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How to Identify a Good eLearning Development Company for Custom Solutions

Knowing what to look for is half the battle when you’re seeking a good eLearning development company. Are you supposed to look for the cheapest, fastest, or someone who knows your industry well?

Maybe none of those fit the bill that will uncover the best eLearning development company for your job. You could even seek out a generalist or perhaps a specialist instructional designer!

If you don’t know much about eLearning, how are you supposed to know who to choose? Not only that, is eLearning even the right solution for your problem? Most eLearning companies will always tell you that eLearning can solve your problem, or even worse, they’ll do what they’re told without using critical thinking to consult with you on the best solution.

Don’t worry. This post will help you understand the details about choosing a good eLearning development company. It’ll even help you somewhat on the side of thinking deep into whether you even need eLearning at all. Sometimes there are better and more affordable training options out there.

If you know that eLearning is the solution for you, identifying a good eLearning development company can be the cornerstone of success. There can be a lot of power behind a quality eLearning course tailored to your specific needs.

eLearning isn’t always the solution to workplace issues. Work with a company who knows when what they do isn’t the solution.

Finding the right eLearning developers can make or break your project. Working well together and finding success demands a partnership with a company that truly understands the intricacies of eLearning development and how it can help your company succeed.

The stakes are high, and the choices are many. So, how do you distinguish a good eLearning development company amidst a sea of contenders?

It’s not merely about flashy presentations or impressive client lists. The essence lies in combining expertise, innovative thinking, and a deep understanding of adult learning methodologies. This post will show the traits defining an exceptional eLearning development partner.

From their ability to customize content that aligns seamlessly with your company to their proficiency in leveraging cutting-edge technology, we’ll explore the attributes that set the best apart from the rest.

Without further ado, let’s jump into what you should look for and how finding a development company can transform your eLearning vision into a reality that’s impactful, sustainable, and scalable.

Specializing in Industry or Subject?

Do you choose an eLearning development company specializing in your industry or perhaps on the topic for which you want a course developed? There are so many specializations that it could make your head spin.

Most eLearning development companies seem to be generalists; their specialty is simply eLearning. Unfortunately, for someone looking at eLearning developers, eLearning development isn’t a specialization.

So, the goal shouldn’t necessarily be to go too narrow in specialization (it has to be in the aviation industry) but rather find another specialization that works well. So, the specialty is ideally based on the overall topic of the eLearning course needing to be developed.

Never choose an eLearning development company that’s also an expert in the subject itself.

If you only go into industry specialists, you could end up with a subject matter expert (SME) rather than an eLearning developer or instructional designer.

Remember, when looking for a company, you’re the SME, and the company is the expert in eLearning. Never choose an eLearning development company that’s also an expert unless they employ the expert rather than use them to create the eLearning.

A good example of this is that we’re not experts in any specific technical topic (cyber security, particular applications, etc.), but we are experts in technical training. That means we know our skill in developing technical eLearning that we can work with an expert to build.

On the flip side, working with a company that serves your industry yet isn’t an expert in the specific topic might sometimes be helpful. An eLearning development company that works with healthcare companies might better understand healthcare workers.

A company that specializes in your industry might have a deeper understanding of the challenges and goals you face if that’s critical for the project. They will be familiar with the terminology, regulations, and best practices unique to your industry. This specialized knowledge might make them more in tune with your specific needs to make the content more engaging, highly relevant, and effective.

While we can’t tell you which is the perfect choice, now you know what to look for. Some projects might require an industry specialist, whereas others may benefit from different expertise.

Proficiency in Instructional Design

Instructional design is at the heart of effective eLearning development. It involves creating learning experiences that engage employees and facilitate knowledge retention for adults. A good eLearning development company should have a strong foundation in instructional design principles and methodologies.

Without quality instructional design at the root of the eLearning development process, everything breaks down. eLearning is not merely a visual medium and shouldn’t be left to designers only; they must know how adults learn and understand the learning process. That means a thorough knowledge and deep skill in instructional design, including the ADDIE process, which many instructional designers follow as a general framework.

