E-learning development is nothing new, but as the industry evolves, new ways and techniques appear that can make the process more efficient and results better. I have been working in e-learning development and startups for 14 years (www.fastercourse.com e-learning templates library – being the latest), and as I have finance and economics education as a basis I have always been interested in what works and what doesn’t. I am a firm believer that being lazy sometimes is actually good, as it helps people innovate. Here are a few tips that have helped me work smarter, and I will share the rest of them in a webinar on the 27th of April.
F@£$ You Pay Me..
– or something similar was the name of the video a friend of mine showed me about things you need to include in every contract. I have looked for the video, if you know what I am talking about please let me know, as I would love to reference the original source. Either way, there are two things I try to include in every contract: the client gets all intellectual property of the work done, only after all the payments have been made and received, meaning your client doesn’t own your work until they have paid you. If the contract is stopped in the middle of the process, for whatever reason, if the work hasn’t been paid for, the client owns nothing from the work in progress. This really helps if there is a misunderstanding/conflict situation, trust me.
Second thing, if you deliver a project to a client, they have X amount of days, let’s say 10 days, to accept it, or send back a rejection with an explanation and description of what needs to be updated. If you don’t receive anything within 10 days, you can assume the delivery has been accepted, and you can proceed with sending an invoice. This eliminates the risk that the client can use the review process to put pressure on you, haven’t really had cases like this in the e-learning industry, but it sure feels nice to have this in a contract.
Do you really need a Mobile version?
I mean yes we all want everything responsive, and kids these days are on mobile and whatnot, but seriously how many people really enjoy looking at your AML training while browsing the internet on a mobile before going to bed? I love mobile and don’t get me wrong, responsive e-learning is great. However, the execution with the current authoring tools like Captivate, Lectora, or even Storyline is not always optimal, and I would like to argue, that it is ok. We have had client situations, where a large client, looked up statistics and only 0,5% of their employees viewed their training, which was mobile responsive on an actual phone. 99,5% viewed it on a desktop computer or tablet (iPad). And then if you add the other part of the equation, it costs about 50% more to create a mobile responsive course, than to create a regular desktop-based course, which btw can also be viewed on a mobile phone, just the text will be tiny and it will look worse, but in desperate times, it can still be used on a mobile phone. Sometimes it is worth rethinking your mobile e-learning strategy especially if the two choices usually are between investing in arranging objects or investing in Instructional Design, which, you know quite well, will create something more interactive, engaging, and meaningful in a desktop-only version.
One decision maker
I cannot stress this enough, if you want the project to go over budget, involve a team of decision-makers on the client side. I mean why shouldn’t we ask everyone involved, let’s create something and then send it out to 10 people for review, and then without any curation or internal discussion send it to the poor development team. Have you been in this situation? We have, multiple times, and sometimes there is no way around it, except having a hard discussion with your client. And as the saying goes, great things usually are on the other side of tough conversations. This is no exception, it is better to stop the uncontrolled commenting immediately, even if it can make someone angry on the client side, in the long run, it will be beneficial for everyone. Because also the people commenting, I mean, they are working in a large corporation, they are sent content, and management expects them to add value and comment, sometimes they don’t even want to do that, but they feel obliged. This creates a tremendous workload for everyone. So our suggestion, do all the client-side commenting internally and have one decision-maker who curates the reviews and gives a summary to the development team – You.
More tips and tricks will be shared in the webinar on the 27th of April, join me, sign up to learn more.
From your presenter: Founder and CEO of FasterCourse, we try to create top-notch e-learning templates and products. I co-founded my first e-learning company in 2007, have been creating e-learning for almost 14 years. I like to build companies and products, I believe in good design, teamwork, win-win arrangements and long term relationships with all stake holders.