Custom eLearning vs Off The Shelf Courses

With a natural shift towards online technology in every aspect of our lives, it’s easy to see why eLearning is growing in the workplace. In fact, the uptake of eLearning and LMS systems is expected to grow 25% year on year for the next 5 years.

At eLamb we’ve seen the growth first hand, when discussing the introduction of eLearning with our prospects our team hear the word ‘when’ far more than they do ‘if’. With eLearning, a key decision is custom or off the shelf eLearning.

eLamb provide both Custom eLearning and off the shelf options to our clients, both have obvious benefits and drawbacks but what option is right for you, your learners and your company?

We’ve decided to write a blog on each option, our first blog looks at Custom eLearning.

The Benefits of Custom eLearning Development

  • Higher Engagement Levels: custom eLearning will feature your branding, language, culture and ‘vibe’ – if a course is more recognisable and on point your learners will naturally feel more comfortable and can relate to the eLearning.
  • Relevant Content: an obvious benefit, custom eLearning doesn’t just include the design, it’s the content, the wording, the scenarios, case studies, the examples – a generic course just can’t match the content that’s specific to you learner and situations they will find themselves in at your company.
  • Learning Outcomes: A generic course will meet certain requirements and perhaps that’s enough for topics such as fire safety or manual handling, however on key training courses to your organisation you will have specific learning outcomes, this can only be achieved via custom eLearning where a course is designed to educate your learners to a required level.
  • It Shows You’re Serious: eLearning that’s tailor made with relevant content shows as a company you’re taking your online training seriously; your employees are likely to recognise this. Generic off the shelf eLearning comes across as just that, generic. Suitable for some topics but not every situation benefits from a one size fits all approach.
  • Ownership: custom eLearning is an investment; you will have full ownership of the content including all raw files meaning you can easily update the material and run your training on another system in the future should you wish. Custom eLearning allows you to future-proof the consistency of your training.

The Drawbacks of Custom eLearning

  • Investment Cost: like anything, the cost of a custom solution will cost more than an off the shelf option. It depends how many of the above benefits are important to you and the learning outcomes you wish to achieve.
  • Time: No business will understand your business as well as you, therefore with custom eLearning you do need to invest time in helping your eLearning supplier by providing content, answering questions and reviewing drafts.


Custom eLearning is the right choice if you have specific learning goals to meet, your brand is important, you want to own the material and you have the time and money to support your ideal solution.

Custom design is an investment and if you have the right eLearning provider you will reap the rewards.

If you have a one-off project or a series of eLearning courses that need creating and you’re looking to partner with an external eLearning company drop us a line and let’s see if we can help.

Look out for our next blog where we assess the pros and cons of off the shelf eLearning.

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