Elearning Development: Estimation of an eLearning course creation

Elearning Development: Estimate it Right

Elearning is on the rise now, and according to the latest projections, the value of the eLearning market will exceed $336B by 2026.

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Marketing Specialist, Raccoon Gang

Daria is the e-learning enthusiast with 6+ years of experience in Marketing. Holding the position of Digital Marketing Specialist at RG she explores trends and innovations in education.

Elearning Development: Estimate it Right

These astonishing numbers and overall industry profits generate many questions from those who want to join it with their online courses. The most common ones are how to make your eLearning project and estimate its cost.

The most common questions to those who want to enroll in the eLearning market are creating an online course platform and how much it costs to create an online course.

The answers to these questions depend on many factors that are intertwined. In this article, we’ll try to unravel this tangle to help you determine what affects the final price of eLearning development and the approximate cost of individual development elements. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Ideation Stage

Elearning development is pointless without a proper ideation stage. The ideation stage is the first stage in the development of any course, and it’s the basis for your further decisions and pricing. Without a well-thought-out idea, you run the risk of adding many incoherent elements to your course that will take development time, your funds, and which may not be needed.

To accurately determine the purpose of your course and what elements you need to carry into it, you must know the answers to the following questions:

  • What is your target audience? What content should be added to the course directly depends on your audience’s level of training and knowledge?

  • What audience problems do you want to solve with your course? If you don’t correctly identify your audience’s issues, they won’t see any value in your course.

  • What benefits will the course bring to the learners? Here you must determine what specific knowledge your audience will receive and how they can apply it in practice.

  • What metrics are needed to understand that the course is working? The name speaks for itself. Without proper metrics, you’ll be in the dark about the success of your course.

Clear and detailed answers to these questions will help you shape the future course content. You will immediately understand whether it’s worth adding various interactions, gamification elements, video materials, voice acting, and much more.

When you find all the answers, it’s time to pick your course type.

Types of Online Courses

We can highlight three types of online courses, which can also be called “levels”. Each level differs from the previous in terms of goals and overall complexity. It’s another price-driving factor since the higher level you want to choose, the higher the eLearning development cost will be.

Level #1 or Basic Level

This level includes the most basic courses in slides with text, images, and slide navigation buttons. Sometimes there may be simple questionnaires with one answer option. Such courses are the simplest and cheapest in production since all you need to worry about is the text, its structure, and images that complement the learning material.

However, in a place with simplicity, one drawback comes out. These courses are only suitable for simple informing, and if you want something more, this option is clearly not your choice.

Level #2 or Interactive Level

You’ll notice the differences at the second level of eLearning development since such courses have noticeably higher interactivity, and their complexity is also higher. Such courses often include video materials, a voiceover of the text part, more varied questionnaires, and interactive drag-and-drop tasks.

This learning scheme ideally helps learners assimilate knowledge and apply this knowledge in practice. However, working out a more diverse functionality will take time.

Level #3 or Advanced Level

The final level is the most complex and expensive to develop. The main motto of such courses is “Minimum theory – maximum practice.” This result is achieved by introducing a complex system of scripts that provide a personalized learning experience and advanced gamification elements like digital badges.

Duolingo gamification example

Elearning Development Components and Their Cost

It’s time to talk about the most exciting part. It doesn’t matter what type of eLearning course you want to make since you’ll face the following elements that shape your final eLearning development costs.

First of all, to give you some context, let’s talk about the main formula of eLearning course development. Usually, it looks like this:

formula of eLearning course development

In addition to the above factors, licensing of eLearning development tools affects the price. All eLearning tools have different tariff plans, and this should be taken into account when you’re forming a budget for developing an online course. Here are the most popular tools and their prices.

Authoring tool Prices

Authoring tool Price
Adobe Captivate Individual Subscription US $33.99/month
Perpetual License Price US $1299
Student Teacher Edition US $399
Upgrade Price US $499
iSpring Suite iSpring Suite Max $970 per author/year
Lectora Silver Suite $899/year
Gold Suite $1,299/year
Platinum Suite $1,599/year
Easygenerator Single Pro license €990/year or €99/month
Team plan (5 authors) €4.950
dominKnow Solo $997/year per author
Team (2 to 4 authors) $1497/year per author
Business plan (5+ authors) $2497/year per author

Let’s talk about the main components of eLearning development and their price.


The scenario is the heart of the eLearning course development. A team of curriculum development specialists often creates high-quality scenarios. Thanks to such team interaction, various pedagogical and psychological teaching principles are laid in the scenario, making the course text entertaining and educational.

Note: The following estimates are APPROXIMATE and based on Chapman Alliance research.

eLearning level Scenario creation time (in hours) for 1 hour of completed eLearning Price
Level 1 09.03 $1,149
Level 2 20.88 $2,108
Level 3 53.22 $5,471


The definition of design in eLearning development is broad and can be confusing at first. These are graphic elements, images, color schemes, fonts, and other elements that affect the overall perception of the course. Designers create beautiful and informative images, various graphs, statistical charts and highlight key points in the text that should be paid attention to.

eLearning level Design time (in hours) for 1 hour of completed eLearning Price
Level 1 8.66 $1,102
Level 2 22.39 $2,261
Level 3 64.53 $6,633

Course Development

Once the text and design parts are done, the next step is course development. Elearning course developers create slides for the course from scratch, work out the navigation between them, add various buttons, interactive elements, questionnaires, quizzes, and much more. This stage turns paper learning materials and design choices into a working product in a nutshell.

eLearning level Development time (in hours) for 1 hour of completed eLearning Price
Level 1 13.42 $1,708
Level 2 32.20 $3,252
Level 3 86.39 $8,881

QA or Quality Assurance

This stage is also called a pilot run and is vital if you want to deliver a flawless course. Usually, this launch is carried out on a small test audience that takes the course, looks for errors, shortcomings, and actively works with the development team, giving feedback on improvements and fixes.

eLearning level QA time(in hours) for 1 hour of completed eLearning Price
Level 1 5.12 $651
Level 2 11.88 $1,200
Level 3 31.59 $3,239


Here we go to the territory of improving the perception of educational material and more advanced eLearning development. But no one forbids you to create the voice-over for your level-1 eLearning course, making it more digestible and unloading the slides from the text, allocating space for the images.

eLearning level Voice-over creation time (in hours) for 1 hour of completed eLearning Price
Level 1 5.47 $696
Level 2 11.59 $1,171
Level 3 26.61 $2,736

Video Materials

Video materials are the best way to visualize complex processes. Whether it’s working in various complex software, the process of disassembling a car engine, or describing a historical battle, all these topics are much easier to describe with the help of a video.

eLearning level Video production time (in hours) for 1 hour of completed eLearning Price
Level 1 3.49 $445
Level 2 11.29 $1,140
Level 3 30.46 $3,131

Wrapping Up

As you can see, eLearning development is a multistep process that involves the creation of many vital parts for the future online course. And each part adds its own bit to the final price tag. We’ve tried to unblur the approximate price of eLearning course development to make you more knowledgeable and prepared to make your own course. Still, if you have more questions about eLearning development costs or custom eLearning development, feel free to contact us and our representative will contact you as soon as possible to consult you.

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