5 Ways To Determine eLearning ROI

5 Ways To Determine eLearning ROI
Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock.com
Summary: You want to give your corporate learners the online training resources they need to accomplish their goals. But at what cost? Are your current online training initiatives really worth the investment? In this article, I'll explore 5 ways to determine the eLearning ROI.

How To Determine eLearning ROI

The ultimate litmus test for online training is to gauge whether the results justify the financial risk. Developing and deploying an online training program, even corporate eLearning projects with a smaller scope, is a significant investment. But no matter how you define success, online training courses are only worthwhile if they broaden your profit margin. Here are 5 tips to help you determine the Return On Investment of your online training initiatives.

1. LMS Metrics

LMS reports and analytics give you a comprehensive overview of your entire online training program. You can see how corporate learners are progressing. You can also track their certifications and compliance knowledge with the help of a suitable LMS and gather eLearning feedback that helps you continually improve your online training strategy. However, LMS metrics also allow you to determine the true eLearning ROI. For instance, your negotiation sales online training module has low participation rates. Corporate learners aren't connecting with the online training content or apply their knowledge in the workplace. As such, this online training module isn't holding up its end of the bargain. It's draining valuable resources instead of returning on the investment. Through the power of LMS metrics, you can identify which individual elements are worth the cost, and which may need to be removed or re-evaluated.

2. Real-World Application

Measuring eLearning data is one way to determine the Return On Investment. However, qualitative analysis is also essential. In other words, how well are your corporate learners able to apply the knowledge they've learned in a real-world environment? A successful online training course facilitates knowledge retention and assimilation. Corporate learners have the online training resources they need to put their skills into practice and achieve their goals. This is what makes your online training initiative worth the investment. Otherwise, corporate learners are simply accruing knowledge for the sake of learning. One of the best ways to evaluate real-world application is online training simulations and scenarios. Luckily, modern eLearning authoring tools offer you the chance to create branching scenarios and assess your audience and their performance. Corporate learners must use all of their experience and the know-how to venture down decision paths and reach the desired outcome, while at the same time you have the power to monitor every action using your LMS platform. After you have the results, you can determine whether the online training course is addressing performance and skill gaps, or it is falling short of expectations.

3. Online Training Seat Time

Time spent on online training could be spent otherwise, such as on making sales or helping customers. In corporate environments, you're paying for these online training sessions. As a result, the online training is taking a bite out of your budget and is negatively impacting your profits. Therefore, the less seat time the better. Especially if you have an effective online training program that bridges performance and skill gaps. The seat time should also be weighed against the benefits it achieves. For instance, an employee may spend half an hour training each week. In return, their online training allows them to improve their sales figures.

4. Learner Satisfaction

A happy learner who gets all the information they need is a satisfied learner who keeps coming back for more. If you're taking the eLearning eCommerce route, this equates to repeat business and lifelong learners. However, learner satisfaction also plays a vital role. For example, corporate learners are more likely to engage with the online training course if it is custom tailored to their needs. Thus, they get more from the online training experience and are able to use their knowledge in the real world. Satisfaction ratings help you determine Return On Investment by getting the corporate learners' perspective. Negative opinions indicate that your online training course may need fine-tuning in order to improve ROI. Likewise, favorable results from surveys and polls usually mean that it's worth the investment. In essence, this eLearning ROI technique considers the all-important human factor.

5. Cost Vs. Outcome

One of the most direct ways to determine your eLearning ROI is to measure the costs versus the outcomes. You've invested a certain amount of money and time into your online training initiatives. But have they achieved their goals? In order to answer this question, you must develop evaluation criteria beforehand. How will you measure success? How long should it take for the online training to go into effect? For example, you expect to see results within the next business quarter. You must also be specific about the desired outcomes. Include percentages, exact sales figures, and other measurable goals. This gives you the ability to calculate all of the costs involved in developing and deploying the online training course. Be sure to calculate all associated fees, so that you get an accurate picture. Then, you can put those expenses on one side of the scale, and the benefits on the other.

Piecing it all together, each of these ROI techniques are a piece of the puzzle. They reveal certain inefficiencies in your online training strategy and help you identify elements that aren't pulling their own weight. Thus, in order to get the complete picture, you might consider using all of them to determine your eLearning ROI. For example, learner satisfaction ratings give you a clear indication of how your corporate learners think and feel about their online training. But you need to know how they're interacting with the online training course and how long it takes to complete in order to gauge your Return On Investment. You may want to develop a plan of action when it comes to calculating your ROI, such as delegating these techniques to your team, and then compiling all of the data to create measurable goals.

Is your current online training program yielding a significant return? Or do you need to re-evaluate your online training strategy in order to get more from your training dollar? Use this article to calculate your eLearning ROI, so that you can create more effective and cost-efficient online training courses.

Are you an eLearning professional looking to develop exceptional online training content? Request your free trial for Adobe’s stellar Captivate authoring tool, and craft content beyond imagination. Also, don’t forget to ask for the Adobe's Captivate Prime Demo to witness the experience of one of the best Learning Management Systems in the market.