers will do something worthwhile for your budget (although some will not thank me for saying it).

    For example we have done projects of varying sizes for a few thousand pounds upwards.

    If you want further help or even a guide price then give me a call 0161 228 1712.

    Good luck.

  3. Manage expectations
    Tom – why do you or your client feel you need e-materials? If there is a very good reason, does your client have an impression of what the user will see/do on the computer?

    Your development time range takes you from straight e-information (probably word documents or powerpoint) at the low end through to interactive graphic simulation at the top end.

    You probably need to shoot somewhere in the middle – 100 to 1 is a fairly typical ratio. You can then deliver a range of elements from straight information through interactive tutorial to assessment. Big chunks of this are the subject expert and the training design (you may well be able to handle some of this yourself). The actual development effort will depend on the tools to be used.

    My advice would be to keep things simple, prototype, and hook the client into an evolution approach so that it can be clear what value is being derived from each element of the e-learning and investment made accordingly.


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