Effective employee training is more than only eLearning.

The instructional design process encompasses analyzing learning needs, defining learning objectives, designing content and assessments, and evaluating the effectiveness of the course. It requires expertise in structuring information, sequencing content logically, and employing interactive elements to enhance engagement.

eLearning is only a microscopic part of the instructional design process and effective training for adults. Find an eLearning development company that excels in the entire training development process, not just eLearning.

eLearning and instructional design are very different, but you need a company that goes beyond only developing eLearning. An eLearning development company with proficiency in instructional design will be able to create courses that are visually appealing and effective at creating or improving employee behavior.

Understanding of Adult Learning

Adult learning and the science behind it dictates the organization, design, and delivery of training content. Workplace training is very different than schools and such. A good eLearning development company should have a deep understanding of adult learning methodologies and be able to apply them appropriately to create impactful learning experiences.

Whether it’s behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism, or any other learning theory, the company should know how these principles apply to eLearning. They should know how to align instructional strategies with the desired performance outcomes and adapt their approach based on the target audience.

A development company ensures effective performance-based training by incorporating the science of adult learning into eLearning solutions. This understanding of adult learning sets apart a good eLearning development company from those who rely solely on technology without considering the science behind workplace training.

Collaboration and Communication Skills

A successful partnership with an eLearning development company requires effective collaboration and communication. Look for a company that values open communication channels, will accommodate your preferences, actively involves you in the development process, and seeks your input at every stage.

The ability to collaborate effectively ensures that your vision is translated into reality. There’s nothing worse than being unpleasantly surprised at the end because of a lack of communication.

Successful collaboration and open communication are essential to a successful eLearning project.

A good eLearning development company will listen attentively to your requirements, ask clarifying questions, and provide regular updates on progress. They will work with you to achieve the perfect balance regarding content structure, visual design, interactivity, and assessment methods while also balancing their expertise in adult learning.

Clear communication is essential for managing expectations, addressing concerns promptly, and ensuring everyone is aligned throughout the project. It allows for timely feedback and course corrections if needed. By fostering a collaborative environment built on trust and transparency, you can maximize the potential of your partnership with an eLearning development company.

Understand Customization Needs

Customization is one of the key advantages of working with a custom eLearning development company over off-the-shelf options. While off-the-shelf training does have a place for some workplace training, it shouldn’t always be a replacement. It often takes a combination of the two, not one or the other.

A good eLearning development company should have a thorough understanding of your needs and be able to create a completely custom eLearning solution. Customization can range from incorporating your branding elements into the course design to adapting the content to reflect your organization’s processes and procedures.

The company should work with you to create a custom eLearning course in all the right places. By understanding your customization needs, an eLearning development company can create courses that resonate with your employees and address their unique requirements. This level of personalization means training that better resonates with your employees and meets or exceeds performance goals.

Emphasis on User Experience Design

User experience (UX) design is crucial in creating engaging and intuitive eLearning experiences. The importance and success of user experience design led to someone coming up with the term learning experience. While a very good instructional designer should have always created quality learning experiences, it’s now part of a whole movement.

A good eLearning development company should prioritize UX design to ensure employees have a seamless and enjoyable journey while learning.

A good user experience is essential which is why the term learning experience is a thing.

UX design involves considering factors that span the entire experience before even getting to the course. It also touches on navigation, accessibility, visual appeal, interactivity, and responsiveness across different devices. The whole experience should be user-friendly, including an interface that’s easy to navigate, provides clear instructions, and offers intuitive interactions.

An emphasis on UX design ensures employees can focus on the content without being hindered by technical difficulties or confusing interfaces. It enhances satisfaction and encourages people to actively participate in the learning process rather than being bogged down with a poor experience.

Expertise in Multimedia

Multimedia elements such as videos, animations, simulations, and interactive exercises can significantly enhance the effectiveness of eLearning courses. A good eLearning development company should have expertise in integrating multimedia elements seamlessly into their solutions.

