Budgets and Estimates — The sticking point in Instructional Design

This week, our Project Management course focuses on budgeting and allocating resources throughout a project cycle. As part of this process, we are looking at the specifics of allocating resources for the instructional design process.

I find this to be an interesting process. There are so many different components of instructional design and because there are so many different opinions about how to budget for the process.  A few months, I was researching the average cost to develop an eLearning module. In performing a routine search I found lots of discussion among Instructional Designers, with wildly varying opinions of the costs of eLearning development.

In researching this week’s assignments, I found a couple of great resources which are listed below.

The first is an article about estimating costs and time in instructional design. I like this article because it examines a lot of different factors in creation of instructional design materials, and also gives some figures on estimating budget for these processes. Best of all, information in included on how these figures were gathered – such as how the hourly rate for instructional design is calculated.

Please check out the following link:

http://sas.byu.edu/training/documents/EstimatingCostsandTimeinInstructionalDesign.pdf

In researching estimating time, I found another article/blog that refers specifically to calculating the time to develop eLearning. This article contains several links to other articles on estimating the time it takes to develop and produce eLearning. It’s really interesting to be able to compare and contrast different methods for estimating the same process. I think ultimately, we end up taking all the information and creating a method that works best for our individual organizations.

For information on budgeting for eLearning and the development cycle, please refer to this link:

http://theelearningcoach.com/elearning_design/isd/time-to-develop-online-learning/

Finally, I found another great resource on project allocation and estimations. There really is a science to estimation. This article illustrates some of the methods for developing better project estimates with greater accuracy. I think it’s valuable to review the process. For more information, check out this link:

http://www.learncentrix.com/estimating-instructional-design

Resources – time and money – are valuable. It’s hard to find a way to accurately estimate the use of these resources, especially when a project is large. The above resources offer a good starting point for analyzing and budgeting.

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