Purchasing Content vs Creating?

I realize this is slightly off topic from normal discussions, but I'm wondering how many people are also purchasing generic content to supplement their own specific e-learning? The reason I ask is because I am seriously considering pulling the trigger on getting a site/campus license to Lynda.com so my real estate students would also have access to what I will call generic business content. (PowerPoint, Photography, Marketing with Facebook/Twitter, Photoshop, Wordpress, etc.)

The idea is that we'll be able to focus on real estate specific content while still providing resources they could use to help get them up and running in business.

To date, I have not incorporated 3rd party content into my own LMS/courses so I'm just looking for comments from those that have about results, potential issues, things not to do, etc. If you want to contact me offline via private message, that would be great as well.


6 Replies
Joe Deegan

Todd, I'm in the same boat as you.  Something I've had on the back burner but haven't researched much. The thing that turns me off from a lot of vendors is that they sell it to you by "seats" or number of users.  I want to be able to purchase the SCORM package and upload it to my Moodle LMS for unlimited use. A big key for me is to be able to have the courses available on our LMS not on the vendors.  I don't want to have to give additional logins etc.

A good resource I've heard of but have no experience with is Open Sesame.  And there are tons more out there.

Eric Nalian

Hey Todd,

We do that here, we are currently developing company specific training courses for our staff - we have probably 20 courses to go and should be done by the end of next year.  To supplement that we purchased a lot of off-the-shelf courses in personal development areas such as leadership, communication and safety to fill in our learning gaps until we have the time to fully develop all of our own original content.


Todd Thornton

Thanks for the comments.

@joe  I've never used them, but someone I know purchased content from The Great Courses and was able to provide the courses to all their students. I really want as much of a  "global" solution as possible in contrast to individual courses, but even so, most everyone is still selling "seats" to some degree. 


Natalia Mueller

Hi Todd,

This can be a really useful solution when the need is there but you don't have the time or resources to reinvent the wheel. Once that decision is made, it then becomes a question of how/where the courses are hosted. I don't know how it works on the back end but we made an arrangement with a vendor so our employees could click a link in our company portal and it would automatically take them to the external catalog without needing a separate log in. 

As we added more external courses to our library, we found that a good method was to keep them organized on internal wikis (sharepoint would work too). So our employees continue to go to the same internal location as a starting point for all elearning. 

Let us know what type of solution you end up using. I'm always interested in learning what has worked at other companies.


Clint Jackson

I'm glad that my above post was so very helpful towards the discussion at hand. (Insert donkey noise). Sorry about that.

Wanted to post a link to our off-the-shelf but customizeable module library. Just another option to consider. Some of the advantages are that we turn over the source files, which means that you can customize with logos, corporate color schemes, attach files etc.

We also give you the course and you can use it as many times and for as long as you want. No paying per learner or per seat. Here's a link to our portal for Rapid Course where you can view the range of modules. 


Let me know if there's anything of interest in there for you. Thanks.