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Elearning image with several words describing what elearning is

What is off the shelf elearning?

Off the shelf elearning is content that has been written, designed and developed and can be downloaded and used straight away without any modification. Learners are able to use the content immediately without any changes. 

Off the shelf elearning often refers to courses that have been grouped together to be packaged so that companies or individuals can purchase them or licence them for a period of time. 

Several providers of off the shelf elearning courses also no longer require you to also buy their Learning Management System (LMS) or learning platform. There are specific off the shelf content providers like Real Projects. You can also use providers like Open Sesame that provider access to their content library and you can access the content via their web based platform. You no longer need to have your own LMS. 

If you have an LMS then off the shelf content can be easily integrated into your platform – but not having one is no longer a barrier! 

Providers for off the shelf elearning varies from sector specific providers to companies that provide content for a wider range of topics, sectors and subjects. 

Off the shelf courses are often considered by companies who want to purchase a library of courses to support their learners. A good library will have a range of courses across multiple courses. The content will include a range of courses including interactive elements, audio, interactive elements, assessments and quizzes. Several custom elearning developers will have their own elearning libraries, taking the skills that they have from developing creating custom content and developing off the shelf elearning courses. 

Off the shelf elearning may also be provided in multiple languages, at Real Projects we provide our courses in Spanish and English. There are elearning libraries where courses are provided in multiple languages. 

Off the shelf elearning covers a wide range of topics, often at a very effective cost model for the business. It is important to review the content available to ensure that it matches your needs. You should consider the licence term, price, number of users and total cost of ownership. Often the pricing models are overly complex. 

Elearning libraries will often include a ‘series’ of courses so if you have access to a platform or package you may have access to a complete series of courses. For example you will have access to a set of courses on information security of cyber security. An additional benefit is that several providers will be releasing courses during the year and if you have signed up for a licence you may have access to all new releases during your sign up period. 

Off the shelf courses can be an affordable option for businesses that want to get access to content quickly and to provide access to lots of employees. If you are working with a leading elearning developer you’ll often find that you’ll have courses that have been award winning. 

What are off the shelf courses? 

A bespoke or custom course is created to your exact specification and requirements. You will have provided your own graphic requirements, content, images and much more. The end content will normally belong to your and the content will be tailor specific to you and your organisation. 

Off the shelf content has been designed to be used immediately, downloaded straightly and used without customisation and this reduces any development costs and development time. Off the shelf courses will cover topics and content that are often requested by organisations and individuals. Courses are ‘pre-packaged’ or ready to go. The content has already been developed and will cover subjects that are often required. If you have a very specific content requirement the likelihood is that you will still need to get a custom course developed. 

Examples of content that you are likely to see in off the shelf libraries are soft skills, leadership, remote working, cyber security and well-being. 

Why would you use off the shelf elearning courses? 

Elearning courses are often ready to go. They can be deployed quickly and effectively, accessed by learners anytime and anywhere and several providers also have their own platform so you don’t need to have a Learning Management System (LMS) or Learning Experience Platform (LXP) in place already. 

You might also be looking for a specific content area to support your learning and development needs and don’t have time to create custom content and an off the shelf course might solve your problem. 

Several off the shelf providers like Real Projects also allow you a level of customization within their off the shelf courses for an additional price. This might allow you to add additional content if you need to. 

What if I don’t have a Learning Management System? 

If you don’t have a Learning Management System that isn’t a problem anymore. Several off the shelf providers like OpenSesame provider access to their off the shelf library via a website platform. You’ll get access to thousands of courses via their online platform and still get all of the administration functions as well. 

You no longer need have a Learning Management System installed on your network to get access to great content. 

How much are the off the shelf courses?

Prices for off the shelf courses do vary, but most providers have a licensing model based on the number of learners and the numbers of courses that you want. At Real Projects we’ve got a simple model – unlimited access, unlimited users for £10,000 per year. Simple. 

It can be difficult to compare pricing as course length can vary across providers as well. There are a number of different providers out there like OpenSesame, Course Source, HowKnow and more!

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