What is Driving eLearning Costs?

While it is widely understood that eLearning is often more cost-effective than relying on instructor-led training, not every organization realizes that the cost of eLearning can fluctuate substantially. Various factors can shift the price tag up or down, which can make budgeting for your L&D program a challenge.

However, by understanding what drives eLearning costs, you can make strategic choices that ensure you remain in budget. If you want to keep control of your L&D expenses, here is what you need to know about the factors that impact your bottom line.

Graphics, Images, and Multimedia

Visual elements in your eLearning program help ensure the content is engaging and well understood. At times, graphics, photographs, and various forms of multimedia are essential for driving the core message home. Plus, they make the training more interesting, enhancing engagement and improving retention.

However, visual elements usually come with a price tag. Stock images, videos, editing, custom graphics, animation, and other visual components do need to be factored into your budget. Otherwise, you may be surprised by your eLearning costs.


By and large, it is cheaper to simply present information than to make it interactive. However, interactive aspects are more engaging, so they may be worth the cost.

On the lower end of the cost spectrum sit options like text-based assessments at the end of the module. Since these elements rely on standard templates, they typically come with small price tags.

More interactive elements can come with higher costs. For example, implementing conditional branching mechanisms to navigate scenarios is technically complex. The navigation falls outside of standard templates, making it more expensive.

Design Time

When it comes to cost, the more time involved in the creation of an eLearning module or full L&D program, the higher the price tag. If you already have well-structured content, you can save substantially in this area. However, if you are starting from scratch, the cost may be significant.

Usually, if you need highly specialized, custom content based on information that doesn’t exist in other course materials, you will be at the top end of the cost spectrum. Content that is more generally or widely available is commonly less expensive.

Overall, eLearning is still usually cheaper than instructor-led options, even if you decide to add some higher cost features. However, by being aware of what can drive the cost, you can make smart choices that respect your budget while ensuring your core objectives are met.

Are You Looking to Hire L&D Professionals Who Can Help You Take Advantage of Emerging Trends?

At Clarity Consultants, we have over a quarter-century of experience in the L&D field, giving you the ability to locate the top talent you need for your company to thrive. If you are looking for L&D professionals who can help you make the most of online learning trends and advances, the team at Clarity Consultants can make it easier than ever to find your ideal candidates. Contact us to find out more about our unique services and see how our learning and development expertise can benefit you.

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For over 30 years, we’ve managed projects touching every element of learning and talent development.