It’s a busy marketplace out there and trying to find the right fit for your eLearning needs can be complicated. We get it. That’s why we’ve gathered a list of the top seven places to get off-the-shelf eLearning modules and explain who the place is, what it's known for, and costs.
First, let's break down exactly what off-the-shelf eLearning courses are, the difference between off-the-shelf and custom courses, and when it makes sense to use each.
What are off-the-shelf eLearning modules?
Off-the-shelf eLearning modules are courses that have been pre-designed and are available for purchase to the masses on a particular subject. You may have come across or even taken an off-the-shelf learning course at some point in your career.
You will most likely find these types of courses in organizations where education for a team is needed on a breadth of common topics, whether for industry knowledge, soft skill development, or compliance.
They are particularly useful for organizations with large workforces who need to train teams and departments on a variety of specific topics as well as smaller businesses who don’t have the budget to create custom eLearning courses for their team.
Off-the-Shelf Versus Custom Content
The primary difference between off-the-shelf courses and custom courses is that off-the-shelf is all set to go! There is no waiting on curriculum design, course development, or beta testing.
Just click, purchase, and upload to your Learning Management System (LMS).
Custom courses allow an organization complete flexibility and say over the content, design, and branding of their course. This is a great option for organizations who have very specific training needs and want a course that’s on brand for their organization.
If your organization has a very specific sales methodology, then you may want to consider working with a performance partner to consult, develop, and build custom courses.
7 of the Best Off-the-Shelf eLearning Marketplaces
1. Open Sesame
Open Sesame is one of the most trusted providers in the marketplace for on-demand learning courses, with 20,000+ courses from leading publishers available for download instantly. They make buying and selling eLearning courses as easy as downloading a song from iTunes.
With Open Sesame you can preview courses, read reviews and research sellers in their marketplace, buy courses with no subscriptions or long-term commitments, and use them instantly in any LMS. They do the heavy lifting so you can focus on choosing the best courses for your team.
Open Sesame is Best for:
- LMS integration - All you have to do is use the LMS you currently employ.
- Global companies - Is your workforce spread out across the globe? No problem, Open Sesame offers courses in 15+ languages.
- Flexible licensing - Open Sesame's flexible licensing helps companies purchase only the courses they need.
Coggno is an online marketplace of off-the-shelf eLearning courses created by industry experts, with best-in-breed training by serving the collective intellectual property of knowledge communities on their innovative eLearning platform.
Course topics offered on Coggno range from compliance and CEUs to safety and soft skill development focused on the needs of both individual and enterprise clients. It's a whole world of eLearning resources—aggregated and at your fingertips for immediate delivery.
Coggno is Best for:
- Small and medium sized businesses
- Building a cloud-based, corporate university
- Pay-as-you-go and bulk purchasing models
BizLibrary offers off-the-shelf learning in a variety of content formats from microlearning videos to lengthier, in-depth, and interactive eLearning courses and video programs. Their award-winning online training library contains more than 6,000 micro-video lessons, video courses, interactive videos, and eLearning courses covering a wide variety of topic areas and includes additional support materials to further increase learning retention.
BizLibrary's learning technology platform is powerful and easy to use. And all of their online training solutions are mobile-ready, allowing learners unlimited access to training content on any device, anytime and anywhere for true just-in-time learning.
BizLibrary is Best for:
- Training delivered through video
- Accredited content
- Additional support materials such as handouts and quizzes to increase knowledge retention on the ROI for training.
Cost: $ - $$$
PluralSight is a subscription-based eLearning service that focuses on technology skill development. The company makes eLearning accessible, offering different plans for the personal or business budget. With over 700,000 users, PluralSight is on the rise as a cloud-based IT eLearning provider.
Their course library consists of over 6,000 courses from a network of 1,350 authors ranging from web and game design to CAD software to project management—and everything in between. And with new courses added every month, the monthly or annual subscription is even more worthwhile.
PluralSight is Best for:
- Enterprise and individual use
- Diverse eLearning courses across topics of technology
- Continual use thanks to a constantly expanding library of courses
360training.com is a leading online and classroom-delivered eLearning marketplace. They deliver topnotch training content in workforce compliance, IT skills, continuing education, professional development, and career certification, as well as learning and content management software.
Since 1999, their course libraries have grown to include more than 15 industries and 6,000 individual titles. Over 4 million learners have chosen 360training.com to meet their training needs for businesses, training providers, associations, colleges, universities, and subject matter experts.
360Training is Best for:
- Diverse eLearning courses from workplace compliance and safety to real estate education
- Enterprise corporations, associations, and higher education
- Free LMS
Skillsoft is a trusted industry partner that provides innovative and cloud-based off-the-shelf modules for learning and performance support. Their team will work with clients to define strategy, competency mapping, and ROI maximization. Skillsoft trains more professionals than any other company and is trusted by the world's leading organizations, including 65% of the Fortune 500.
And just like us, Skillsoft is on a mission to build beautiful technology and engaging content. Their library includes 165,000+ courses, videos, and books and is accessed more than 130 million times every month across 160 countries and 29 languages—all with 100% cloud access anytime and anywhere.
Skillsoft is Best for:
- Breadth of content - They have over 7,000 courses and 65,000 videos.
- Business skills and leadership, IT skills and certification, and digital skills and compliance
- Choice of delivery options from interactive courses, enlightening videos, and practical simulations
Cost: $$ - $$$
Lynda.com, now a LinkedIn company, is an online learning company that helps anyone learn business, technology, and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals.
Through individual, government, corporate, and academic subscriptions, members have access to the lynda.com video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts. That's over 5,700 courses and 255,000 video tutorials across mobile and desktop!
LinkedIn was founded in 2003 and is helping over half a billion members worldwide achieve more in their careers by making connections, discovering opportunities, and gaining insights through professional networking. And with LinkedIn’s global reach, they get to make a direct impact on the world’s workforce in ways not many other companies can.
Lynda is Best for:
- Learner-led continuing education
- Courses in web development, software development, design, and marketing
- Pre-built learning paths
Cost: $ - $$
While there is almost an unlimited number of off-the-shelf course providers on the market today, finding the one that fits your learners exact needs is tricky. We recommend building out a list of all the needs and goals you’re looking to meet. From there pick out the top three to five providers that meet those needs and try to set up a free trial of their courses and content.
There is no better way to see if something fits than trying it on for size!
Is custom elearning worth the cost?
We think so!Find out why.