Factors effecting cost of Elearning


“Costing e-Learning is much like peeling an onion… there are many layers, they don’t ever seem to end, and sometimes it really smells. … if you understand the variables involved in determining costs you can take the magic right out of the process. Don’t be misled that it’s easy though; there are a lot of variables to consider!”

With the advent and proliferation of Elearning, The most remarkable feature which is attributed to the Elearning content development is the cost effectiveness of Elearning training delivery. But it’s not as simple as it is stated above and there are many aspects and dimensions which will form the final quotation of costing and implementation. And that again says that Elearning training will always remain to be more cost effective then the instructor based training delivery but the dimensions crucial to be mentioned here will play decisive role in understanding the different ways of variations in Elearning course development to make things clearer and transparent.

The following are few of the important aspects impacting cost of Elearning course development.

The most crucial aspect impacting cost of Elearning course development is Graphics and Multimedia. Since the instructors are unavailable in this mode of training and learning, the interactive addition of multimedia and Graphics compensates the absence of instructors and makes the learning and training more interactive, exhaustive and effective.

In other words we can say that the complexity and simplicity of Multimedia and Graphics will directly impact the cost of Elearning course development and the varied dimensions related to Multimedia and Graphics would the following dimensions:

  • Animated video editing
  • Enhancement and editing of the content
  • Custom made narration
  • Production of custom made video and 3d Animation

Here it is extremely important to mention that complexity or variation in context of Multimedia and Graphics will have strong impact on final costing of the product or the online content and delivery.

In case of linear course development, where the simple text based assessment is involved as the navigation would be standard and typical templates would be used for course development and in turn would take the costing towards the lower spectrum. But when we talk about the training with varied decision points and in that case different custom mapping would be created leaving no room or less possibility of re using the already existing templates.

The Elearning course development where there are possibilities of conditional branching, the cost of Elearning development will surely shoot up. These types of advanced course development would have Large number of hands on exercises, advanced level of navigation, custom pages and conditional interactive components.

Development time for instructional design

The time spent in designing the course ware is crucial from the inception of storyboard to the completion of final content or we can say in other words the kind of effort needed to complete the content plays a decisive role in the cost of Elearning development.

Here again there are some specification as to how the Elearning course development will take shape and what are the other dimensions being involved in overall costing of the Elearning content.

If the basic structure is not ready and there are no storyboards existing, the time and effort would be more and thus the costing would go higher, while in case of basic structure and storyboard in place will speed up the process of content development and would lower the cost of courseware development.

As in the case where there is no structure ready or the storyboard not in place will increase the number of subject matter expert and instructional design hours, resulting in increased cost of the whole development process. In case of highly specialized training modules, the time consumption increases manifolds to facilitate planning and implementation as the content does not exist, except in the imagination of the subject matter experts so planning here again plays an important role in time consumption and formulation of the desired content requirement. In this scenario again the cost goes really high.

The other crucial aspect affecting the cost of Elearning content development would be standards compliance, usability testing etc, which is supposed to be added in overall and final costing of the Elearning content development.

Addressing all the above mentioned specification for content development will make the process of Elearning development effective and user friendly would help the industry to be competent enough to take up the challenges in smooth way and deliver performance and competitive advantage as well.

The understanding of the above mentioned guidelines will enable the industry to have uniform playing fields for all the vendors, in turn would standardize the process as a whole.

Simulations – A way of Elearning

“If you tell me, I will listen. If you show me, I will see. But if you let me experience, I will learn.”

The market for E-learning is ever growing and there are clear indications that it would continue to grow tremendously in the future. The concept of E-learning has revolutionized the whole system of education and training. With ever increasing demand of innovation in the field of content development and authoring tools to make the learning more interactive, effective and productive. The integration of simulation in E-learning has taken a major leap. When we talk about simulation in E-learning content development, we emphasize on the content and training modules with engagement and interactive approach towards the whole process of E-learning. Where the learners are given ample opportunities to participate at all the diverse levels of learning with more participation and freedom to experience the training on a wider and effective level. The major challenge faced by the content developers is to devise and design the E-learning content to have maximum possibilities for hands on experimentation, where the learners get chance to maximize their learning by practically doing things and deriving conclusions.

