In today's fast-paced and ever-changing business landscape, it is crucial for organizations to invest in the learning and development of their employees. While getting a Learning Management System is an important first step however making sure it's filled with quality courses is imperative to the organization's success.  with an abundance of courses available, finding the ones that align with your organization's specific needs can be a daunting task. 

Although there is no right and wrong way to source eLearning content, some types of courses are better suited for different training needs, budgets, and organizational abilities. Many organizations end up choosing the least ideal type of courses for their learners leading to wasted time and resources. Whether you are looking to enhance technical skills, foster leadership capabilities, or promote personal growth, there are a plethora of courses available and it's important to find the right match for your organization. 


Three Main Types:

1. In-house Course Creation

This type of course is created from within your organization. In-house courses are often used when training requires customization to meet the organization’s needs while also staying within a smaller-sized budget.

The ability to achieve a customized course with a smaller budget is appealing, but be aware that there is a trade-off of time and labor. Organizations need to be prepared for the time and effort required to create the course. This can save you money but can lead to months of delay in getting important training materials to learners. If there are team members that can take on course creation, that is great!

 This type of content can have a wide range of production value and can take on many forms. Internally created courses can come from:

Sometimes the team member or members’ time is too valuable and it is better to outsource.

2. Outsourced Custom Courses 

Outsourcing custom course development will cost more than an internally produced course. What you get in return is peace of mind while an experienced team creates a quality course within your schedule. Custom courses by a professional will almost always be of higher quality and 

A content creation company has the time and expertise to not only develop your course but to also help storyboard, offer suggestions and provide advice based on past successes. Outsourcing your custom course creation can take half the time or even less than doing it in-house, but will likely be much more expensive. This is not necessarily better or worse, it is just a matter of which resources your organization chooses to use for the requirements of that course. 

3. Off-The-Shelf Courses 

While custom courses are great for hyperspecific training sometimes your company doesn't really need to have courses that are specific to the company. This is when off-the-shelf courses can become a great option.  These standard, pre-designed courses are a great option for basic training or continuing education courses. They are much cheaper than a custom-developed course and they just require the time it takes to choose the ones you want to purchase.

Some off-the-shelf options are:

Some examples of when off-the-shelf courses might be a good option:

  • General sales training
  • Food safety knowledge
  • Leadership training
  • Microsoft Excel courses


When To Leverage Each Type 

There are some businesses where custom courses make more sense than off-the-shelf courses and vice versa. What you have to keep in mind is how unique and specific your business practices are, and how important those unique practices are. 

For instance, if you are onboarding a new sales rep, an off-the-shelf course would work for general sales tactics and best practices. However, the business should consider custom courses for their product training or lead qualification procedures.

Another example would be a healthcare facility. They might choose an off-the-shelf course for general industry HIPAA compliance standards, but create their own course about how patient documents are handled in their day-to-day office activities.


Consider A Combination

Learning and development programs often require different types of training. Creating a combination of content can be good for a couple of reasons.

  • Learners will like the change of pace that will come from off-the-shelf vs content that is customized to their job.
  • Off-the-shelf courses are quick to buy and can give you instant content to start a training program while you wait for more custom courses.
  • Purchasing off-the-shelf can be good for continuing education and general job skills while custom courses can be used for more company-specific learning areas

If you start creating new training content plans and realize that you could use some help creating those modules, feel free to contact us at Knowledge Anywhere and inquire about our Course Development.


About Knowledge Anywhere 

Knowledge Anywhere specializes in providing organizations with a variety of eLearning solutions, such as our Learning Management SystemVirtual Reality Training solutionscourse creation offerings.

We have also created eLearning tools such as QuickQuiz, a microlearning Slack App, and SCORMify, an app that turns videos and documents into SCORM-compliant courses.

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