Choosing Your Options in eLearning Development – Part 1

By Sandra - 21100 views

There are many variables involved in eLearning content development.  Each variable and choice you make for the outcome affects the cost and time required for the project.

In this article, Part 1 discusses how the scope of the training, whether wide or deep, will have an effect.  There are different eLearning approaches and options you could choose from.  The tools which are used and the systems that house the eLearning are also considerations.


To develop a computer based training solution; first decide what the learning outcomes are.  Know what skills you want at the end of training.  Make specific goals and objectives.  This will help to determine the scope – what, how much and how advanced the course should be.

Teaching Approaches

After deciding what the course scope is, then there are three teaching approaches to decide upon.  The Instructional Designer or eLearning Expert can also help you with deciding which of these approaches is best suited.

  • Narrative approaches are straightforward. Concepts and facts are directly explained.  Communication is clear.  Information is given in as few words as possible.
  • Procedural eLearning approaches use demonstrations, tasks and practice opportunities. The procedure is broken down and tested for correctness.
  • Experiential training approaches take the learner on a journey of discovery. Decisions are made in the learning process.  Judgement and changing behaviour is encouraged in the learner.


By understanding the goals, scope and approaches of your eLearning endeavour, you can make a decision about which eLearning option is best for your company.  There are three main options to eLearning content: off-the-shelf; create it yourself; or commission it out.

  • Off-the-shelf content is selected from a library of pre-prepared courseware. This option can often be the cheapest.  But it comes with the possible problem of being out of date.  Or it may not be relevant to your company’s situation or employee’s specific job.
  • Content you create yourself will be the most relevant. But you will need a team of internal authors and testers.  They need to work together with your content managers and subject experts.  And there needs to be internal control to ensure quality and high production standards are met.
  • Choosing to commission out eLearning content is the usual path for most organisations. Outsourcing the curriculum design and the actual eLearning course items. Experienced eLearning professionals will develop courses based on your internal subject matter expertise.

Tools & Systems

Next you should decide which tools and systems you wish to utilise.

  • Custom content can be developed with HTML and HTML5.
  • Rapid authoring tools like Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, SharePoint, and all the latest and best software tools are available.
  • Learning Management Systems, or LMS, manage your eLearning items and help to keep track of learners on the system. LMS also provide a rapid solution for notifying your organisation about news and information instantly.

Look out for Part 2 of this article “Choosing Your Options in eLearning Development” to further explore the various considerations and choices you have in eLearning development.  Eventually all these options can lead you to a better idea of how much eLearning will cost.


Sound Idea Digital specialises in Learning Management Systems and eLearning development |
Sandra is an eLearning Specialist & Content Editor for Sound Idea Digital |



To cite this blog article:
Slabbert, S. 2016, January 20. Choosing Your Options in eLearning Development – Part 1. <ideas> the official Sound Idea Digital blog [Web log post]. Available:



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