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What do E-Learning “Solution Providers” Cost?

Costs for an e-learning solution provider will vary depending on the complexity of your problem and the quality you demand in the final solution.

It also depends on when you’re reading this book since costs of almost everything dealing with computers tend to fall over time.

This is not much different than asking what it will cost to roof your house. Answer: “It depends.”

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If you don’t build all the parts of your e-learning system, then you are going to buy some or all of it from e-learning solution providers (sometimes called “vendors”). For example, IBM’s Mindspan organization is an e-learning solution provider that develops e-learning courseware, sells the Lotus LearningSpace product (an LMS), and constructs complete e-learning solutions for e-learning clients. IBM Mindspan has a number of competitors in the industry—you have a wide range of vendor choices.

Dealing with e-learning solution providers is a lot like dealing with anyone else selling you a product or service.

  1. You figure out what you need.
  2. You ask one or more solution providers what they would charge to provide it.

So what will it cost you? That’s a reasonable question. But of course, I can’t give you an exact price since so much depends on what you’re really asking for. Plus it depends on when you’re reading this book. Costs of things in the computer industry tend to fluctuate a lot as they trend down over time. By the time you read any price I’d quote, it would have changed several times already.

After you talk to a couple of potential solution providers, however, you’ll have a good idea of what the current costs are. In the same way, once you talk to a couple of roofing contractors you know that the costs will range from $1,500 to $3,500—and will depend on the type of shingles you choose and the quality of workmanship that the roofing contractor promises.

E-Learning Cost Summary

  • The costs for e-learning can range widely, just as the costs of buying a car range widely.
  • You could spend hundreds, or you could spend multi-millions.
  • The cost components for e-learning include the course- ware, the course delivery expenses (including instructors), marketing/promotional communications with the students, and administration and support expenses.
  • The biggest thing influencing your e-learning costs is the size and complexity of your training problem.
  • There are only a handful of other factors that account for the dimensions of a training problem.
  • You can’t avoid risk. But doing a return on investment (ROI) analysis lets you quantify the risk.
  • There are two types of ROI analysis you can do for e- learning:
    • Cost analysis: How it saves money (if you already have existing training you’re spending on).
    • Value analysis: How it improves value (lets you do things you couldn’t do before).
  • An ROI is an analysis tool. You use it as input to your business decisions.
  • Think of an ROI as a speedometer on your car—it doesn’t control how you drive but gives you one measurement that will influence how you drive.
  • Costs for an e-learning solution provider will vary depending on the complexity of your problem and the quality you demand in the final solution.
  • It also depends on when you’re reading this book since costs of almost everything dealing with computers tends to fall over time.
  • This is not much different than asking what it will cost to roof your house. Answer: “It depends.”