Here are eight questions to ask when choosing an external provider to build e-learning courseware for your organisation:
- Have you built e-learning for my subject matter before? If so, can you explain the learning design approach you took? Can you provide an example of your course for me to review? (this may not be possible due to client confidentiality) Rationale - Clients need to assess the provider's experience. Where possible, engage someone within your business who has instructional design or e-learning experience to help you judge the provider's learning design methodology.
- Can you provide a plan of how you typically manage an e-learning project; such as roles & responsibilities, typical timeframes, review cycles etc? Rationale - Project management issues between provider and client is extremely common. Clients must recognise project management is a 2-way responsibility.
- Who are the members of your e-learning design team? How do they typcally work together? Rationale - It's useful for clients to know whether the provider's team is large enough for skill specialisation and, if staff do specialise, how they will work together to create something that is engaging and memorable for employees.
- How do you manage fluctuations in the demand for your design team? Rationale - Clients need to evaluate how the provider will manage workload if they suddeny get an influx of new work.
- Will we have direct access to the design team? Rationale - Clients need to feel confident that the design team knows what they want. It's best to avoid communicating via the sales team.
- Can you provide an itemised cost? Rationale - If budget becomes an issue, this itemisation will help clients make informed choices.
- Can you provide cost for both moderate and high interction? (or low and moderate interaction etc) Rationale - So that clients can make an informed decision of e-learning value for their business.
- How do you manage project variations? Rationale - Even if clients provide an itemised project brief, sometimes variations are simply unavoidable. These can blow out timeframes and cost. Make sure the vendor has a professional approach to managing and costing variations.