7 Instances When Outsourcing eLearning Is Not The Best Option
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7 Instances When Outsourcing eLearning Is Not The Best Option

Are you thinking about hiring an external partner to create your online training content? In this article, we’ll highlight 7 instances when outsourcing eLearning isn’t the ideal solution.

7 Cases When Outsourcing eLearning Will Not Work

You’re ready to enlist the aid of a talented service provider or content creator. But is it really a wise investment, or should you take care of the task yourself? Not all projects are ideally suited for outsourcing. In fact, you may be able to save time and money by handling it in-house. Here are 7 examples when outsourcing eLearning is NOT the best option.

1. It’s Cheaper To Tackle The Task In-House

Outsourcing eLearning can be more cost-effective, as you don’t have to hire dedicated staff to develop the online training content. However, in some cases, it may be less expensive to create the online training materials in-house. For example, your staff can tackle the task quickly by repurposing existing resources. Or you already have a Subject Matter Expert on hand to narrow down the key takeaways and create meaningful online training content.

2. Your Team Has The Necessary Skills And Resources

If you have an eLearning team in hand, they may have the necessary skills and resources to handle the job. For example, you already have the eLearning authoring tools and LMS platform you need to develop and deploy your online training course. Or your organization has resident experts who are well-versed on the training topics.

Survey your team to get a sense of their talents, skills, and strengths. Then, see how you can utilize their knowledge and experience to develop powerful online training experiences. Also, ensure that they actually have the time and willingness to participate in the design process actively.

3. You Have Sensitive Data That May Be Compromised

The online training topics involve sensitive information that cannot fall into the wrong hands. For instance, specs or diagrams that only your product development is privy to. Or company policies that competitors may be able to use to improve their work practices. If you do opt to outsource, make sure you have a confidentiality agreement or NDA to keep your data safe. In addition, verify that the eLearning provider stores the data in a secure location. For example, that it’s encrypted on a remote server. Otherwise, you run the risk of your data being hacked.

4. The Outsourcing Partner Has Total Control

eLearning outsourcing partners should be fully transparent about their work process and welcome your feedback. If your outsourcing partner is unwilling to include you in the decision-making, it may be best to handle the project in-house.

Another option is to find a provider who does respect your opinion and is willing to work with you. It’s crucial to discuss this issue during the initial planning stages. You could preferably do that when you interview them. Ask about your level of involvement and set up periodic meetings where you can share your thoughts and ideas.

7 Instances When Outsourcing eLearning Is Not The Best Option - TalentLMS Blog

5. Your Organization Risks Compliance Violations

There are rules and regulations that can lead to costly compliance violations. If your outsourcing partner omits important information or makes errors, your organization will be held responsible. For example, an auditor discovers that your health and safety online training course is inaccurate and doesn’t meet governmental standards. Your company is the one who pays the fees and penalties, not the eLearning outsourcing provider.

6. The Training Content Deals With Core Business Operations

There are topics that are best dealt with internally, such as core business operations and policies that are unique to your organization. Chances are, your team already has a firm grasp of this subject matter. As such, they are in a position to create more meaningful online training content that explores all the nuances.

Not to mention, there may be some trade secrets that you don’t want to divulge to third-parties. This is yet another reason why it’s important to draw up an NDA if you are outsourcing. If the eLearning outsourcing provider divulges any sensitive information about your operations, they’ll have to deal with the legal ramifications.

7. The eLearning Outsourcing Provider Can’t Capture Your Brand Image

Every aspect of your online training program should reflect your brand image and message. This enhances its credibility and gives employees a sense of ownership. They know that the online training content is made specifically for them, which boosts motivation and engagement. That said, your online training content must accurately portray your image in order to have the desired effect.

But is the eLearning outsourcing provider able to capture your essence, or do they miss the mark? Before you hire an eLearning outsourcing partner, ask them to develop a test online training module that reflects your brand. Give them all the information they need to get a feel for your organization. For example, your website, mission statement, and a brief company bio.

When Is Outsourcing eLearning The Best Option?

Now that we’ve covered instances when outsourcing eLearning isn’t a wise choice let’s discuss when it is a viable option. As there are many circumstances where hiring a third-party eLearning outsourcing provider saves time, money, and frustration. For example, your organization lacks the necessary tools, skills, or expertise to develop high-quality online training content. Or there simply isn’t enough time to create online training resources from scratch, and you need experienced eLearning professionals to speed up the process.

Also, bear in mind that you don’t have to outsource your entire online training program. In fact, it’s best to evaluate eLearning projects on an individual basis. For instance, your L&D team is able to create the compliance online training module, but you need an external graphic designer to produce the online training simulations or branching scenarios.


Outsourcing eLearning can help you reduce development time and allocate your resources more effectively. But there are times when it’s better to develop online training content in-house. Weigh your options beforehand to determine if outsourcing eLearning is the ideal solution, and take stock of your current assets. You may already have the talent and resources to complete the eLearning project internally.

Are you interested in finding out everything about outsourcing eLearning and when it is an ideal choice for your organization? Read the article Outsourcing eLearning: 6 Facts And Stats eLearning Pros Should Know to discover 6 facts and stats that you should know before embarking on outsourcing.

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