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Thank you!

… for taking the time to learn more about Androcom.

We would welcome an opportunity to put our experience and expertise to work on your behalf.

Here's How To Contact Us:


Ken Desson M.A., M.Ed., PMP
President, Androcom CLS
263 Second Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 2H8
Tel:   (613) 238-3639
Cell:  (613) 301-8450
Fax:  (613) 234-4762
Skype:  ken-desson



What does eLearning development cost?

By Ken Desson

What does it cost and how long will it take to produce?  These are questions asked by every buyer of eLearning development services.  If the buyer’s requirements have been well thought out before asking, a time and cost response is likely to be quick and accurate.  Otherwise, the answer is: it depends.

Development time and costs are, of course, calculated based on the specifics of each project.  For stand-alone eLearning programs (i.e. no online facilitation or blended learning elements required), the major cost categories are (not in order of magnitude):

  • Project management
  • Client and stakeholder liaison
  • Requirement analysis
  • Content capture
  • Instructional design
  • Scriptwriting / storyboarding
  • Graphic production
  • Video production
  • Audio production
  • Animation production
  • Simulation production
  • Programming / implementation
  • Quality assurance testing
  • Program validation (pilot testing)
  • Program evaluation (after implementation)

          There may also be costs for on-going content updates, off-site hosting, and other services, if required.

The time requirements and costs are also directly related to the sophistication and complexity of the end product. In ball-parking an estimate, it’s helpful to think of three levels of stand-alone eLearning programs: basic, full-featured, and advanced.

Each level entails a different amount of effort per finished hour of programming, which is often expressed as a ratio:  for instance, 100:1 means that 100 hours of production time are required to produce 1 hour of instruction.  The average cost per hour of development time also varies with the sophistication of the end product because a blend of more expensive inputs is typically required for a full-featured program than for a basic one. 

In Canada’s National Capital Area, production ratios and costs for a finished product in one language are in the ranges indicated below.  Add 40-60% for second language versioning.

Program Sophistication



Unit Cost/hr

Total Cost per hour of instruction


  • Client-supplied content and instructional design
  • Still images and dynamic media (e.g. video) supplied by client
  • Simple graphic interface / templated menus
  • Mainly text based presentations
  • Limited interactivity
  • Simple testing (e.g. multiple choice / true-false)
  • Limited feedback






$7,500 - $9,000


$11,250 - $15,000


  • Instructional design and some content capture by supplier
  • Some original dynamic media required (e.g. video, audio, motion graphics)
  • Customized graphic interface and menus
  • Narration used to supplement text
  • Higher level of interactivity (e.g. pop-ups; application exercises)
  • More complex testing (e.g.  assembly of screen elements;  drag and drop)
  • Detailed feedback





$110 - $150

$19,250 - $26,250


$38,500 - $52,500


  • Content capture and instructional design by supplier
  • Sophisticated dynamic media used extensively (e.g. animation, simulation, video, audio)
  • Customized graphic interface and menus
  • Game environment
  • Narration
  • High level of interactivity (e.g. use of simulations; application exercises; making of calculations)
  • Complex testing, including question database for random selection of questions
  • Detailed feedback






$70,000 - $100,000


$105,00 - $150,000

Clients can help to reduce these costs by providing:

  • clear guidance on instructional goals and objectives
  • existing media assets (slides, photos, videos, animations, illustrations, logos, simulations, etc.)
  • complete, well-organized subject matter
  • samples of questions that learners should be able to answer upon course completion
  • translation services
  • on-screen talent (making suitable employees available for on-screen roles)

When it comes time to develop the budget for your next eLearning tutorial, we can help by working with you to enter the details into Androcom’s production planner.  You may be surprised at how affordable your project really is.