The choice between self-developing or having it developed depends on:
- Available software, tools and equipment
- Available resources (budget, people and time)
- Complexity of the learning objects
- Personal experience with the tools and the development of (e-) learning objects
- Scope of the project (size of the target group, duration of the course)
First, you take into account what is available in your area. This not only concerns a possibly available (sometimes mandatory) digital learning environment (see below) with its own tools, but also your organization might have purchased (commercial) licenses for specific software applications, or you have specific equipment (eg. a professional video camera). If you do not see clearly what is available, this can be a good reason to have it developed externally or to seek further guidance at the start.
Of course you will also need to consider your available resources (money, people and time). If you are going to develop yourself, certainly provide for the the time needed. In practice, this is often still the most hindering factor in order to achieve success. Keep in mind that you will need to work thematically when you have it developed externally, and that you should allocate extra time for steering, tracking, testing, approvng, etc.
The complexity of the learning objects is often a compelling reason to go external. Simulations and games are typical examples of complex learning objects which are difficult to develop yourself.
The lack of experience with the tools and the development of (e-) learning objects will often be an important reason to not get started on your own. In general, you can assume that developing good learning objects is a skill, which must be learned by long practice. But that does not mean that only professional content developers have a role in the development process. If you have the time and the resources, you might as well gain experience yourself. Step by step, start small-scale. To be clear: if we talk about experience, we mean experience in developing e-learning objects or in the use of specific tools. Your pedagogical content knowledge is in no way questioned!
Finally, the scope of the project plays a role. In case of a limited group of participants and a short study time, you as a beginner can try everything yourself. For larger groups and for longer periods of time it is you usually better to turn to a professional content developer.