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4621 N Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
United States



NogginLabs was founded on the notion that custom e-learning design and development is the ultimate horizontal industry. Time and again, each new project, client, and industry proves it. The biggest advantage of the e-learning horizontal is cross-pollinating ideas from two wildly different domains. A restaurant service simulation for iPad may influence a high-fashion online retail challenge. E-learning for financial advisors in a bank could inspire a mobile outreach program for cancer survivors. This variety also keeps the creative folks at NogginLabs fresh. Fresh learning ideas and designs come from a set of constantly changing constraints.

Why should you build custom e-learning?


Why should you build custom e-learning?

Sara Jensen

You've probably heard all the reasons why you shouldn't build custom e-learning: it's time consuming, expensive, and a lot of work. So why does anyone bother? Here's NogginLabs' Founder, Brian Knudson, on the reasons why you should consider a custom e-learning solution.

Why would you ever build a custom e-learning course? Essentially folks come to us when they have something important to do. In the training space, when you have a situation where you want your employees to actually do something differently, you want them to experience something differently. Many clients come to us and say, “We frankly don't like e-learning.” To be honest, I don't like 99% of the learning that's in the marketplace right now. It's terrible.


You come to us when you want to change that. You build custom e-learning when you want something that is catered to your audience, catered to your content, is catered to you, and can roll out to your people in a unique way. In the old days, there was always a comparison between custom e-learning and off-the-shelf learning. That's unfortunately starting to come back, and really off-the-shelf e-learning, which is theoretically the polar opposite of custom e-learning, means it's already built. You're just buying a license. It's not catered to you.

The advantage, for a client, for something off the shelf is you don't have to do anything. You just have to give somebody some money, have access to the log-ins, and you're ready to go. It's very little effort. The disadvantage, of course, is that they're terrible and they don't work. All it's really going to give you is a check box in your performance review that says, "Yes I've rolled out training." It won't change your business. It's going to frustrate people, and it's going to give online learning a bad name.

On the custom side, it's effectively the opposite if it's done right. You go custom and it is something that gets people excited. It is something that can elicit change in your organization. We actually find that when people come to us, if they're not in that mindset, if they don't want to put the work in to work with us to create one of these courses, they're really not a good fit for custom e-learning and they really should point towards off the shelf or developing it themselves.