You have two main choices when getting a new e-learning course. You can either develop the course from scratch, or you can get an off-the-shelf e-learning course. Both have benefits – this article focuses on the reasons why off-the-shelf e-learning can be valuable.
Remember, though, the right solution will depend on your needs. The best advice is to speak to an experienced e-learning developer in Dubai who also offers off-the-shelf solutions. You can then get the information you need to make an informed choice.
What is Off-the-Shelf E-Learning?
Off-the-shelf e-learning involves ready-to-go e-learning courses or modules that require no additional content or development. This means you can use them immediately after purchasing them.
They usually cover broad topic areas with generic content, and they are developed by professional e-learning developers. As a result, they are very polished and are made to high-quality standards.
Benefits of Off-the-Shelf E-Learning
The main benefits of off-the-shelf e-learning include:
- There is usually a big library of topics available
- You can implement off-the-shelf e-learning courses quickly
- Off-the-shelf e-learning is cost-effective
- Requires fewer of your internal resources
Let’s explore each of these in more detail.
You’ll Find a Broad Library of Topics with Off-the-Shelf Solutions
While off-the-shelf e-learning courses typically contain generic content, you will find the options available can cover a broad range of commonly required topics.
As a result, there is no point re-inventing the wheel, unless you need specific information included in your e-learning courses.
The types of topic areas that are often suited to off-the-shelf e-learning include:
- Team building training
- Communication skills
- Compliance training
- Cybersecurity training
- Training in how to use commonly-used applications like the applications in the Microsoft Office suite of products
In many situations, customisation is not necessary with topics like those above.
Of course, the more niche and specific your content or requirements, the less likely it is you will find a suitable off-the-shelf solution. For broader and more common topic areas, however, off-the-shelf is a viable option.
Off-the-Shelf E-Learning is Quick to Implement
Customised e-learning courses have a development lead-in time before you can implement them. Your developer will use this time to work with your team to gather the required content, code the technical functionality, and build the course.
However, all this work is already done when you get an off-the-shelf solution. By definition, off-the-shelf e-learning courses are ready to use immediately.
This makes off-the-shelf e-learning ideal if you need to implement the solution quickly. So, for example, in situations where you need training content for one of the topics above and you need to implement it as soon as possible.
Off-the-Shelf E-Learning Can Be Cost-Effective – in the Right Situations
Developers make off-the-shelf e-learning solutions available to multiple customers. This enables them to spread their development costs, reducing the price of each individual solution.
Of course, this is all relative. After all, if you need content covering specific topic areas, or you think you will get better results from a customised e-learning course, the lower cost of an off-the-shelf learning course compared to one that is built from scratch will not be as important.
This is because the crucial measurement to use is return on investment. For training requiring specialised content, custom developed e-learning courses will give you the best return.
For generic or broad topic areas, however, the lower cost of off-the-shelf e-learning will generate a better return on investment, making it a solution you should consider.
Off-the-Shelf E-Learning Uses Fewer Internal Resources
Another benefit of off-the-shelf e-learning is it requires minimal input from your team compared to getting a custom-designed course.
With a custom design, members of your team will need to work with the e-learning developer, particularly in relation to the content. This is essential whenever you need specialist content in your course.
In situations where generic content will be sufficient, off-the-shelf e-learning is the best solution.
How to Decide Between Off-the-Shelf and Custom Made
The starting point when deciding between an off-the-shelf e-learning solution and a custom-made course is the content – do you need the content customised? Is there specific information required? Do you think your team will engage with the content more if it is tailored to their everyday experience? Is the topic unique or niche where generic content will not be available?
Unless you answered yes to any of the above questions, you should explore the option of an off-the-shelf solution.
If you can get a course on the topic that you need that covers all the points you need to cover, off-the-shelf e-learning will save you time, you’ll save money too, and you’ll be able to distribute the course to your team immediately.