When it comes to eLearning development, some of the preliminary things people want to know is how long it will take and how much will the eLearning development time and cost be.
This is true for both internal company projects and consulting projects (where you are performing the development for a client) projects. What significant stakeholders often lose sight of is that quality eLearning course development takes a significant amount of time. The more the existing unknown variables there at the onset of the project, the harder it is to achieve an accurate estimate. The delicate part is filtering basic content from the advanced. You also have to consider other elements such as Job aids, technical documents, and other relevant assets as part of the building blocks of eLearning. That being said, it’s important to invest time for the development of these resources. While you may have a steady grip on the content (the images and interactive element) you’ll be including in your eLearning deliverable, estimating the development time of your eLearning course needed to complete all of these tasks can be somewhat challenging. After all, ensuring your client with an accurate quote that every hour has been devoted to the design and development process is of paramount importance.
It all starts with researching your target audience and beginning to create the eLearning course objectives . Gathering your team, assigning responsibilities & expectations as well as the tools, so that each one can be utilized to the best of your ability, ensues. This estimation mandates discussion with the team at hand to be certain of meeting deadlines for the task at hand. Storyboarding serves as a guide for both the project manager and the rest of the team and as such demands a fair amount of time for a detailed overview. The design must reflect the brand image and the theme of the subject matter, with every individual element tied together. Determining the content creation and instructional design development time includes multimedia production such as videos, podcasts, effective scenarios, etc. that require a lot of time. For instance, authoring a complex programming language requires a great deal of coding, something that’s needs to be factored in to your eLearning course development time and cost estimate. Last in a series of steps is testing and revisions that may include focus groups, individual testing sessions followed by interviews or surveys to get invaluable feedback, and even client demonstrations.
The current market landscape, mandates the meeting or more importantly exceeding standards of instructional development as part of the amount invested, in terms of the time and cost on the development of an eLearning program. When collating cost estimates and preparing project plans e-Learning project managers and instructional designers often find it a difficult task to correctly estimate the extent of the course, the time and cost it takes to develop an eLearning exercise.
Remember to always expect the unexpected when you estimate your eLearning course development time and cost. It is imperative to allow unanticipated room for slipups, project emergencies or additions in order to ensure that your bid is always vetted and spot-on, in both terms of cost and time.