The most critical contribution in the process of learning is offered through our senses. And the four critical stages forming the learning web are watching, thinking, feeling and doing.  Among these senses the most important is learning while doing things on our own and that adds subtlety to the whole process of learning. In earlier E-learning course development the idea of interactivity was not given ample importance or sometimes this crucial aspect has been completely ignored but now with changing scenario and latest technological advancement the need for more extensive and exhaustive authoring tools are in demand. Putting up challenges to content experts or developers to have more intensive and interactive courseware. The simulations in E-learning bring the learners close to the real life situations. Where they relate to their past experiences and that helps them get the final outcome or the conclusion. Thus simulation in E-learning opens a horizon of doing and learning, in turn the training where the students are involved directly with their learning, keeps them motivated and involved as they play a decisive role in learning itself, instead of just being guided.

Simulations can be categorized depending on the level of complexity offered through instructions (Source: William Horton, 2000), they are as follows:

1.One shot Simulations: As the name says it all, these simulations are utilized for the courses offered for one time learning. The software and process training utilizes this type of simulation for the execution of courseware or training. The learners are given ample opportunity to learn while doing. And they are also provided with option of correcting mistakes and then moving forward through the ladder of learning and experimenting. This gives the learners ample space to do and redo in case of mistakes and the freedom and the ownership plays critical role in the process of training.

2.Simulations through examples: Under this category the simulations are provided in terms of situations. In turn creating enthusiasm to intervene and to determine and conclude the following relevant steps to take up the course to the next level. Every little step is crucial and critical for the final outcome. And the learners get the option of trying many times to get the required outcome. Which keeps them motivated and involved throughout the learning process. This type of simulation gives the learners an opportunity to think logically and derive conclusion cognitively.

  •  In this scenario learners listen, read or view about a situation, often describing the conflict between individuals.
  •   At every level the learners are offered with some choices to give them clue as to how to proceed.
  •   All the different choices pave the way for different outcomes and results.
  •   The outcomes would not be categorized into right and wrong but clear cut guidelines are offered to the learners to decide which route they want to follow and how they need to reach the conclusion. The real life examples help them to reach the conclusion in a more decisive way.

3. Microworlds: In this scenario the learners are offered a virtual representation of the real environment.

In this form of Simulation which is known as Microwords, the learners get an opportunity to physically interact with all the elements and learn from their experience.

The other striking discipline emerging is the Gamification, which uses game thinking. The software integrated with social psychology helps to develop programs that eventually enhance business prospects throughout the organization and almost all the industries. Simulations or business war games are used as powerful tools to aid decision making, improved strategic planning and foster enhanced team building and collaboration. These tools can be utilised over a wider range of fields  such as strategic development, education,psychology and academic areas.

We at swift Elearning are at par with the current trends in the field of E-learning content development integrated with simulations. We have a team of highly skilled experts to develop E-learning content with simulations and Gamification.

Articulate Storyline, an incredible tool for e-Learning courses

Articulate Storyline

One of the greatest authoring tools in the field of E-learning appears to be in the form of Articulate storyline. Articulate storyline is the extension of Articulate ’09 suite with advanced and robust features and technological advancement. Articulate has been an integral part of the E-learning industry for a long time for its Articulate ’09 suite edition. The E-learning authoring tools include Articulate presenter, Articulate Quiz maker, Articulate engage and Articulate suite as well. Then a Stage came when it was realized to have robust and technologically more comprehensive tools.

E-learning authoring tools have seen the advent of a revolution with the merge of Articulate with storyline. The E-learning content development through Articulate storyline has made the e-learning authoring tools more innovative and interactive; the course developed through Articulate storyline is relatively comprehensive and strongly visual, Which makes it a rapid authoring tool for E-learning content development.

Many of the articulate tools were considered to be user friendly, But apart from being user friendly articulate was lagging behind in terms of vigorous advanced features to make the E-learning course development more comprehensive, ground-breaking and interactive. In turn the need for a robust and powerful tool has facilitated the contraption of storyline, insertion of story line with articulate has brought about fabulous growth, adequacy among all the genre of learners and E-learning developers. The articulate storyline is extremely compatible with mobile devices and that makes it more versatile, handy and effective. The E-learning content development is easy and convenient and caters to the needs of varied level of learners and platform as well. Publishing the E-learning content on multiple devices and formats make it interactive on all the devices as iPads, desktops, laptops and more.

