How long does it take to build a course?

Apr 27, 2011

Hi, folks. This is one of the questions asked in advance of the European Conference in Leeds - I am hoping that, by posting it here, we may get some more ideas for the participants to ponder over on the day. Also, apologies if these questions have already been answered elsewhere - the fault is entirely mine for not looking properly. Now the question and many thanks in advance to you all for your suggestions:

How long does it take to build a course?

4 Replies
Dragos Ciobanu

Steve Rayson from Kineo has kindly shared the following resources with us. I'm sure you'll find inspiration there, as well:

Jeanne Bernui

I think there are a lot of variables that play into how long it takes to build a course.  Some things to consider:

  • Amount of content
  • Level of interactivity or branching
  • Tool being used (eg. Articulate, Captivate, Flash)
  • Number of people on the development team (In my experience, more people = more time!)
  • Responsiveness of SMEs to questions, storyboard reviews, etc.

I read somewhere (sorry, can't remember where - but I'll look for it) that 30 minutes of elearning takes roughly 120 hours to complete.  That's including content development time by the SME(s).

The amount of time it takes me to storyboard a course depends upon the quality of the content I get from the SME.  I don't mean quality in terms of accuracy, but in terms of organization, flow, clarity, etc. 

Hope that helps.


Dragos Ciobanu

Now I remember, Jeanne! I was at the Learning Technologies Conference in London in January and someone else was talking about developing times. I think the 120h were mentioned in the case of an averagely-whizzy and interactive resource, with full-blown interaction (now, I don't actually know what that means because I can think of a few ways to make the course interactive without breaking the bank) going into 200h+. I think your point about more people, more time needed is a very valid one - I'll mention your post in Bruce's session this afternoon at #articulateuk11 and we'll see what others will add to it. Thank you

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