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The competitive and demanding environment of today necessitates that we stay up-to-date with the most efficient and effective practices of our respective domains. For companies, this means the regular exposure of employees to the latest and most relevant training and development modules. Apart from training to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and driving growth for a business, it should also prioritize safety, precaution, and regulations that come associated with various roles within the organization.
Organizations may choose to employ pre-built eLearning courses as a matter of convenience, or, more often, on account of low costs. While pre-built eLearning courses can be successful, there are several reasons why a customized eLearning course can be even more effective and rewarding for both the learners and the organization.
Off-the-shelf programs usually do not prioritize the development of particular skills and learning objectives that are essential to businesses, and this usually manifests as generic content. Bespoke content can be built from the ground up, providing full control over the content presented, with the needs of a particular organization or the long term training objective at its heart. Apart from using the latest learning technology, custom e-learning development of content necessitates developing an understanding of the business for which it is built.
Custom eLearning Development is Tailored to the Needs of Your Organization
Every organization is unique. Even organizations operating within the same domain can face challenges that are unique and deal with a culture that is distinctive to them. The needs of individual organizations may be different though they are from the same industry. This peculiarity of challenges, by definition, cannot be met by off-the-shelf content which is usually built with the objective of serving domains or “types” rather than specific organizations.
While the ultimate goal of a business is to increase revenue, there are nuances to achieving goals that make organizations unique in their endeavors and the means employed to achieve them. Even within a domain of enterprises such as SAAS or healthcare, the strategy of companies can be vastly different from one another.
Customized training solutions give an edge over off-the-shelf solutions as it allows organizations to potentially inculcate precise improvements in behavior or skill sets.
Implement the Perfect eLearning Approach
Modern learning programs take advantage of a variety of modalities. Depending on the context, gamification, microlearning modules, nuanced assessments, and scenario-based learning solutions can be used to achieve the learning objectives. Some practical skills are better taught through the use of cutting-edge technologies such as Virtual Labs (vLabs), where more than one solution can be combined (for example, scenario-based, gamified microlearning) to bring about the most effective approach to transferring skills and retaining knowledge.
Custom content development provides the opportunity to make the most of a host of technologies that are available to the learning administrators of today. This level of flexibility and malleability can be just the edge that your organization needs to achieve in your L&D goals.
Custom eLearning Development Facilitates Multi-dimensional Learning
In recent years there has been an enormous increase in the amount of information that needs to be assimilated, understood, and memorized by working professionals in the hi-tech and healthcare domains. Learning Managers of today are resorting to utilizing cognitive psychology strategies to facilitate better learning and expand how well information is retained and ultimately utilized. One such strategy is making learning content available in various formats and both at and outside of the workplace. Learning can take place anywhere, by creating forms of content that are easily accessible and consumable in different modes, perhaps on the commute or as a “learning game”, the likelihood of retention of knowledge, application of skills, and engagement with the training content can be improved manifold.
This is because custom content allows learning managers to test out the effectiveness of content and grants them the freedom to make changes to it. Sometimes, adding a minor interactive element or a visual aid can make a world of difference in user engagement (a key metric for measuring content effectiveness). User feedback is also valuable and can be incorporated into the training material when bespoke eLearning content is developed from the ground up.
Consistency and Reliability of Information
Custom eLearning course development ensures that all templates, interactions, and instructional strategies across all courses in a curriculum remain consistent in tone, style, and message. This evokes a sense of reliability and trustworthiness in the training material and may contribute positively to engagement.
Consistency and reliability are important for the following reasons:
- Enhances the quality of the learning experience
- Provides a cohesive presentation of content
- Learning modules feel more consistent in voice and appearance
- Enables re-usability of the content
- Helps reduce overall development time and cost for custom development
- Improves completion rates and retention of learning
Easy to Update Leading to Longer Shelf Life
For most industries, making the effort to stay abreast of the latest production tools and technologies, safety and compliance standards, and other advances in their particular domain can be crucial for success. In the context of Learning and Development, this is especially important because dated content can be detrimental to the productivity of teams. When companies opt to use off-the-shelf training content, this can be a risky endeavor. In the high-tech domain, for example, training content may need to be updated often, several times a year, or even more frequently. This can lead to a production challenge.
For example, a client requested the team at Origin Learning to revamp an existing training module to bring it up to date. As the engagement was also below par, our goal was to add interactive elements to the training modules. In this case, our Instructional Design and Graphic design teams put together microlearning modules that made content updating seamless while addressing the woes of poor engagement. Dated parts of the training program were replaced or updated with ease, without affecting the overall consistency. If you were to rely on off-the-shelf content, it would be difficult to track down, update, and replace content without affecting the flow of instruction, often leading to a larger amount of time and expenses spent.
Custom Content Encourages Sharing and Collaboration
Fostering collaboration among the workforce can be integral to the success of an organization. Training and development activities can be a great opportunity to encourage this attribute. When content is customized to the needs of your organization, it invariably strikes a chord with the learners as it is more attuned with the scenarios of their roles and responsibilities. This evokes an all-too-important emotional connection with the training program. When a learner is satisfied, engaged, and draws direct benefit from a training module, by how much it makes their roles easier and their skills more meaningful, it encourages them to share and collaborate with peers. Creating personalized training programs that are meaningful and relevant creates an environment of learning and healthy competition.
Control Over The Budget and Better Return on Investment
While custom eLearning development can seem expensive in the short term, the effectiveness of personalized training can far outweigh the risk of investment. Learning Architect Ray Jimenez, Ph.D. finds that targeted microlearning modules can reduce production costs by 30% and decrease the time taken to develop content by 300%.
Skilled Instructional Designers and content developers can design and organize your training to last for a long period without the need for a complete overhaul through inexpensive edits and updates. Brand integration of the training content goes beyond white labeling of the modules, it forges a deeper connection with users that makes them aware of the company’s expectations. The freedom that comes with customization of eLearning content ensures that the most engaging and appropriate training modalities can be chosen to achieve the learning objectives, leading to better Returns on Investment.
Custom eLearning development has no user limit. The time and resources spent developing content are worth the investment especially considering there is no subscription model based on the number of users.
Whether training for employee onboarding, sales enablement, or for a culture shift within the company, the effectiveness of custom content created specifically with the objectives of your organization, can lead to long term returns.
When is Custom Content Not Ideal?
When customized eLearning development seems expensive, it is worth evaluating whether the level of customization is necessary for the current learning objectives. For example, leadership training or soft-skill development is not usually as nuanced and may not require the same level of customization as production optimization, product adoption, or sales enablement. In these cases, the added cost of customization is not warranted.
All things considered, it is difficult to make a case against custom content from an efficacy perspective. Even a soft skill or leadership training program, that is nuanced to fit the needs of a particular organization, will always be superior in achieving the training goals when compared to an off-the-shelf training module.
We would love to hear from you and understand your requirements! If you have any questions or are curious about how custom training content can make a difference for your organization, visit this page and leave a date and time of your choice and we will get in touch with you.