The demand for Learning & Development initiatives and eLearning programs is on an all time high in global organizations across diverse industries. With learning technology solutions driving the effectiveness and ease of access of eLearning content, the need to quickly roll out training courses is increasingly becoming business critical.

However, L&D professionals often find themselves struggling to choose one of these two options:

Although both options have benefits and advantages of their own, in this blog we’ll look at how you can use off-the-shelf courses to achieve a quick and effective roll-out of your eLearning programs.

Historically speaking, one of the many reasons why eLearning projects end up in failure is because they never take off in the first place, let alone other factors like user adoption, reception, engaging learning technology solutions. But, let’s focus on the project initiation, because it’s like they say – a good start is halfway to success! So, considering your eLearning project never took off, you’re then left facing double the trouble where your organization is not so generous with the new L&D budget, if there is one at all! And, often times, a project never kicks off is usually because the training courses are not yet ready.

It. Does. Happen. And, it’s not a very pleasant situation, for anyone.

Off-the-Shelf courses vs Customized eLearning courses Off-the-shelf courses are online repositories or libraries of eLearning courses that have been pre-created for you, and are available online for ready usage. Such extensive libraries of eLearning courses and videos are mostly generic and cover a vast spectrum of training content, and are designed in close consultation with domain specific Subject Matter Experts. Available in several formats, including text, HTML and videos, micro-learning snippets and more, off-the-shelf eLearning courses are mobile optimized and cover a multitude of topics, from hard skill, soft skills, technical knowledge to trending digital technologies.

On the other hand, creating your own customized eLearning programs and courses means spending a hefty sum and considerable amount of time on measuring learning needs, assessing vendors or planning and developing courses on your own. Be that as it may, it is important to note that customized eLearning courses always carry more value and deliver desired results to the organizations as they are developed precisely to solve specific, often unique, training and business challenges.

However, that shouldn’t stop you from using off-the-shelf courses, especially if it is your first eLearning project or you’re just looking to offer generic content and soft skills courses or just to kick off the project as planned. Off-the-shelf courses are significantly effective for newer eLearning projects and are readily available for you to use them whenever you want and at the point of need.

Using Off-the-Shelf eLearning courses & videos for a quick roll out

With a vast array of online content marketplaces out there, all L&D professionals need to do is some thorough and in-depth research to find the most apt courses for the organization. After all, eLearning projects are all about deploying effective training ‘quickly’ with a strong focus ‘on what the learners have learnt and what they have gathered from it’, rather than how the course has been designed. So, if an organization lacks the resources to create customized courses, it makes perfect sense to focus on the training program and save both time and costs by adopting off-the-shelf courses.

Off-the-shelf courses are a great resource to quickly roll out training on broader topics, from Management & Leadership, Professional Efficiency, Finance & Management to Marketing & Innovation, Sales & Service and Information Technology among many others. If an organization has no specific hard skills training needs, then there is no need to build customized courses.

Organizations often turn to L&D in the face of critical business challenges, ones that require urgent employee skilling. In such cases, organizations need a quick fix, with hardly any time for developing custom content. As a result, an organization’s go-to-market will happen quickly and easily with the use of off-the-shelf courses than customized courses. However, that doesn’t mean organizations can’t nor shouldn’t amp up their existing training inventory with off-the-shelf courseware. Customized eLearning content complemented with relevant off-the-shelf courseware can provide a combined arsenal of learning resources for the workforce, and further ensure maximum impact of learning across the organization.

Wait, what if there is no separate L&D department? Well, then off-the-shelf courses don’t really need any resources to buy and deploy the courses as opposed to customized courses that need designing, development, testing and implementation. Furthermore, off-the-shelf courses can be easily deployed on your existing Learning Management System (LMS), and are dynamic and work across all devices and operating systems making learning truly seamless.

Why consider Off-the-Shelf courses NOW?

Analysis of global economic indicators is increasingly referring to a looming global economic slowdown and the risk of a global recession. It may not be all doom and gloom like 2008, but looks like the situation is definitely alarming. Especially in India, the government has acknowledged the beginning of a crisis. Car sales went down 36% in July, while automakers laid-off approx. 350,000 workers since April. Meanwhile, the audacious loan scams have terrorized the financial markets, and the situation was worsened by the IL & FS fiasco.

In the face of such a crisis, organizations are sure to focus of cost cutting. And, like it or not, one of the first things to go out the door is L&D and training budgets. But minimal budget doesn’t necessarily mean compromising your training. L&D professionals can leverage off-the-shelf courses that are lighter on the pocket and don’t require extravagant budgets to buy. And, learning technology solutions or an LMS with built-in off-the-shelf courseware are nothing less than a blessing.

Off-the-shelf courses are truly the go-to resource for quickly and effectively rolling out your training program. Request UpsideLMS Demo to learn more about how off-the-shelf courses can enable a fast and easy roll out.

Next time on UpsideLMS Blog, we explore how global enterprises leverage off-the-shelf courseware to maximize their learning impact in Off-the-Shelf eLearning: Learn from the Leaders.


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Amit has played a key role in bringing an innovative approach to the traditional Learning Management System (LMS) and has been instrumental in putting UpsideLMS on the global map.With over two decades of work
experience across IT and eLearning, Amit has a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience in start-up management, project management, technology solutions consulting, and technology solutions architecting and development. At UpsideLMS too, Amit continues to wear multiple hats as the key idea generator for UpsideLMS' tech-ops team, a Sales and Marketing orchestrator, a learning technology solutions consultant for his clients and prospects, a sounding board of ideas for his team of experts and a mentor for all the function heads. All product offerings birthed and led by Amit, be it the Learning Management System or the Mobile Learning Apps, have been disruptors in the eLearning industry and ahead of their times.


Amit is an active contributor to the company's blog and many eLearning forums. He has been profiled by Learning Solutions, a leading industry publication and the official online publication of the eLearning Guild, for its 'Leaders in the Limelight' series. He distils his expertise and experience into articles, which are regularly published in leading L&D and HR publications across the world.


Amit has spoken at various L&D events in the US, has co-hosted webinars alongside leading industry experts and has authored eBooks on Learning Management Systems. He has served as a judge for the Brandon Hall awards in 2002 and 2004. Amit holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science (NIT–Kurukshetra) and a Masters in Business Administration (IIM – Lucknow).

Connect with him on LinkedIn.