The beauty of bespoke learning and when it works best

High-impact bespoke eLearning combining all the latest learning design and immersive technology techniques can transform learning. In this article you’ll learn when it’s worth investing in custom built content rather than buying an off-the-shelf solution.

The new eLearning reality

We are on the cusp of a massive shift in the world of eLearning. With today’s ever more competitive business environment straining budgets, it’s more important than ever that training provides a clear-cut return-on-investment. And, given that many employees still see eLearning as something to be endured, organisations must be more creative in delivering solutions that will excite and engage their learners.

Often a ‘one size fits all’ approach to eLearning just doesn’t work, and you’ll need something more authentic to get better results. Bespoke learning provides an opportunity for L&D leaders to really innovate and inspire learners by offering a more personalised online learning solution. It lets you tell stories through the eyes of your people, uses your work environments, and tests competence through engaging, real-life scenarios.

57% of L&D leaders work with their suppliers to develop custom content (Towards Maturity Benchmark, 2016-2017).

Seven reasons for investing in bespoke eLearning

Bespoke eLearning offers a number of benefits compared to off-the-shelf content. Here are seven key advantages to help you decide whether to invest in building your own content:

1. You’ll get exactly what you want

The beauty of bespoke eLearning is that you’ll get a solution designed to meet your particular learning and unique business needs. Every element of a bespoke course, from the tone used to graphics and colour palette can be carefully designed to reflect your organisation’s culture, image and brand values.

2. An opportunity to be creative with the latest learning technologies

From video, gamification, storytelling and scenario-based learning to virtual reality and augmented reality – you’ll have the opportunity to combine the latest trends and emerging technologies to build a more interactive and immersive learning experience that learners will want to return to time and again.

3. Scenarios and examples can be tailored specifically for your industry

Bespoke eLearning enables you to create immersive scenarios and reality-based examples that directly relate to your business and industry. Learners can see how their actions and choices directly impact the outcome, so that they can get meaningful feedback while they are still engaged in the learning process.

4. Reduced license and maintenance costs

A key benefit of bespoke eLearning is that you won’t have to devote as much of your budget to license fees and maintenance costs as you will own all of the content. While the initial costs are much higher than licensing eLearning courses, the long-term cost of bespoke eLearning can be much lower if you are rolling it out to a large audience.

5. Customised assessment and feedback

Assessment and feedback are key components of any eLearning course and allow you to determine if your eLearning course is enabling you to successfully deliver the core skills or information required to positively impact your business. With bespoke eLearning you can ensure that the measurement tools you choose are tailored to your specific goals.

6. Matches your technology infrastructure

Technology infrastructure is often a key factor in deciding whether to go down the bespoke route. Bespoke content can better support limited internet access or bandwidth issues. Furthermore, organisations with a more advanced infrastructure stand to benefit greatly from all the bells and whistles bespoke content offers compared to OTS packages which tend to be designed to work within the technology constraints of less technology-savvy organisations.

7. Winning the hearts and minds of learners

Sometimes it can be difficult to win round learners who have had a bad experience with traditional ‘click-next’ eLearning content. This may necessitate a vastly different design approach which may only be possible to achieve with bespoke eLearning.

High performing learning organisations are using content to connect and engage staff, such as storytelling techniques (62%) and short, snappy bursts of learning (42%). (Towards Maturity Benchmark, 2016-2017)

Your needs, your vision

Sometimes it can be difficult to fit your expectations into an off-the-shelf eLearning course. The best thing about bespoke eLearning is that it enables you to create a solution that matches your needs and your vision. A solution, that can help you boost learner engagement and motivation because every aspect of your course will be relevant, interactive and informative for learners. Even though bespoke eLearning may involve higher up-front costs, it can pay huge dividends by making learners more productive while boosting your bottom line.