The e-learning custom development process starts with a vendor. How does one go about choosing a vendor to create specific content for your organization? It's good to use a Request for Proposal (RFP) where vendors can convince you of their expertise.
First, you will need custom content vendors who are articulate and can provide the documentation which they expect to use for your project.
Are your writers and instructional designers experienced to take on your standard and volume of work? Are they eager to do it? Do they have professional degrees that prove their calibre? Have you checked out their resumes?
Your courses must be targeted to teaching a particular subject. Can your vendor furnish any case studies that were successfully implemented? Check out different kinds of parameters that show the vendor's worth.
Ask your vendor to show you courses or demos that resemble what you're looking for. If he has something like that, he will show it to you happily or may create one using your content.
Often, vendors are blamed for not disclosing project information particularly about the development cycle. If your vendor is open about problems he encounters and shares them with you, it can work in his favour at selection time.
There are courses that deal in difficult concepts, but if a vendor can get a handle on these concepts and explain it in simple terms, he has a clear edge over his competitors.
Most often, vendors make the mistake of waiting to complete the whole course before showing it to the client. It's best, however, to use a vendor who has in-built prototyping steps in the instructional development process. He should create a prototype of all the newness in the course as it develops and show it to the client.
You may be worried about being overcharged for content creation and development. So, to cut out the element of surprise, ask for a quotation. Usually, as the level of sophistication increases and you ask for media-rich content like video, audio and animations, the cost will escalate proportionately. You must sample all bids for your project.
If you develop your content team or vendor on these lines, you will be able to make a more informed choice and get better value for your money.