Much like everything else, the learning and development initiatives of enterprises across the globe have experienced a major shift owing to technological change. eLearning and mLearning have cemented their place in the enterprise of today. To determine the advantages of your eLearning program, adopters quote ease of learning, better learning outcomes, better knowledge retention, and consequent application and cost-effectiveness as some of the benefits. The eLearning market is growing steadily and, according to a report by Global Market Insights, is expected to exceed USD 200 billion by 2024.

All this is the good news. But, the industry despite its growth trajectory has a certain cause for concern. While we see reports of this upwards trend, other reports suggest that the average completion rate for MOOC’s averages out to a low 15%. The dropout rates for online learning also stand at 70% as against 15% of classroom training. Engagement rates are also perilously low, standing at 2 to 3%, in most cases.  These numbers make eLearning seem like an expensive distraction for enterprises. And yet, the market continues to grow.

To my mind, what this suggests is that while having an eLearning program and an LMS is a great mechanism to enable learning, to determine the advantages of your eLearning program is even more important. Here are a couple of things, I feel, organizations should pay close attention to when evaluating the success and effectiveness of their eLearning initiatives.

So, how do you determine the advantages of your eLearning program?

Engagement Rates

Measure what matters, and in this context, measuring engagement rates matters the most. Organizations need to evaluate the number of users signing up for the program, assess if the users are completing the training programs and identify the number of people who are dropping out. It is also crucial to identify at what point in their learning journey they are dropping off. Using detailed, data-backed insights helps in identifying these areas, assessing the learning gaps, and the user pain-points to take the measurable steps necessary to bridge this gap.

Assessment

While all eLearning modules have user assessment metrics in place, I suggest that when measuring the success of the program, evaluating the user activity versus performance is essential. User activity means considering all activities that are related to a user’s participation – the engagement metrics, the completion rates etc.

Performance measurement gauges the impact of the learning module and focuses on the users’ knowledge gain. Conducting regular assessments, having evaluations at the end of every module and having both low-level and high-level evaluation to capture the user’s reaction to the course helps in assessing the success level of eLearning programs. Using scenario-based tests that evaluate how an employee will apply the knowledge in the real world, and defining performance goals to measure learner success rates are also great ways to assess the degree of learning that has actually taken place.

For eg., employing the Kirkpatrick’s Model for post-training evaluation may be a good place to start to assess the effectiveness of an eLearning program. This method uses feedback, evaluation strategies, behavior changes, and data and analytics to judge the effectiveness of an eLearning program.

Behavioural Change

Is the shift from application to practice happening? Are the workers able to apply the knowledge they have gained during the training program in their real-world work environment? Are they being able to achieve the desired outcomes on completion of the program? Or is it that the workers feel obliged to take the course and they don’t really want to take the course? Do the learners feel satisfied with the knowledge acquired by them?

The objective of an eLearning program is to align learning outcomes with the business objectives. The program can be considered successful if the learners are able to achieve these objectives. Organizations should also have a defined timeline that they use to assess if the training has resulted in a direct impact on work; thus determining the benefits of eLearning. For example, after undergoing a sales training, the salespeople should be able to increase the number of closures. Retail training for customer service should translate into higher customer satisfaction. You get the idea.

ROI of eLearning

ROI of eLearning is also a metric that has to be considered when measuring the effectiveness of eLearning programs. The ROI of eLearning can be calculated by converting business gains to a monetary value and measuring that against the cost taken to develop the course and all other associated costs, including the time of the employees.  Did the course have an attributable impact on the bottom line? Did it improve business results? Has the performance of the participants improved? Is it showing a tangible productivity impact? If the eLearning module has been able to show a Return on Expectations, then it will demonstrate a Return on Investment.  However, for this, it is very important to clearly define the expectations of the stakeholders to ensure that the desired outcomes are achieved.

Finally, the users of the eLearning program are its best critics when determining the benefits of eLearning. Taking regular feedback, implementing changes to the program proactively to improve it, and identifying and implementing aspects that will make the program more meaningful to the learners is critical. And once a program delivers meaning to the learner, the outcomes will automatically show a positive trend, in this case, determine the advantages of your eLearning program and show the ROI of eLearning.

If you are looking to develop an eLearning program that is top in quality, makes a difference, and adds values to your learner’s path of developing important skills,drop us a mail at contactus@enyotalearning.com or click here to fill out a form and one of our experts will get in touch with you immediately. Let us help you determine the advantages of your eLearning program.

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“We need to bring learning to people instead of people to learning.” Elliot Masie, Masie Center

Let’s start by talking of some, truly staggering numbers. Technavio predicts that the global eLearning market will touch $31 billion by 2020. If GM insight is to be believed, that number is a significant underestimation – their own research puts this at $165 billion in 2015 and growing to $240 billion by 2023. The difference could be because the way eLearning is defined so let’s concentrate the focus a bit. Looking at self-paced eLearning alone, Ambient Insight estimated the market size to grow from about $32 billion in 2010 to $49 billion in 2015. Whichever way you look at it, this is a business that is expanding at pace. It’s logical to assume that the folks who consider eLearning, do so with a view to supplement or supplant their classroom learning. So how exactly does eLearning score over classroom learning?

The obvious advantage is the ability to become independent of geography, especially for organizations that have employees located across multiple locations or a significant number of employees on the field. The benefits are especially great when the learning must be applied to the employees, who are at work in remote locations.

An effective argument can be made that eLearning is more cost effective than classroom learning. You don’t need the classroom infrastructure and not quite as many trainers. The use of a variety of free resources and open source tools makes eLearning even more affordable. The cost advantage becomes even starker when you consider that with eLearning, a greater scale can be achieved – the cost is spread across many more learners.

With eLearning, you can maintain a uniform standard independent of the capabilities or biases of the trainers at each location. Everyone accesses the same course and the only variable is the learner.

This brings us to the learner, and this is where the greatest advantages may lie. A well-designed eLearning course is “learner-driven rather than instructor-driven”. For one, unlike in a scheduled classroom session, the learners can access the course when they want to, from wherever they want to – essentially “on demand”. In a time when everyone is busy and running on tight timelines, this is a tremendous benefit. This allows the learners to plan their learning based on their schedule rather than having to structure their schedule around the class.

The other great advantage is, the learners can access the elements of the course at their own pace. This “self-paced” mode allows them to spend time on individual elements based on their specific understanding. This is preferable over being forced to go at a speed decided by the instructor based on an assessment of the overall level of the cohort of learners.

Strange as it may seem, in this somewhat an impersonal online mode. It also usually follows that the individual learner comes into focus. There is a chance that for personality reasons or because of poor communication skills, an individual may be overshadowed in the classroom, especially a large one. This can be avoided in eLearning as the learner interacts with the course, the content and through that, with the instructor. This helps create a level playing field for all the learners.

Technology is advancing in all sectors, especially revolutionary changes in the consumer internet and mobility space. These are making life and work better for all of us daily. Going the eLearning way allows the organization to tap fully into the latest technological advances. Much has been written about how mLearning today is looking to leverage the considerable power of smartphones and mobile networks to spread even wider.  New technologies such as Big data, analytics, and artificial intelligence are being brought to bear to make training and learning highly personalized and relevant to each individual learner. This can only make learning more accessible, engaging, personalized and ultimately more effective.

Donna J. Abernathy said, “Online learning is not the next big thing, it is the now big thing.” We think this post lists several reasons just why that could be so.