elearning design: how much should you pay?
Remember when websites used to cost $10,000? And you needed to go to an expensive web designer to get them done? Then every update you made cost an arm and a leg!
The price slowly started falling, 8,000, 5,000, 2,500 until fast forward to today. Now there are a plethora of free websites where you can create your own in minutes.
I see the maturing of the elearning market in the same way. With the advent of rapid elearning tools and technology in general, the time and skill level to create elearning design is dropping dramatically. Although with these new rapid tools, in some cases we are losing the instructional elearning design and therefore learning quality and experience behind it! But that’s another blog.
So how do you know, when you engage someone in a supplier arrangement, permanent or project based capacity, how long a piece of work will take? And what it will ultimately cost you?
How can you get elearning into your company?
- Suppliers. There are companies out there who specialise in designing and developing elearning. Frankly, I am often shocked for what is being produced, the thousands of dollars that is charged. For example, on one of my bank projects, I saw a (very average) quiz which would have taken 30 minutes to create. The client was charged $2,000!
- Contractors. Contractors are brought in for their ability to learn and synthesise information and systems quickly. They start delivering (called ‘deliverables’ in project-land) in a very short time frame.
What does elearning design really cost?
Each year I do one contract to keep my hand in and keep current. A bit like experiential CPD In 53 days. After learning the Remedy Change Management system, I:
- Designed a 30 minute interactive ‘walkthrough’ in Articulate
- Presented 24 x 1 hour preview sessions of the new tool (to over 350 people in weeks 4-6 )
- Facilitated 19 x 1 hour computer labs in Auckland (over 100 people – week 6)
- Facilitated 44 x 1 hour Wellington labs in Wellington (over 250 people)
- Designed, developed, recorded and edited a 22 minute introduction video
- Designed and developed 5 x elearning pieces (between 67 and 24 slides each, 5 minutes to 17 minutes in duration)
- Designed and developed 5 x quizzes. All the quizzes and the elearning first drafts were created in 9 days.
This is the type of productivity you should expect from designers and developers. If you can free them up from meetings, long lunches and coffee machine chats.
Let’s look at the time it took me to develop the elearning and quizzes:
- A week to learn the system with a dedicated SME and ‘sandpit’ environment and user guide = $4,500
- 9 days x $800 = $7,200
- 3 review cycles, therefore edits ($200/module x 3 reviews x 5 modules) = $3,000
Total $14,700 in one month when you consider review cycle times.
Now, I know that the same work would cost at least $6,000 per module from a supplier. And it probably wouldn’t be done in a month due to other client work load and not actually being onsite.
So next time you are considering having some elearning written, consider how much you really need to pay.