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Seb Anthony

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Benefits of Elearning for end users


Does anyone have any information about the benfits of elearning for the end users? I am trying to pull a list of benefits together to communciate within our company to improve the perception of the this method of learning. I have all the obvious benefits such as
*no costs and time travelling
*can complete at own pace
*can complete when and where convenient to you
but are there any others that might make people take this medium more seriously and not just see it as a cheap option?
I have heard mention that some research has proved an increase of 30% in knowledge retention from elearning, but cannot find any information about this.

Diane Snelling

5 Responses

  1. Data on E-learning
    For an up-to-date report on e-learning and retention rates take a look at the Thomson Job Impact Study (via

    I am sure you are going to be bombarded by suggestions, but some other promotional meeasges are:

    Just in time/just in case/just enough (the latter refering to the fact that you may only need to spend a few minutes in a course to learn the little bit you need to do.

    Always available for refresher training and to be used as an ongoing performance support tool.

    An ideal short term solution while waiting for a place on a traditional instructor-led training course.

    I would avoid any mention of cost effectiveness in terms of budget. I was horrified to see a case study in the press a week or so ago, where a proud statement was made that each course only cost 50p! Hmmm…not sure how I’d feel about that as a learner…short changed springs to mind! The key cost reduction to talk about is staff time…less time away from the office, so less work to catch up on and less time actually spent when training. You may care to mention that e-learning courses can save as much as 75% of the time it would take to deliver the same content in a classroom. An average time saving is between 30 and 50%.

    The crux to the time saving argument is to balance this with the improvement in returns from learning in a smarter manner. This should position the offering as an attractive option.

  2. Benefits for the end user or with the end user in mind?

    You have mentioned some of the more generic benefits for e-Learning. You could also add:

    Consistent message.
    Anytime anywhere

    A good resource for these is a book called “Exploring e-Learning” published by the Institute for Employment Studies” – ISBN: 1-85184-305-1.

    The issue is that these are still organisational benefits rather than ones for the individual. If you want benefits to the audience (and you will need to sell to them as well as the organisation) you can use:

    Flexibility – use the training when, where and for as long as they can.

    Reduced travel – this is a benefit for the audience as well as a cost saving to the organisation.

    Non Threatening – People can find group training sessions intimidating, especially if they are required to try out new skills.

    Fun – maybe enjoyable is more corporate. Enjoyable = memorable = recountable.




    In my opinion, it is in these elements that the true value to the audience can be found. Also, by addressing these issues you are more likely to achieve the organisational benefits as well.

    Roger Schank writes about FREEDOM criteria when reviewing e-Learning courses, you may find this helps as well.

    Feel free to contact me if you would like more information.

    Good luck.

  3. A word of caution.
    Diane. You could also look at where there are mountains of research papers, many excellent.

    However, there is e-learning and there is e-learning! To be successful, e-learning needs to have been produced by people who understand learning design. Sadly, this has been rarely the case. To be successful courses need to be moderated by tutors and supported by line managers. E-learning saves you nothing if the majority of those who sign up fail to complete. Phone me on 01453 860424 if you’d like to discuss strategy.

  4. e-Learning Proof
    Hello Diane,

    You can find a very good case study available from MindLeaders – entitled “Proof that e-Learning Works” This study demonstrates one of the most important benefits to the end user…Proof that they will learn if they put mind to it. The PDF is available at:
    on the bottom of the page.

  5. Retention, effort, and culture..
    The benefits of e-learning can go way beyond the “obvious” savings in travel costs. That said, e-learning covers a multitude of ills, and what is true in one instance may not apply in others.

    While behavior change is probably more meaningful, retention is a good indicator of how well course content is understood and assimilated. My company usually builds a retention testing system into courses we develop, which get learners to test retention 3 months after completing the course. Retention scores in online learners are usually much higher than for learners who took the same curriculum in classrooms. In one company we are now getting average retention scores in the low 90% range for e-learners in a general management course, compared with well under 50% for classroom learners.

    In other curricula that prepare professionals for an industry certification exam, 95% of our e-learners pass first time, compared with less than 70% of learners doing the same courses in a classroom.

    I am not sure that all of the variation is due to the medium – I suspect that those who really want to learn are more likely to opt for an e-learning course while those who are “doing the course” because they have to will opt for a classroom. It’s simply easier to cruise in a classroom.

    Which leads me to another benefit of e-learning: it can change your corporate learning culture. It makes people take active responsibility for their own development, instead of passively participating in someone else’s event. That’s one reason so many people kick against e-learning – online, there’s nowhere to hide.

    Yet another huge benefit from e-learning (if you structure your courses to create communities and communication) is a massive increase in knowledge flows, teamwork, and collaboration that is independent of geography and persists beyond the end of a course.

    Godfrey Parkin
    [email protected]


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