When an organization needs new courses for their online training, there are a couple of choices to consider. They have the option to:

  • Create their own course
  • Purchase an off-the-shelf course
  • Pay for a custom course.

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.

Find The Right Type Of Course For Your Training Needs

What type of course is best for my training needs?

Creating content to fulfill your organization’s training needs can be a serious challenge. There are three types of training courses we will be discussing in this article.

1. In-house course creation

2. Purchasing off-the-shelf courses

3. Purchasing outsourced custom courses

As stated above, there is no right or wrong way to source training materials. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to each of the three content types, and it comes down to finding the right type of content that will fit your training needs.

How to Use Different Types of Courses For Training Needs

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. If there are team members that can take on course creation, that is great!

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

  • Recording webinars
  • Recording in-person training
  • Renting studio recording space
  • Narrated slideshows
  • Animated videos

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

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.

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.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.

Off-The-Shelf Courses

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

There are some business needs where custom courses make more sense than off-the-shelf courses, whether they are created in-house, or outsourced.

When To Buy And When To Build?

For instance, if you are onboarding a new sales rep, 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 their Learning Management System, Virtual Reality Training solutions, course creation offerings.

They have also created elearning tools such as QuickQuiz, an elearning Slack App, and SCORMify, an app that turns videos and documents into SCORM compliant courses.

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