With so many e-learning platforms and solutions emerging in an ever-growing edtech industry, it can be overwhelming to find a solution that addresses your organisation’s needs, especially when you have a fixed budget and the task to maximize it in the best way possible.
We’ve spent over a decade catering to organisations from a variety of sectors and in different stages in their e-learning journey. Over the years, we’ve come to understand the importance of understanding each client’s needs and asking the right questions to make sure we are the right partner for them.
So, we’d like to share 5 key questions we believe every organisation should ask and consider, before investing in any e-learning solution.
- How many years of experience and expertise does the e-learning company have?
E-learning is a not a new phenomenon – since its earliest mention in the 1990s with the introduction of personal computers, this solution has evolved over time with solution providers leveraging new technological trends and improved internet bandwidth.
Owing to this, a highly specialized e-learning provider should have the depth of experience and expertise that is in keeping with the edtech software and hardware platforms available today. Additionally, take time to evaluate the provider’s credibility and earned reputation by reviewing case studies, product demos, testimonials, and an identifiable client list – these factors are usually a good indication of how effectively and how long the provider has delivered on its e-learning value proposition.
- Is my market a priority for this e-learning provider?
While e-learning services are easy to acquire and integrate online, geography still matters in terms of where your provider is based and how well they understand the context of the market you operate in. If your organisation is based in a remote, rural, or urban setting, the provider you choose should be able to identify the technological opportunities or limitations of your location. A provider that is used to catering to markets where high-speed, low-cost internet is easily accessible, may not be able to adapt their offering to areas that are frequently underserved or underdeveloped, despite the expertise they may have in their field. If your objective is to address the digital divide in your market, then it’s critical to choose a provider that can address ICT issues in restricted areas and is invested in unlocking new ways to drive inclusion in e-learning through their solution.
- Does the company have a fixed or custom solution?
No client is the same and, therefore, not every e-learning provider can cater to their needs with a fixed plug-and-play solution. With organisations at varying degrees of digital maturity, a provider should be willing and able to build an e-learning solution that is designed around each client – from the basic components of your ICT framework to a more advanced and robust e-learning ecosystem. When engaging with a chosen provider, ensure that your organisation’s goals and objectives lie at the heart of any solution they design within your budget, and assess whether your selected partner has a long-term view to sustainably scale your e-learning capabilities as your organisation grows.
- Do they have complementary products and services I could benefit from?
It’s normal for your provider to specialize in a particular area within e-learning – such as LMS and LXP providers, course content developers, instructional designers, etc. However, e-learning has come to represent a suite of hardware and software components that are expected to easily integrate and complement the user’s overall learning experience. In this regard, more providers are expanding their offering into an all-in-one solution, beyond their specialized products or services, either by developing a broader tool stack or by establishing partnerships with other specialist providers. Having said that, be careful not to invest in a provider that is not comparably competitive across each product or service within their portfolio – if they are weak on certain solutions or don’t have established partnerships to offer a robust package, you’re better off looking for a partner who has a long-established and well-integrated offering.
- Will my organisation receive ongoing training and support after I invest in this provider?
Teachers are increasingly expected to navigate hybrid and online classroom environments that require a new set of skills. As educators engage with a variety of edtech solutions, they should feel comfortable and motivated to incorporate these solutions into their syllabus. So, it’s crucial that you have a provider that can assure you hands-on, after-sales support and will be accessible to your education staff. Whether you have an in-house Learning and Development (L&D) team or require full-time assistance, make it clear to your provider how much support you’ll need. Additionally, if your staff is trained regularly, this empowers them to take ownership of the e-learning solution you’ve invested in and often results in them sharing actionable recommendations that can serve to be valuable to both you and your solution provider.
We offer education technology that goes the distance, with our Niflink Teach end-to-end solutions designed to connect any classroom or learning environment through our proprietary NIF data compression technology. Our inclusive, smart education platform can be customised to your needs, no matter where you are in your e-learning journey.
Learn more about Niflink Teach here.