Combining off-the-shelf training with custom content

Kerrie-Anne Chinn, Content & Editorial Manager

If you work in learning and development, you’ve no doubt found yourself deliberating over purchasing off-the-shelf training courses or creating your own custom content from scratch.

Last week, we looked at the benefits of off-the-shelf training and how it can help your business provide effective professional development training for your staff.


However, there are also certain benefits to building your own custom content for eLearning courses. So it’s best to know the benefits of both types of training solutions, before making your decision.

Both buying and building have their own particular advantages and disadvantages. So why not consider the option of combining the two solutions – with a combination of both off-the shelf and custom?

When Off-the-Shelf Training is the Best Option

With ready-made off-the-shelf training courses, you can keep your spending costs down, delivering informative and engaging training content for your employees at a lower price than most customised training programs. In using off-the-shelf products, you also have no need of hiring consultants, designers or experts to create a course – you simply download the program and add it to your LMS, rolling it out to employees in less than 24 hours.

Off-the-shelf training is perfect for providing training on particular systems and programs, like Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, Adobe Creative Suite, and so forth. They are also great for courses that cover generic topics such as team building, compliance training, change management, negotiation skills, and customer service. These skill-based courses contain content that can be successfully applied across various organisations.

Usually the content will have been written by subject matter experts who are trusted and authorised content creators in that area or field. By using these products, you won't have to spend time or money building your own customised courses on those topics.

When Custom Content is the Best Option for Learners

There are some cases and scenarios where you’ll want to be using custom content that you’ve created yourself, to provide your staff with tailored learning materials specific to your organisation.

Dr. Ayesha Habeeb Omer, co-founder of custom learning solutions provider CommLab India, explains why custom eLearning is often the best choice for certain product training and software systems training.

ERP end-user training, for example, is something off-the-shelf eLearning courses are not suitable for: it is completely tied to an organization’s internal processes and working,” she says.

Every company or organisation has unique training needs that relate directly to its culture, processes, systems and goals. There may be times when you simply can’t source relevant content from external sources for these unique requirements.

You may also want your eLearning courses to reflect your company’s brand, using your own brand, corporate colours or logo throughout the course. With custom content, you can include these branding elements in your training materials.

Combining the Best of Both Worlds for a Perfect Training Solution

As you can see, there are plenty of situations where you can easily use off-the-shelf training products, and other times when it may be wise to create custom content.

So which one will you choose? Well, why not consider the option of combining the two solutions – a combination of both hy not consider the option of combining the two solutions – a combination of both off-the shelf and custom? Both buy AND build?

Some Learning Management Systems can provide you with a solution that allows you to modify off-the-shelf content to fit your exact learning needs and specifications. This combined solution can offer your business the perfect eLearning mix, allowing you to pick and choose the best ready-made content for your teams.

This gives you a huge amount of flexibility, as you can customise and modify modules within the training program. And you’ll also have the option to add branding elements to the materials, like your company logo. By choosing to combine off-the-shelf training with custom content, you'll really be giving your learners the best of both worlds.

Did you know that with the Go1 platform, you can create your own custom training programs or browse through thousands of off-the-shelf courses? 

Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
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