How do you price an elearning course?

4th Sep 2013

A training provider recently approached us to develop a portfolio of elearning courses. They wanted to sell these to develop a new income stream for their business to supplement their classroom training courses. After a detailed discussion about their requirements, they then asked us... 'What price should we sell our e-learning courses at?'

We honestly had no idea.

To date most of the e-learning we’ve developed has either been free to the learner (i.e. for staff training)  or being sold through a different channel (academic institutions selling curriculum related content).

After posting a discussion on LinkedIn, the comments received provided some really useful questions to ask to help determine the price of an elearnng course. Here’s a summary of those questions:

  1. What is the subject matter of the e-learning course?
  2. Is the course customized and unique, or are there similar off-the-shelf courses available?
  3. Will the course need to be updated regularly due to regularly changes in for example, law or other regulations? If so, will the consumer be charged additional upgrade fees to receive the updated versions of the course?
  4. Is the course accredited? Is there any certification? For example, a training course on health and safety would not cost the same as a training course on search engine optimisation.
  5. Who is the course aimed at?
  6. What’s the demand for such e-learning?
  7. How are similar courses currently priced in the marketplace?
  8. How interactive will the course be? A basic level of interaction will cost less to develop than a course which contains richer multimedia elements, such animations and videos
  9. Consider if there are any of the following costs:
  • Hosting/delivering/deploying costs?
  • What kind of costs will be incurred in selling and marketing the e-learning course?
  • Will there be any support cost? Once a customer buys the e-learning they may require ongoing support. How will this support be provided and does this need to be taken in to account when setting the price?
  • Miscellaneous costs – will any other materials be printed support the online course e.g. workbook.

Some of these are general questions which you'd need ask when setting the price for any product or service, but some of the above are specific to e-learning products. We’ll certainly be using these as a checklist for future projects.

What are your thoughts on pricing elearning or training? Let me know what you think.


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