Articulate storyline publishes to Flash, which in turn is compatible on almost all the personal devices and to the Articulate mobile Player, A native iOS application that maximizes the utility of the authoring tool on iPads. The Articulate storyline is used for the development of the content on HTML5, which offers an extensively popular option for E-learning development, with the richness of multimedia and immense scope of interactive learning.

The Articulate storyline offers wide ranging options in terms of innovative and interactive content development. The following are some of the remarkable features related to Articulate storyline;
  1. The interface and customer delight- At a time when applications are invented and introduced on daily basis, it’s important that the users have an exceptional experience in the first go. So it has to be robust, interactive and dependable precisely. Articulate storyline offers excellent user experience.
  2. Simplicity of the Articulate storyline- The authoring tools are hassle free and simple as to give ample support to the content development experts who are not familiar with power point. Instructions and directions are clear that even a naïve can work efficiently on content development.
  3. One stop availability of images and resources- Its extremely critical to have suitable images to create life like scenario and robust visuals. Articulate storyline offers in built options for images depending upon the requirement and suitability. Apart from free images and visual effects, it offers specialized images to buy as well.
  4. Screen recording- It’s an exemplary feature, Articulate storyline takes up an incredible approach altogether. When we record the screen, we end up in a high revolution video, which can be shown or shared with the learners with the help zoom and pan features.
  5. Compatibility of Articulate storyline with HTML5, Flash and mobile learning. The content developed through articulate storyline is compatible with HTML5, which helps the learners to utilize the course on their iPads with ease and comfort.

Swift Elearning services provide E-learning course development through Articulate storyline, Specializing on requirement and background of the learners. We are equipped with latest technology and E-learning course-ware development experts to cater to the needs of our clients universally.

Numerous questions arise on E-learning outsourcing

E-learning Outsourcing

E-learning outsourcing? a big question weather to outsource E-learning content or not? The vital role of E-learning outsourcing plays around cost, quality and Time. Considering things In corporate houses where the need to upgrade the skills of the employees has become fundamental, the demand to develop high quality courseware has intensified too. And to cater to the growing demands, many corporate houses take the services from Elearning vendors to cope up with the requirement and time deadlines. In turn making the online training and E-learning outsourcing more convenient and hassle free.

The far most important is the quality of the E-learning content, which has to be monitored under strict guidelines. As the production of large volume of courseware and meeting the time deadlines shouldn’t hamper the quality of the content. The E-learning outsourcing plays a pivotal role in providing the customized training depending upon the requirement of the organization. The high quality content development through E-learning outsourcing will make the whole process more prolific and efficient.

The million dollar questions arises for E-learning outsourcing as
  • How to create quality courseware?
  • How to keep a vigilant eye on the whole process of E-learning development?
  • What considerations have to be borne in mind before deciding the external resources?
Following are some of the very crucial aspects to be taken care of, while outsourcing the E-learning courseware development
  1. Extensive interaction with the E-learning developers would be the first step towards the development of quality content. As gathering and directing appropriate knowledge flow and content would be the most crucial step towards in the process of course development. In case of external or internal SMEs the frame for time, availability and the deadlines should be prepared well in advance to have smooth and hassle free execution of the project.
  2. Developing custom E-Learning content through well charted out process is of utmost importance. The process management has to be well organized and adherent to the guidelines in terms of proper execution. The client’s expectations should be well documented. The responsibilities and the offerings of the eLearning vendors should be transparent. The task allotment should be very clear to have a streamlined and productive process.
  3. The unremitting interface between the client and the purveyor plays a major role to have better eminence. As regular inputs shared between these two most important players of the process would bring excellence in the courses content.
  4. And last but not the least, stringent quality check is needed to see if the content of eLearning courses is up to the mark and ready for absorption or not. The important aspects related to quality check would be linguistic and technical appropriateness and perfection of the content. The linguistic testing should make sure the developed content is free of grammatical errors and suitable for the learner’s background, while technical testing makes sure that the content is adaptable to the technical capability of the client.
  5. The utilization of the pre existing content is also crucial and time saving. Depending upon the prerequisite of the organization content can be remodelled and utilized for Elearning courses development.

Swift Elearning services has the ability to provide custom elearning outsourcing solutions in courseware design and development. We develop online courses with interactive & engaging content at reasonable cost and get them delivered in time.

