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Custom Alternative: Develop a Brand New Course for $5,000

Perhaps you've already heard about Maestro's new offering, Zip Course. If you haven't, here's a good overview from a recent blog post about them:

"Many clients want to create, or refresh, a library of courses. The challenge is that a variety of constraints—team size, budget, team capabilities—get in the way. After hearing similar challenges from a variety of clients, we wondered how we could create a service to fit that need.

"We identified the reasons our clients love working with us to develop content (things like attention to detail, great design and a reliable team) and further streamlined our process to deliver beautifully designed content and give our clients the ability to boost bandwidth and turn around affordable projects on a tight timeline."

We wanted to get a closer look at how people are using Zip Courses so Dan Krasinski, one of Maestro's Ambassadors, gave his point of view. As a facilitator of the Zip Course vs. custom conversation, he had great insight into this new offering. "I think Zip Courses are a great addition to Maestro's offerings because it gives us another way to serve our clients.

Dan says. "Let's face it, sometimes a communication or training effort doesn't require all the features of a full-blown custom eLearning course. With Zip Course, we can tailor an alternative solution to some of these smaller-scale projects with no compromise in quality. Or we can recommend a Zip Course in combination with another course.

"Since Zip Course starts with a client-supplied Powerpoint or a simple Word document, we assume the role of content enhancer rather than creator. We can help enhance anywhere along the line. For example, if they decide they'd like help creating a custom image to communicate a difficult concept, one of our designers can spend some time with them learning about the topic and then help create a visual, and they will know exactly how much that enhancement will cost."

"Zip Course allows us to deliver precisely what a customer needs for a specific project—without bundling things into a solution they really don't require. If you look at the site we developed for Zip Courses, you'll see that we've created a process that puts the client in the driver's seat. They can choose what they want to add to the course and how much each selected feature (voice-over, image help, etc.) will add to the cost. From the customer's point of view, it's a very versatile, fluid approach to building a simple course and getting what they want. Plus, it gives them more latitude in how they dispense their eLearning budget."

How do you decide what's a good candidate for a Zip Course? Clearly, a Zip Course is ideal for situations where there's a pressing need to create or refresh an existing course on a tight budget. But what else? Is there a guiding principle to help customers decide when to Zip?

"I always point out that it depends on objectives," Dan explains. "What do they want to accomplish in the communication or training effort? By isolating their objectives, we can help them zero in on what, or how much, they need to accomplish them. Once we do that homework together, they have a pretty solid idea of what they need—Zip Course or full custom course."

As a content enhancer instead of creator, Maestro can add value to a Zip Course in highly specific ways. Dan explains it like this: "Of course, Maestro can do everything from concepting the communication theme to designing the creative look-and-feel of the course. But sometimes a subtle design touch is enough to transform a simple course. Whether we're talking about a subtle improvement or a complete overhaul, design plays a huge part in the packaging and enhancing of client-supplied content. We'll explore that part of the Maestro difference in a separate blog post.

Interested in learning more about Zip Course?

We don't blame you, $5,000 for a new course if pretty awesome.

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