The 3 main factors that determine the cost of developing your course:
Graphics & Multimedia
Level of Interactivity
Calculations and scenarios are for demonstration purposes only. See full disclaimer.
When it comes to the visual fidelity and level of interactivity possible, an e-Learning course can vary greatly in respect to each of these two development aspects. Generally, the higher the complexity and frequency of these two respective components, the greater the overall "level" of the course and consequently, the associated costs involved.
Level of Interactivity
Multimedia and Interactivity Percentage
A qualified instructional designer will be able to consider the various pedagogical factors and suggest various multimedia and interactive components that will enrich the learning experience, and ensure that the learning objectives are achieved in an engaging and interesting manner.
Instructional design application also takes into account the audience for your course and essentially creates a blueprint for the course that outlines the content in meaningful and effective ways.
Here you will see the various individual factors that affect the amount of instructional design time needed to create your course.
Content Structure and Organization
Content is already structured for e-Learning with well-defined learning objectives and layout instructions
Content is only partially structured for e-Learning and no layout instructions are available
Content has no structure and only exists in the subject matter expert’s head or in rough notes
Complexity of Subject Matter
General knowledge or universal subject matter
Professional level or advanced subject matter
Highly specialized or complex subject matter
Assessment learning objectives are well defined with all test/quiz questions and answers available
Assessments do not have defined learning objectives and test/quiz questions and answers are not available
In addition to the the degree of facilitator interaction and the length of your course, there are a number of options that will determine the final cost of your course.
Course Delivery Method
Instructor led e-Learning
Independent e-Learning with instructor facilitation
Fully independent e-Learning
Course length in hours
In the interest of making this tool easy to use, please consider the following guidelines when predicting the number of hours your developed course will be:
1. While a qualified instructional designer will help you determine the actual specifics, it is helpful to have a general idea of the learning objectives for your course and scope of roughly what you would like to cover within your e-Learning course. From this you can organize which topics and content media you may want to include in your course from a potentially larger set of content.
2. Next, consider how long it would take the "average" user to complete your course once fully developed if they were to sit down and do it all at once.
3. In helping you accurately determine how much content could be consumed in one hour, consider breaking up your finalized text into a standardized or average amount. For example, if you were to create 1 1/2 minute reading chunks or "screens", then using this guideline, one hour of content would be about 40 "screens" of developed content.
4. Recognize that any interactive components including assessments, learning games, "try it" exercises, critical thinking challenges etc. will require the learner to spend some time analyzing the content and then choosing and reflecting on their responses. So be sure to consider this time when determining how long the average user will take.
5. While the inclusion of pre-recorded, finalized multi-media components such as videos and audio content will technically increase the duration of a course, embedding an already created piece would not take significantly more development time than including an image. As such, consider all of these components to be "one screen" rather than their actual duration.
6. Recognize that generally, if a course is being adapted from an existing face to face training or in class course into an e-Learning course, the e-Learning course will compressed by about 20-50% in terms of course duration. As an example, a 2 hour face to face course could result in a 1.5 hour or so e-Learning course. The compression level is impacted by a number of factors including the amount of detail present in the online course, if the course is independent learning or instructor led, if peer interaction is present, the degree to which all the original activities and materials were retained from the original source course etc.
7. Although it is worthy to note that in rare cases, the online adaption of the course could actually be longer than the original source course.
If you are creating a blended learning course please adhere to the following: A blended e-Learning course may include formal and informal learning activities and experiences outside of the developed e-Learning course as well as utilize other technologies to supplement learning. As such generally, the actual developed e-Learning course may incur less direct costs and can be shorter as learning is also occurring in other areas. However, this makes no account for the costs associated with developing and utilizing these other learning technologies, activities, or methods. For the purposes of this calculator, subtract the number of blended hours from the total course hours in the box above. As an example, if your course is 3 hours in duration but has a 30 minute in-person training component, then the actual developed online content duration would be 2.5 hours and you would enter 2.5 hours as the course length.