How to Measure the Value of E-learning

Academic and corporate executives will embrace e-learning software if they understand how it’s positioned to make the company more profitable rather than hurt the bottom line.

Key components of e-learning software include learning management systems (LMS) and learning content management systems (LCMS). In either case, businesses will incur short-term and long-term costs for the technology and content development.

But those expenses are just part of the picture when a team begins to measure the financial impact of e-learning. Some of the savings can be clearly seen. Other calculations may be more difficult to pinpoint, but they can be determined.

To make a case for e-learning software, you can start with the core costs of e-learning vs. traditional classroom settings. Start with the number of employees and training sessions over hours and days and then look at:

  • Travel costs (airfare, fuel, parking, luggage fees, taxis, tips, travel insurance, etc.)
  • Per diem (number of meals)
  • Trainer (internal instructors or consultants)
  • Materials

Typically, e-learning will win out across the board with these variables. But e-learning software ROI is rooted in much more.

Potential savings stems from time – not just the travel aspect. Often, students can learn (and retain) the web-based material in less time than in a conventional environment.  One reason is that e-learning objects support on demand, personalized learning. Customization, ongoing assessments and tracking are key benefits of e-learning software.

It’s worth noting that knowledge retention and time savings are notable factors for K-12 and higher education as well – not just the corporate world.

Organizations and businesses can take the added step of looking at opportunity and other costs.

How are sales likely to be affected if a sale rep devotes less time to pursuing new accounts or maximizing existing relationships?

What will the consequences be if a customer service rep is pulled away too long from his or her regular duties? Will the wait time increase for customers? How will that equate with satisfaction and loyalty?

In a health care environment, what will be the impact on patient care if training takes too long?

Any time saved with e-learning can have an enormous impact on profitability.

With many e-learning systems, schools, companies and organizations can achieve a positive ROI by how they manage the content – databasing, adapting and sharing information rather than constantly creating new material all of the time. Effective e-learning software manages that process.

Without e-learning software products, what are the costs of traditional instruction? How are you measuring that today?

How do the results stack up to what you can achieve when you incorporate e-learning into your training?