When relevant, multimedia can clarify topics as long as they consider the overall user experience. When used properly, videos can demonstrate complex concepts visually; animations can simplify abstract ideas; simulations can provide realistic scenarios for practice; interactive elements can reinforce learning through doing.

An eLearning development company can use multimedia effectively to create effective eLearning experiences that meet the project’s goals and hopefully improve employee performance. Look for a company that understands how to use multimedia strategically to enhance learning while not hindering it.

Understanding Cutting-Edge Technology

The field of eLearning is constantly evolving, with new technologies and tools emerging regularly. A good eLearning development company should stay current with the latest trends and utilize cutting-edge technology to deliver innovative solutions when it makes sense.

On the flip side, they shouldn’t use cutting-edge technology when it distracts from learning. That’s true with many things, though, including whether it’s a good idea to go the gamification route or not for training.

Knowing cutting-edge technology is important, but technology for technology’s sake is harmful.

Whether mobile learning, virtual reality, augmented reality, gamification, or any other emerging technology, the company should understand the technology and know when it’s necessary vs. when it distracts from training outcomes and gets in the way.

They should be able to recommend the most suitable eLearning solution (or not eLearning solution) whether they can deliver it or not. Cutting-edge technology can both help or harm eLearning.

A Track Record of Success

A track record of successful projects is a strong indicator of a good eLearning development company. Look for testimonials, case studies, or client references demonstrating their ability to deliver high-quality solutions on time and within budget.

Just don’t always rely solely on these things. Newer companies don’t necessarily have the things a well-established company would have. But that doesn’t mean the new company lacks the necessary background or experience. They may be simply starting out on their own after much success in the industry.

A track record of success is important but cherry-picked testimonials doesn’t always mean much.

You want to look for a company with the background and has done it before rather than someone graduating from a new program and deciding to call themselves an expert. There’s a balance between looking at the body of work and testimonials vs. the experience level in what you’re looking for.

Don’t hesitate to ask for examples of previous work or request access to demo courses they have developed. This will give you firsthand experience of their capabilities and help you assess whether they align with your project goals.

Scalability and Future-Proofing Strategies

As your organization grows or your training needs evolve, scalability becomes crucial. A good eLearning development company should have strategies to ensure that the solutions they create can accommodate future changes.

They should design modular and easily expandable courses, allowing for adding new content or updates without disrupting the entire course structure. The company should also be available for ongoing support and maintenance to address any technical issues or content updates that may arise. That could be as-needed support or a retainer, which many instructional design consulting companies should offer.

Future-proofing strategies involve anticipating technological advancements and industry trends to ensure that your eLearning solutions remain relevant in the long term. Since they can’t stay relevant forever, update them as needed. The company should be forward-thinking and proactively recommend updates or enhancements based on emerging needs.

Wrap Up

Finding a good eLearning development company for custom solutions requires careful consideration of various factors. This is an overview of what you should be looking for when finding the right eLearning developer to work with.

  • Specialization in your industry or subject
  • Proficiency in instructional design
  • Understanding of adult learning
  • Collaboration and communication skills
  • Customization capabilities
  • Emphasis on user experience design
  • Expertise in multimedia
  • Understanding cutting-edge technology
  • Track record of successful projects
  • Scalability and future-proofing strategies

Each of these plays a vital role in determining the quality of the partnership. Not every eLearning development company will be the right fit for you. The right company to work with for one project might not be right for another.

By identifying an eLearning development company with the right traits for your project, you can ensure that your custom eLearning solutions are effective and aligned with your organization’s goals. Remember to thoroughly evaluate potential partners based on many different factors before investing in their success on your project.

Working with the right or wrong company can make or break your eLearning project. With the right partner, you can embark on an eLearning journey that transforms your training programs into impactful learning experiences.

While we have built many different types of eLearning, from soft skills to scenario-based learning, we thrive with technical skills that help your employees use company technology. Whatever kind of eLearning project you have coming up, schedule a free consultation, and we’d be happy to discuss your needs and help you figure out the right solution, whether we can help you or not.

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