Professional dilemmas

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Q I’d like to go for bespoke e-learning but have been advised it will be
cost-prohibitive for a group of 50. Is this true?

A To a certain extent, yes. However, let’s consider this in more
detail. For a group of 50 learners, a generic e-learning solution is a
cost-effective proposition. This solution is quick and easy to implement and
suits urgent training needs, particularly for mainstream systems-based

A bespoke solution is almost always a more expensive option. When a small
group is involved, the costs are amplified, and the time taken to develop and
implement the training may be difficult to justify. However, the subject matter
and target audience are a critical consideration when deciding the value of
taking the bespoke route.

As an example, one of our customers needed to train 200 people in a business-critical
process. This group was dispersed and required constant refresher training. The
target audience preferred to take the learning when they needed to use it. In
this situation the business case for bespoke e-learning was easy to make and
the solution was still more cost-effective than running the training in a

Faced with a target audience of 50 users, it is also important to ask your
e-learning developer to think creatively. It may be able to offer alternatives
to ‘traditional e-learning’ approaches. Voice-based support tools, web-based
assessment, virtual class-rooms, message boards or intranet-based knowledge
layers, for example, may provide an effective learning intervention at a lower
cost than a complete bespoke course.

Collaboration with other customers may be an option. Your supplier may be
able to bring together a number of customers who will share the same core
content. Each can then pay for their own customisation. This model works well
for compliance type training and core business skills.

Alternatively, a generic course topped and tailed with bespoke learning can
prove very effective, and offers the strengths of both bespoke and generic

Response by Sunil Mehta
Saffron Interactive,

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