Question: How much does it cost to produce an online elearning course?

Answer: It depends!

As a training development vendor, this is the most common question I get asked.  There is no straightforward answer to this question.

A common pricing practice will start with a $500 per minute based on a 60 minute elearning course. (Cost per minute goes up for a shorter course)  This includes everything: needs assessment, instructional design, graphic design, narration script, interactions, simple animations and quiz development. A $30,000 course all packaged up in a SCORM compatible format ready to deploy in your LMS.   The big questions are what are you getting for $30,000? And, how does it compare to other vendor elearning training courses?

There are way too many styles of online training courses to apply a $500 per minute price tag on a finished online training course, but it is a good starting point for pricing negotiations to begin.

As a training development vendor, here are some basic information that we need before we can give a firm price for your online elearning course:

  1. What development roles do you want Xcelus to provide?
    • Needs assessment?
    • Instructional design?
    • Script development?
    • Graphic design?
    • Animation?
    • Interactive development?
    • Audio recording and editing?
    • Video production?
    • Course hosting?
    • All, or a combination of, the above?
  2. What is the development time line?
    • When can the planning and scripting process start?
    • What is the deadline date for the finished training course?
  3. Has there been a thorough needs assessment for the training?
  4. What type of training course are you looking to develop?
    • Basic course with stock photos, audio narration, mingle with a few questions?
    • Animated course with simple animations, lots of interactions, audio narration, and quiz?
    • Video course with onscreen instructor, role plays, interactions, and quiz?
    • Motion graphics course with high-end animations throughout the course?
    • Combination of all, or some of, the above elements?
  5. What do you expect the audience to do after watching the online training course?
  6. Describe the training content:
    • Provide a description of content/key messages that you want the training to cover?
    • What metaphors could be used in the training course?
    • What analogies could be used in the training course?
  7. Without using words, what 10 images could describe your training course’s story?
  8. Describe the overall “tone” of the training course?
    • High Energy/Medium Energy/Low Energy
    • Persuasive
    • Informative
  9. What production elements are required?
    • On-screen presenter
    • Voice-over narration
    • Corporate officer (CEO, VP, Director)
    • Talent (for role plays, professional presenters, etc.)
    • Graphics (charts, diagrams, bullet-points, etc.)
    • Custom music
    • Key photos/2-D and 3-D images
    • Animation (simple or complex)
    • Travel expenses
  10. Will the course need to play on an iPad or other mobile device?
  11. Who is your audience?
  12. What is the target length of the course?
  13. Do you have an approved budget?
  14. How will the course be hosted?
  15. Do you want the source files after production?

Once these questions are evaluated, pricing for your online course development is easier because of the variety of courses Xcelus develops.

Below are some sample courses we have developed using video production or Articulate Presenter and Storyline software

Xcelus Sample Courses

Just Don’t do Bullet Points

See the Difference?