Importance of Elearning Portals

E-Learning portal

ELearning portal offers a reservoir for the online training. It offers materials and links for the resources in terms of training and learning.

In today’s scenario of inestimable options and accessibility in terms of online training and Elearning , it becomes imperative to have a lumber room for all the information and updates accessible and amicable to learners. So in other words we can say the Elearning portals are the treasure houses of online or Elearning training resources and courses. Elearning portals will deliver the long sought after vision of bringing all the information available on one site. It makes the learning process silky and nuisance free to access all the courses in diverse, meaningful and user friendly manner to facilitate the learning process. Elearning portals bring all training modules and links under one roof for varied learning requirements of professionals, students and employers.

The Elearning reservoirs provide all-embracing and meticulous information and relevant links for varied types of online training modules, which makes the search more convenient and trouble free. The home page of the eLearning portal is also named as dashboard, which provides a list of recommended courses, upcoming events and links to resource libraries. In some portals we come across search functionality within the portal, features offered for ratings and social networking features as well.

How advantageous it would be for organizational needs of incessant growth and development?

The varied and wide-ranging updates are obtainable in terms of indiscriminate learning modules and custom or tailor made Elearning programs to make the portal suitable for different addressees. The custom made plans are appropriately designed to the need of individual learner, taking into prudence the level, role and need of those individuals in the organization. In today’s state of affairs when training and learning is considered to be a continuous process throughout the professional life. Elearning portals bring respite from the horrendous task of finding the training in different places. The Elearning portals will make the job of organization very convenient by offering extensive details on online training under one roof to benefit the organizational training needs for individuals and new hires. So the Elearning portal plays a central role of an access point for different courses, training, applications and varied services offered to the customers, employers and different partners. In turn providing accessible, user friendly, didactic Elearning options to all the stakeholders.

The other benefits at the organizational level include recruitment of fresh talent, retention of staff, being able to provide on job training and hence facilitating the career growth, helping to identify exceptional performers and facilitating the learning process for the employees depending on the areas they outshine.

Achievements of Swift Elearning Services: A journey of success

Elearning Services

Swift Elearning Services Private Limited; An eLearning company based in Hyderabad, India. We provide eLearning solutions, for both educational institutions and corporate enterprises. Swift E-learning established in 2010 with only two people Syed Amjad Ali and Sudheer Panchumarthi. Apart from that swift has gain rapid development in the past four years and now a team of 45 members are working for the company. In Similar lines swift has tremendous increase in client base globally in Australia, US, UK, Saudi Arabia and India. Our elevated quality and reasonable price kept our customer to give us repeat business and retain a long term business relationship.

Swift has delivered many custom eLearning courses to various industries like Software, Banking, Financial, Insurance, Retail, Health care and education etc. We deliver a course with rich graphics, extremely designed and interactive templates to help the learners for easy access of content. We have an experience team of professional Project Managers, Instructional Designers, Graphic Designers, eLearning developers, Programmers and Quality Assurance leads working together to congregate the global client’s need with quality.

Swift has specialized in providing Custom eLearning solutions, Mobile learning solutions, and Translation and localization services. We use various eLearning authoring tools like Adobe Flash, Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Articulate Studio, Lectora and HTML5 to develop eLearning courses according to the clients’ requirements. In additive to the eLearning we are also developing the mobile learning courses compatible to iOS (iPads, iPhones), Android and windows devices. Other than English we also construct the courses in various international languages Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and Russian & Regional languages like Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Oriya and Kannada. We had recently started working on software projects using .Net technologies.

Swift has a mission to proactively deliver the error free, high quality and cost effective eLearning solutions to the clients and aims to become the pioneer in the eLearning Industry.

Check out the sample elearning courses at http://www.elearningserv.com/lms/login/index.php

How do you keep yourself updated to what’s happening in the world of eLearning?

How do you keep yourself updated to what’s happening in the world of eLearning?
  • May be by going through different sites?
  • May be getting Alerts?
  • May be using RSS?
What about getting all the updates, information and alerts at/from one place?????

We at Swift Elearning Services Private Limited have come up with the initiative to have all the updates and news linked to Elearning throughout the world at one place, a site where we can have innumerable options to compare and choose from, without toggling between different sites. As it might get infuriating and exasperating at times to reach the fitting place to have enhanced decisions with varied options available. So if you want to keep yourself abreast with the news and updates related to Elearning, Etraining Pedia is the precise destination for all your queries. We always found that in expedition of reaching to the desired location or content we come across many blogs and articles which are irrelevant, and then again we go through the dilemma to filter the content we need, and while filtration, we miss out on pertinent and useful stuffs.

