As we've written previously in our blog, one of the biggest resources needed to build learning content is time.
To develop one hour of e-learning training that has an intermediate level of interactivity on the part of the learner (in which the training requires the learner to make multiple responses to instructional cues), the ATD reports that between 71 to 130 hours of development time are needed, depending on the complexity of the course, type of development tool, and whether templates or models are used.
As such, a simple, 4-hour course would require between 284 and 520 hours to produce.
If these numbers seem bloated, the Chapman Alliance, a consultant specializing in LMS and learning technology selection, also sought to answer the question about the hours of development time needed to design learning. For what it calls Level 2 interactive e-learning, the organization found that it takes between 127 to 267 hours of development time.
In truth, these timeframes are actually short, and are considered challenging for many instructional designers.
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We've written before about how instructional designers often take on the role of project manager, and need to embrace the associated responsibilities and disciplines. The Project Management Triangle, or Project Triangle, of Scope, Time, and Budget, is often used to analyze projects -- "pick any two" -- but it is out of date and insufficient. Given the uniqueness of organizational needs and experience with previous projects, in addition to our reliance on technology, much of the time and costs involved in managing a project can be reduced significantly.
By embracing newer ideologies like a Learning Design Systems (LDS), anyone can learn how to design training content – rapidly and at scale – that delivers quality without delays. The automation elements can streamline your front-end development process -- from crowdsourcing training requests to performing a needs analysis, and then incorporate design, content assembly, storyboarding, prototyping, testing, version control, and content maintenance.
Learners know quality when they see it. They not only demand it, but they respect it, too. High-quality courses will satisfy your learners, your fellow instructional design team members, senior leadership, and the organization as a whole.