A complete breakdown of cost of online course development

Choosing a price- A critical step in the online course creation process

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Cost of online course

What is the cost of online course development?

An essential part of developing and launching a successful online education program is having relevant content that resonates with and stimulates the minds of your users. Building a world class online course doesn’t only involves filling in hours of paper work, convoluted models, and bloated processes. Apt information regarding cost of online course development also plays a vital role in the development of online course. Paradiso Learning makes it refreshingly easy and straightforward to build and launch a successful online course.

As per a report, cost of online course development is around $4000 to $ 10000 and takes a span of 180 to 360 hours on average to produce one hour of eLearning material. We at Paradiso have the expert knowledge and vital experience needed to help you with this endeavor for knowing cost of online course development.
The cost for developing an online course is an important factor while creating online courses. It might be difficult with so many factors at play: complexity, revisions, level of interactivity. Cost of online course development is widely based on the size of the learner body, the number of instructors, the features, the course’s complexity and interactivity, and more.
One of the major investments in cost to develop an online course is your time.
Online course development

Factors involved in cost of online course development

Before you invest your time into what is the cost of online course development, take a look at some of the critical parts of course creation you should consider:

  • Researching your learners

Come up with a list of audiences the online course will cater and what are their expectations from the online course.

Researching your learners
Cost of course curriculum development
  • Planning your course curriculum

While developing an online course you need to decide if the required course creation is custom content creation or off the shelf courses for generic information for businesses.

  • Developing your course content

Next decision you need to make to while figuring out the costs is the type of course you’re creating for your software. Will it be multimedia like live video, video with audio or text based? How long will the online course run?

Cost of course content development
Packaging your online course
  • Packaging your online course

When your online course is ready to be published, you’ll have to upload the content with SCORM package and upload the course online so that the content can be supported in any format.

  • Marketing your online course

Marketing and selling your course will probably take a while. To sell the course you need to find the right marketing messages to attract learners and educators.

So, for the cost of online course development, you can expect to pay between $1 (or less) to $10+ per lead. Of course, these costs vary by topic, search terms, and competition in your market space.

Marketing your online course

ADDIE Model and its relation with Online Course Development

Depending on your target market, marketing costs can have an immense impact on your online course’s profitability. The best way to explain the cost of online course development can be the ADDIE model. For professionally developed, high quality education programs, online course developers follow ADDIE model that is mainly applied on an iterative basis, with evaluation leading to re-analysis and further design and development modifications. The ADDIE model stands for; Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate and through this lets gauge how much does it cost to create an online course.

  • Analysis

In this stage, identification of all the parameters required while designing the course and cost for developing an online course, such as; learners’ prior knowledge, learners’ characteristics, resources available, learning environment, etc. are all considered to begin the course design process.

Cost involved in Analysis of Online Course Creation
Phase Specialist  Estimated Time,
 hrs./1 course video hour
Hourly rate, $  Estimated costs, $ 
Analysis or Consultation Stage  Educator/Lecturer  5-10 10 - 40 50-400* 
 Project Manager  5-10  30 - 50  150-500 
Instructional Designer  5-10  40 - 60 200-600** 

*This cost is recuring

**This cost is constant  

  • Design

Designing stage involves identifying learning objectives for the course and the cost related to online course development. Further research on how materials will be created and designed for best practices is also taken into consideration. Take for example, in a storyboard outlining what will be covered in text, audio and video and in a certain order will be decided in this phase of designing. In this stage you also decide on the selection and use of technology, such as an LMS, social media platform or only video-based content.

Cost for designing visual content for online course
Phase Specialist Estimated Time,
hrs/1 course video hour
Hourly rate, $ Estimated costs, $
Designing visual content Educator/Lecturer 20-25 20-40 400-1000
Instructional Designer 20-25 20-40 400-1000
Graphic Designer 20-25 25-50 500-1250
Designing infographics,
 practical tasks, quizzes, tests 
Educator/Lecturer  4-5 25-50 100-250
Instructional Designer 4-5 20-50 100-250
  • Storyboarding

While creating online course content, an eLearning storyboard makes the eLearning course development process easy and feasible. A storyboard gives you a map to organize your content for better delivery of your content to your audience. Storyboarding helps to list the navigation elements, chapters, and introductory/conclusion that users need and how they connect with each other.

Different types of storyboards in eLearning?

Storyboarding comes into use during video production and is also used at a higher level to plan online course. Listed below are three main formats to use for storyboarding:

storyboards cost of development in eLearning
Visual storyboards:
These storyboards are image-based and is helpful to sketch out scenes and production plans in a training video.
Written storyboards:
Text-based storyboarding comes into play when you plan to create simple videos where scenes don’t demand change.
Course mapping storyboards:
These storyboards can be visual or written and also can be used to finalize a high-level outline of online course or a lesson. The learning journey of your learners become much easier as they make their way through it.
  • Development

Development phase involves the decision of creation of content, including whether to develop in-house or outsource, decision to copyright clearance for third party materials, cost related to loading of content into a web site or LMS, and so on. Process and cost involved in writing lecture notes, developing practical tasks and quizzes, creating infographics and graphs or content related to video is analyzed in this stage.

Cost of Development in online course creation
Phase  Specialist  Estimated Time, 
hrs/1 course video hour 
Hourly rate, $  Estimated costs, $ 
Writing  Lecturer  10-30  15-25  150-750 
Instructional Designer  10-30  20-30  200-900 
Shooting Video  Lecturer  2-4  50+  50-270+ 
Graphic Designer  2-4  60+  50-300+ 
Video Editor  2-4  100+  100-500+ 
Video Designing   Graphic designer  10-15  70+  370-1500+ 
Video Editor  10-15  50+  370-1000+ 
Editing the videos  Video Editor  15-50  50+  400-3000+ 
  • Implementation

Once the designing and development phases are completed, deployment of the content or course modules in the training management software or LMS of your choice is performed. Once the quality assurance with the content manager, course manager, project manager is completed testing the online course is performed within the team or with some chosen beta testers such as students.

Cost in Implementation of online course creation
Phase  Specialist Estimated Time Hourly rate, $ Estimated costs, $
Writing  Educator/Lecturer 40-50 10-30 400-1500
QA Specialist 20-30 10-30 200-900
  • Evaluation

Feedback and required information after testing are gathered to rectify areas that require improvement and feeds into the design of the online course. Development and implementation of the next iteration of the course along with adjusting the content to reach maximum ROI is then performed.

Why Paradiso is one-stop solution ?

Building a world class online course doesn’t have to involve filling in hours of paper work, convoluted models, and bloated processes. Paradiso makes creating and launching an effective online course refreshingly simple and straight forward. It also helps to migrate content from an existing online education platform or website, or develop a new program from scratch on the e-Learning Platform, Paradiso provides the resources and expert guidance needed to guarantee a smooth and accurate transition.

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