What are e-learning companies? (And how to choose one)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 15 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many people consider e-learning to be one of the most efficient and popular methods of learning. It allows learners to access information from anywhere in the world, which often makes it a convenient and versatile option. As a result, e-learning companies are becoming increasingly popular as demand for this option rises. In this article, we discuss the benefits of e-learning and provide a list of suppliers to choose from if you're selecting an e-learning supplier for your company.

What are e-learning companies?

E-learning companies are businesses that specialise in developing and delivering e-learning products and services. These companies use a variety of instructional design models and strategies to create engaging and effective e-learning content. There are many different types of companies, each with their own strengths and limitations. It's important to do your own research to find the company that best suits your needs.

The main types of e-learning companies are as follows:

  • Learning management system (LMS) providers: Learning management system providers offer e-learning platforms or LMSs that can host and deliver content. They may offer individual learner accounts, progress tracking, assessments and other analytics services.

  • Content developers: These companies typically create e-learning content in the form of courses, modules or lessons. To produce a customised learning solution, they consider the learning objectives, target audience and delivery method.

  • Independent e-learning providers: Independent providers often offer e-learning products that individuals can access and use without the need for an LMS. These products can be e-books, video courses or audio lessons, with independent content creators and specialists providing content for the platform.

Related: What are learning management systems? (Tools and benefits)

What are the benefits of e-learning?

E-learning has several advantages over traditional classroom learning. Some of them are as follows:

  • Accessible worldwide: You can access e-learning platforms and products from almost anywhere in the world, which makes it a very convenient option for most learners.

  • Improved retention rates: E-learning can generate higher retention rates than classroom learning due to the interactive nature of the learning materials.

  • Flexible access and pace: E-learning allows learners to revisit concepts and information as many times as they need and at their own pace.

  • Increased engagement: E-learning is often more engaging than classroom learning as it can incorporate multimedia content such as videos, games and simulations.

  • Increased cost-effectiveness: This method of learning is often more cost-effective than classroom learning as there are fewer printed materials, travel costs, lecturers or classroom space fees.

  • Easily customisable: A company or organisation can customise e-learning to meet specific needs, easily update it as circumstances change or adjust it for individual learners with different requirements, such as differing job roles or accessibility.

What are the different types of e-learning?

There are many different types of e-learning, each with its own advantages and challenges. The most common types of e-learning are as follows:

  • Instructor-led training (ILT): Typically, a trainer or instructor delivers a lesson live online or through a pre-recorded video that they upload.

  • Synchronous e-learning: This type of e-learning occurs in real-time so that all learners can participate simultaneously. Businesses can use it for live events such as webinars or for online courses that have deadlines for completion.

  • Asynchronous e-learning: This type of learning occurs when the learner can access the training when it's convenient for them. This flexibility enables learners to complete the course at their own pace and can take the form of e-books, video courses or audio lessons.

  • Blended learning: This type of e-learning combines both synchronous and asynchronous e-learning across various methods. For example, a course may consist of a mix of live webinars, pre-recorded videos and e-books.

Related: Training plan template (with tips on how to create one)

Choosing an e-learning company

With a large variety of e-learning solutions available, it's important to understand your needs before you approach potential companies and partners. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Your project's size and scope: These companies vary from large international corporations to small independent providers. It's often essential to consider the size and scope of your project to ensure you choose a company that has the resources and expertise to meet your needs.

  • Your budget: Price can vary widely between companies so it's important to set a budget for your project before you make a purchase. Keep in mind that e-learning often requires minimal maintenance, making it an often more cost-effective solution for the long term.

  • Your timeline: These companies also have different timelines for developing e-learning content. If you have a tight deadline, it can help to choose a company that has experience working with strict timelines or who can provide appropriate guarantees if you have a short timeframe for deployment.

  • Your learning objectives: It's often important to be clear about your learning objectives from the outset. This can help you choose a company that specialises in the type of content you need, whether it's for training employees, developing marketing materials or something else entirely.

Related: What is the difference between goals and objectives?

E-learning platforms for ready-made solutions

If you're comfortable creating your own training programme, but you want to use a platform to host it, the following companies provide frameworks and tools to enable development:

  • Articulate: Articulate provides e-learning authoring tools that allow users to create custom content without programming or coding skills. It provides templates for several gamified learning methods that simplify the building of your training programme.

  • Adobe Captivate Prime: Adobe Captivate Prime is an e-learning platform that offers a range of features such as progress tracking, assessment tools and social learning. It provides AI-based recommendations as you build your training and integrates with several popular tools such as Slack and Adobe Marketo Engage.

  • Lectora: Lectora is an e-learning authoring tool that offers a range of features such as video integration, screen recording and gamification. It provides a timeline to customise interactivity, and it includes Responsive Course Design (RCD) to help you ensure your course looks appropriate across desktop and mobile devices.

  • Moodle: Moodle is a free and open-source e-learning platform that is popular with schools and universities. Moodle Workplace is its enterprise offering that can connect to human resources systems and cloud storage options.

  • Blackboard: Blackboard is a commercial e-learning platform that offers a range of features such as progress tracking, assessment tools and social learning. It provides app-based communication for learners and an app for instructors that helps with grading and engaging with students.

Custom e-learning solution providers

If you need a more personalised e-learning solution, these e-learning platforms can work with you to develop custom content:

  • Elucidat: Elucidat specialises in creating custom e-learning content. It offers a range of services such as instructional design, e-learning development and consulting and the ability for customers to contribute to the training they undergo.

  • Learning Pool: Learning Pool provides e-learning products and services to both businesses and education providers. It specialises in training across compliance, onboarding, upskilling and leadership development.

  • Totara: Totara specialises in creating custom e-learning solutions for businesses. Its solutions enable learners from outside of an organisation to take part in the training and enable businesses to generate custom reports, provide access to training via an app and create assessments and certificates for learners.

Public and independent e-learning platforms

If you're looking for an e-learning platform that offers a wide range of courses without needing a school or workplace affiliation, these public and independent e-learning platforms might be for you:

  • edX: edX is a non-profit platform that offers over 3,600 online courses from universities and colleges worldwide. With more than 15,000 instructors, it has courses that range from short programmes to bachelor's or master's degrees.

  • Coursera: Coursera connects with over 190 university partners and offers free and paid courses in a wide range of subjects, including business, computer science, data science, humanities and social sciences.

  • Udemy: Udemy offers a range of courses on a wide variety of topics. It offers one-off course purchases or subscription access and enables specialists and teachers without a university connection to teach online.

  • Skillshare: Skillshare offers a range of online courses mostly focused on creative and practical skills. A subscription provides access to all its available classes.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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