There are many learning development providers in the market, and since we know how important the quality of a learning program is to its effectiveness, it is critical that your provider is the right one for you. We spend some time researching the quality and appropriateness of everything we buy, so why not the learning provider? Here are a few tips to make the choice easier.
1. Know Your Goals/Objectives
Make sure you are very clear on the project scope. It is important to know if you need a turn-key vendor who can do everything from framing the project, developing objectives, design, development, and delivery, or if you need someone to just create your course based on the storyboard provided. The same vendor may be able to do both, but not always. Also, make sure you check your understanding with your colleagues. Get your questions ready well ahead of time of any call with an eLearning seller. During the first call, ask your best three or four questions to scope out if a next meeting merits the time.
Don’t stop at the course content and course objectives. Consider the way you would like the blended learning to be delivered. Know your audience and the specific characteristics of their work. For example, if the target audience is executive leadership, they will have different needs than the field operators and their supervisors. Everyone learns in a different way, and it is your responsibility to find a solution and a partner that are a good fit for your team.
2. Ensure That The Provider Has A Clear Development And Delivery Process
The highly-ranked learning vendors don’t just recommend a strong, agile development process, but they insist on it. Your learning partner should have a clear process they apply consistently:
- Project Management with well-defined budget and timeline
- Established success metrics
- Efficient communication
- Defined QA/QC processes
Your ideal partner should provide a budget and timeline for accomplishing project goals, present a consistent history of meeting success and engagement metrics, provide examples of effective communication, and explain their QA/QC process.
3. Does The Vendor Customize Their Content Material?
Unfortunately, there are many courses out there that aren’t customized. Off-the-shelf courses can be OK for generic topics. However, most of the corporate adult training requires the specifics of your company’s processes and approaches. Hence, when deciding on a learning vendor, insist that any course development is customized to your content and needs. You should also own the content and the course after the development.
4. Make Sure The Vendor Can Provide A Learning Journey, Not Just A One-Time Event
Most of what we learn in a classroom is forgotten within days. According to studies, 97% of all training has no impact past 120 days.
To be effective, any learning initiative needs to have a strong pre- and post-main event components. Pre-work asks learners to prepare for the classroom session. Post-training reinforcement helps participants to ground the learning, ask any questions they may have, and apply the learning to actual work tasks.
5. Investigate The Vendor’s Reputation
When you’re hiring a brand-new worker, you interview them, you consider their experience, you conduct background checks on them. Why not use the same approach when outsourcing a learning supplier? Ask the vendor what experience they have. Of course, project specifics depend on your training objectives. Make sure to get information on whether the vendor has offered courses to other organizations within your industry, and how long they have been in the training business.
Checking a vendor’s references is one of the best ways to confirm a provider’s qualifications. Here are a few things to ask each reference:
- Can you provide some details regarding the project they finished for you? This will encourage you to contrast the completed project with your task.
- Was the project finished in the time span you asked? On the off chance that the seller has finished a comparative measured task to yours this can help decide the length of time required for your project.
- How responsive was the vendor to rolling out improvements and amendments? Does the vendor charge for each little change or just for changes to the size and extent of the undertaking?
- Would you work with this organization again later on? This will disclose to you just how fulfilled the organization was with the vendor’s work.
Every year, eLearning Industry evaluates hundreds of learning providers through a fully vetted process. Check it out before you choose your vendor.