We at Swift started Etraining Pedia with an Idea where we accumulate news from various websites and blogs which will be shared with our team to keep them updated on what’s happening around the world. During this progression and inventiveness we concluded that it can be really advantageous to the users and visitors to have an incisive and extensive site to gain from. The subscribed users will get regular updates through mails about every occurrence on the turf of Elearning. So when you will be on Job, our team will work hard to collect news from various parts of the world and keep them ready for you at http://www.etrainingpedia.com.

The trial run of the website has been really heartening. The users have cherished the idea of creating a website which would offer updates on online learning and training worldwide. At the same time the feedback provided by the users has been really instrumental and crucial as incorporating the suggestions has made the website more effective and dynamic.

As earlier the website was mainly dealing with blogs and articles but now it has wider and meticulous options available for the users like videos and webinars. So the trial run of the website has truly added lot of worth and significance. And we have plans to add wide-ranging value added services to make the site more comprehensive and rewarding for our users and visitors as well.

And more significantly we are open to all the suggestions to make the site more resourceful and user friendly. And we pledge to take appropriate steps to enhance, modify and adapt to make our site better with every constructive criticism.

SKILLSdox Signs 10 Year Exclusive Deal with Indian Development Firm: Swift Elearning Services

SKILLSdox Inc., an Ottawa, Canada based company and SWIFT Elearning Services Pvt. Ltd. in Hyderabad, India have entered into a 10 year exclusive agreement to build out 100s of eLearning development templates for the most popular authoring tools used by all major organizations around the globe.

SWIFT, an eLearning professional service group was approached by SKILLSdox in the early part of 2013 to discuss opportunities around an outsourcing model. As the development work commenced, SKILLSdox saw in SWIFT the same level of quality, attention to detail and their quick response time. While there are many challenges within the development efforts to produce effective online learning programs, quality and quick response times are usually 2 that contradict each other. “When SKILLSdox approached us about creating over 150 dynamic templates directly in their authoring tool so that they could become more efficient with production timelines without comprising quality, we were excited to be part of this project that could change global development processes.” said Syed Amjad Ali, Director of SWIFT.

As within most project work, there are 3 constraints that are typically present. Time, Cost and Quality. The eLearning industry is no different. When there is pressure to reduce costs for development as an example, either quality or time to completion will suffer. The eLearning industry is relatively still quite young and with most companies still struggling through the development process, SKILLSdox has decided to do something about it. “When building an online course, it can take anywhere from to 4-8 weeks in order to create something that is dynamic, engaging and interactive. Our thought was why not pre design, develop and integrate learning assets directly into the main authoring tools we use. With these pre- developed e-templates, we are then able to reduce costs and development time down to about 1 week without compromising quality. As our library of e-templates increase, so do our efficiencies.” said Brad Loiselle, President of SKILLSdox.

Looking at the industry as a whole, other authoring tools such as Lectora, Captivate, Flash and Articulate all seem to face the same development challenges. Instead of SKILLSdox stopping at only the authoring tool they use, they have decided to expand their development efforts across the board. By combining resources, SKILLSdox and SWIFT are working to provide the industry with one of the largest portfolios of premium eLearning template repositories. SKILLSdox has launched its first version of its offering at www.e-template.ca and will incorporate all the new templates as they become available.

More about SKILLSdox

SKILLSdox, head office located in Ottawa Canada, with an office in Mumbai India, has established an education network and platform that connects quality content partners with in-country channel partners all while supporting the needs of both partners in terms of development services, online infrastructure and marketing support. SKILLSdox also does not charge any upfront costs back the partners for it’s service, but rather focuses on revenue sharing opportunities when the programs are launched solving another problem of affordability. Visit SKILLSdox at: www.skillsdox.com

More about SWIFT

Swift eLearning Services Pvt. Ltd., is a custom eLearning service providers with a blend of technical and subject matter expertise that caters to the specific needs of the training. Their services include: Custom Courseware Development, Rapid e-learning tools, Translations and localizations. Visit SWIFT at: www.elearningserv.com