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As digital learning solutions become a larger part of any organisation’s learning and development offering, the question of whether to go for customised or generic is an important one. Which do you choose? The short answer is both!

The challenge in delivering on an L&D strategy is how to meet the ever-increasing demand for knowledge and skills, influenced by greater mobility, expectations for growth and the focus on talent retention, and the need to keep pace with changes and rapid advances in many fields, particularly technology. This demand must be fulfilled within the context of budget and resource constraints, pressure on time and the need for tangible results and impact.

Once you have identified and prioritised what learning needs you are going to focus on, determining how best to meet them is the next decision. E-learning is likely to be one of the solutions you consider. It provides a flexible, just-in-time solution that is engaging and effective when well-designed and implemented.

How do you know whether to choose a bespoke or off-the-shelf solution? There are some useful questions which can support you in this decision.

If you answer “yes” to some or all these questions, then bespoke is likely to be your best option:

  • Are the knowledge and skills to be developed core or unique to your organisation, or key to your competitive advantage? For example, understanding organisation processes.
  • Is it important for the training to reflect your organisation’s brand, culture, and values? For example, induction training.
  • Is your context specific and important to understand for effective application and transfer of learning?
  • Do you have the budget, resources, and time available?

On the other hand, a “yes” response to these questions may indicate that an off-the -shelf option could work well:

  • Are the skills and knowledge generic across different environments? For example, basic management skills.
  • Do you want to access subject knowledge or best practice that you don’t have? For example, in the legal or compliance fields.
  • Is it important to have access to regular content updates?
  • Do you need to implement the solution quickly with minimum effort?

It is also helpful to consider solutions within the context of the overall learning journey, made up of incremental, blended and aligned learning opportunities that add value to the learner experience and results. For example, think about a memorable, attention-grabbing bespoke learning solution to start, followed by off-the-shelf micro-learning modules on key foundational knowledge and skills, supported by short bespoke modules containing specific case study activities, performance support quick guides and other social learning activities.

A blend of learning solutions, including the right mix of creative and high-quality off-the-shelf and bespoke e-learning may just be the way to go.

Walkgrove have a wide range of off-the-shelf modules and specialise in development of bespoke e-learning solutions across any topic or industry. We can also provide support in the design of learning journeys and identification of suitable blended learning solutions, including group delivery either face to face or online.

If you’d like to find out more, please get in touch.

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