Cost of developing 1 hour of elearning

Feb 28, 2011

I occasionally have clients ask me if there are any industry standards regarding elearning development, particularly around cost.

"Sean," they say, "How much should we be paying for an hour of elearning?"

"It depends," I say.

And honestly, they are never terribly happy with that answer. So I'm trying to come up with something a little more detailed. Obviously, there are any number of factors that come into play, but I was wondering if there were any quick and dirty estimates that you all use.



106 Replies
Andy Whitman

At first blush I definitely agree that 300 hours is a little obscene, but see a difference between what Nitesh is getting across and what I think most others produce; that is Instructional Design v.s. elearning development. Those things necessarily overlap but I think most people focus on elearning development.

I can see why Nitesh might spend more time if he's trying to instructionally design the content - something I don't really see in most project work even when the course looks really neat.

Anantkumar Malikaveetil

Based on my experience:

A level 2 course of 1 hr seat time built using Storyline would take a little over a week's ID effort, a week for custom interface design and integration, anywhere between a week to 10 days to integrate the content, audio and 2 rounds of QA and fixes. So anywhere between 4-6 weeks depending on the amount of content complexity etc. Approximately 160-180hrs.

A level 1 course could be much faster using default player features, templates, minimal customization with or without audio. Effort wise more in the 80-110hrs range.

Cost could vary drastically across markets. Like you could get a level 1 course done for less than $2,000 and a level 2 anywhere between $3000-$4000 in the Indian market. This is minus the audio recording cost and stock images  purchase. The same dev effort would cost you multiple times in other markets.

Cost and quality could vary from vendor to vendor so finding the right vendor team/freelancer group is very important.

So what is the right approach, I personally feel using the core strengths of each location works the best.

Scott Hewitt

found this thread in a google search, I'd be really interested to know what people think about the cost of elearning? 

I know that an hour is no longer the average time and course time has decreased considerably since the thread was started 11 year ago - and we didn't have RISE!

What is an average course price for a 20 minute Level 2 module? 

Do people think that elearning courses are expensive? 

Do people that elearning development is expensive? 


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