12 Replies
Trond Kristiansen

Helena,

Bryan Chapman has done some work on this. You can find/download his presentation How long does it take to create e-learning here

His average development time for most typical interactive learning projects (Level 2) is 184:1. 

The data contained in his research was collected from 249 organizations, representing 3,947 learning development professionals, who have created learning content  (ILT and eLearning) that is consumed by 19,875,946 Learners. 

Hope this helps.
-Trond
Bruce Graham

@Trond...

As mentioned in previous threads, I think that if any of the freelance IDs I know on this board worked at those rates, we would be unemployed - because we would never win any work.

Even at my slowest I do not even approach half that (in most "normal" cases).

Maybe it is the difference between eLearning "organisations" and "eLearning freelance developers" - but that ratio is astounding, to me anyway.

Saying that...I constantly win work from organisations who have been quoted ridiculous figures, so maybe it is true. I spoke to someone yesterday who had been quoted $30k for delivering 1 hour of work and 10 "custom" interactions. They were all interactions standard in Storyline $15k of the quote) and I said I would do the hour's course for less, (including voiceover). We hopefully start soon.

I just see that report and those statistics as something that is outside my experience, and non-sustainable in the future.

Bruce

Phil Mayor

I think again we are comparing apples and oranges, I have a feeling Bryan Chapman's research will also include the organisations time spent preparing content although this does not see to e the case in the research.

Interesting, I believe most freelance instructional designers are much more cost effective than this even the low range of 127 hours seems high.

Dave Neuweiler

To the points made by Bruce and Phil... when I first viewed that report, it was obvious that there were line-items included in the costing that just didn't match the work I was doing. So I just crossed those items off (things like front-end analysis, storyboarding, video production when there wasn't any, etc.).

In my case, I was able to knock 50% or more of Chapman's time estimates without breaking a sweat.

So anyone using that report to figure pricing should edit the report to match the services they're providing.

Sheila Bulthuis

This won't be very helpful in terms of arriving at a "formula" but I think it's important to also consider the state of the content you're getting.  If it's organized in a way that makes sense and you don't have to spend much time thinking about the order in which info should be presented, level of detail, etc. that's one thing.  If you're handed a mess of documents, links, rough notes, drawings, photos, etc. and told "please make a course out of this," that's another thing entirely.  I've had projects where more than 50% of my time on the project was content analysis and outlining the course. 

One more thought:  Most of my "create a course" projects are billed fixed fee.  So obviously it's in my best interest to accurately estimate how much time and effort a project will take!    I've found the best method for this is carefully tracking time on every project, so I can use that data for future estimates.

Nancy Woinoski

I agree with Sheila, you have to factor in the state of the content because it comes in all shapes and sizes.  I usually have to prepare the content for the projects I do from scratch - Occasionally I am given PowerPoint slides but the bulk of the projects don't seem to have much of anything.  This up front work takes more time than doing the design and development in Storyline.

I think that Phil's estimate is a good one for the amount of time that it takes a developer to design/build the course in Storyline or some other rapid type tool. It assumes that the content is relatively stable. If the content is still in flux then you can probably add anywhere from 10% to 50% to the development time depending on the amount of churn.

Another thing I think you need to factor in is the level of sophistication of your stakeholders/clients. If you are working with a group of people who understand eLearning, are comfortable with technology or have at least been through your process before it is going to take less time than if you are working with people who are experiencing eLearning for the first time.

Helena Froyton

Thank you all for your prompt reply!!!

Phil,

I appreciate you letting me know what  you go by.  Very helpful!

Trond,

Thank you for the link of the presentation.

Bruce,

I appreciate your input on rates for IDs.

Dave,

I appreciate your suggestions.

Sheila,

I agree with you 100% on the importance of the state of the content.  I also have to put items together like in a puzzle.

Nancy,

Great insight on factoring in your stakeholders/clients.

-Helena

Sheila Bulthuis

Nancy Woinoski said:

 Another thing I think you need to factor in is the level of sophistication of your stakeholders/clients. If you are working with a group of people who understand eLearning, are comfortable with technology or have at least been through your process before it is going to take less time than if you are working with people who are experiencing eLearning for the first time.

Couldn't agree more.  This is the factor that I seem to be most likely to overlook, and it's really important in terms of estimating work effort!