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Seb Anthony

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Evaluating ROI of e-learning


I'd be grateful for your opinions as to how best the ROI on e-learning initiatives can be evaluated, as I'm writing my MBA project on this area and there seem to be widely varying views on this area!
Is it worth it? And if so, how do you best go about it?
Many thanks in advance!
John Nakielski

4 Responses

  1. Have a look

    An interesting and long asked question. TrainingZONE held a panel debate at this years Training Solutions Show around the issue of Adding Value (where ROI inevitably feeds in). Highlights of the debate can be found at .

    Also use the search tool at the top right of this page to look through the site. I recommend you put in ‘elearning’ and ‘ROI’ as a starting point. In particular the Any Answers section provides many links through to quite a few debates on this issue.

  2. Evaluating ROI of e-Learning
    There are really only two valid reasons for making any change to your current learning strategy:

    1) To Improve Effectiveness, i.e. the extent to which the intervention achieves its purpose as measured by:

    -the reactions of learners

    -the level and quantity of learning achieved

    -the behaviour change that takes place as a result

    -the effect on related performance indicators.

    2) To Improve Efficiency, i.e reduce the scale of resources used to deliver a successful solution as indicated by:

    -the cost of developing and delivering the solution

    -the time taken to develop and deliver the solution

    -the number of people and the resources required to deliver the solution.

    There are four key indicators to consider when building your business case and projecting return on investment (ROI):

    -The cost of the learning interventions

    -Any income received from from external customers and agencies or by internal cross-charging

    -The time efficiency of education and training, in terms of its effect on cost

    -Any performance changes arising as a result of education and training.

    The relationship between the indicators is best expressed as a measure of the monetary benefits obtained by an organisation over a specified time period in return for a given investment in a learning intervention.

    This is a huge subject so feel free to get in touch if you need more detailed information or advice.

    Best wishes

  3. Where does efficiency come from
    I agree with Adrian Snook’s thorough comments. I would like to add two things around efficiency.

    eLearning can do things that other methods of training can’t do – simplistically, tracking and testing and ensuring learning has been completed and taken on – more effective than merely logging course attendance. On a mopre complex level, games and simulations can engage learners for whom the traditional classroom is a turn-off.
    The other efficiency rating is in time to deploy. The sheer logistics of organising a course around busy people’s diaries often means that new procedures, induction and other “drip-fed” training programmes for a large audience are delayed long after their optimum effectiveness for some individuals. e-learning can speed that process up – so long as the programme has been commissioned to coincide with the launch of the new procedure!!


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