The term “outsourcing” sometimes comes along with a negative connotation, bringing to the mind slapdash projects done on the cheap. But don’t let past experiences or hearsay with outsourcing in general color your opinion of outsourcing instructional design. The world of eLearning is highly respected, technical and heavy on performance. Contracting the work eLearning development and design to another company can help free up resources, reduce in-house risk and create an end product that you’re proud of. Here’s why you should consider outsourcing your next project.
1. Cost Reduction
One of the most obvious benefits of contracting your instructional design to another company is a potential cost savings. A case study completed by Bersin analyst Karen O’Leonard found that outsourcing eLearning development to an Indian firm would bring a savings of 20 to 40 percent. Other design firms may simply have more resources and know-how to get a job done quickly and at far below the cost you were anticipating. Doing the work in-house means using some of your internal resources that may be better diverted to other projects. The result is an eLearning module that functions well and that didn’t break the bank.
2. Better Design
The truth is that while having instructional design done in-house may be more convenient, you may not get the end result you’d hoped from an amateur developer who just happens to know a little about design. By turning over your project to the experts, you can expect better design and innovative ideas that allow you to get the biggest bang for your buck. If you don’t have an in-house design expert, outsourcing instructional design to someone more experienced makes sense for a more professional, engaging end product.
If you need a project done quickly, it may be necessary to hire a contractor. Design firms who specialize in outsourcing are likely used to tight turnarounds and working on a timeline. Of course, this works best if the eLearning project in mind doesn’t require a lot of internal support. That way, you can give the contractor your materials, describe the project and then step out of the way while the firm goes to work in creating curriculum and training materials to your specifications on the fly.
No one expects you to be an expert in every portion of the eLearning process. Even a CLO can’t possibly keep up on every trend, innovation and teaching tactic available to those who make their living in instructional design. By outsourcing the creation of materials, you reap the benefits of hiring someone who knows exactly the best method to tackle each topic, from using a gaming experience to utilizing an interactive interface to drive user engagement.
Depending on the size and breadth of your project, outsourcing your eLearning design could mean getting more minds involved. While you may not have a staff of 10 to devote to the design and creation of your materials, other firms specialize in doing just that. You have the ability to give your project the attention it deserves by increasing the scale. And, since you’re saving money, you may be more flexible in creating a larger-scale project overall.
Don’t let the stigma of outsourcing leave a bad taste in your mouth. By outsourcing instructional design to another firm, you free up time and resources while getting the best end product possible.