How much does one hour of Level 2 elearning cost? and what about Level 3?
If you have been involved with custom eLearning development you have either asked these questions yourself or have been asked these by a client. The concept of ‘levels’ of custom eLearning development is a commonly used standard matrix for comparing vendors; sadly, this is a much abused concept too.. Every vendor (and client) has a unique definition of levels and they seldom match.
Last month The Chapman Alliance published the results of their study about the efforts taken for development of various levels of custom eLearning. A summary is presented below.
In my opinion, these levels are more about multimedia development rather than the learning design/strategy. They are in no way linked to the learning value of the program. Multimedia development is a secondary aspect of learning strategy, not the strategy itself. But the difference between the two sometimes gets blurred, especially since levels have a direct impact on the development cost.
A Fresh Perspective
I think we can divide the different types of eLearning courses based on two parameters – Type and Level. The Type corresponds to the level of bloom’s taxonomy that the course is targeting. Each Type further having multimedia development at 3 possible levels. So one can have 9 type of possible courses namely CT1-MM1, CT3-MM2 etc.
In terms of cost of development these may stack up something like this:
In terms of costs this would present a similar picture as that shown in The Chapman Alliance survey. However, this presents what I believe is a more correct way to select an appropriate solution.
First select a Type of solution that suits the performance outcomes and learning objectives, and then impose cost constraints on it. To simplify the implication –choose one of the lines on the graph and settle at the multimedia level your development budgets allow.