A recent 2022 study by Deakin showed that “every $1 invested in L&D per employee is associated with an additional $4.70 in business revenue per employee on average.” That’s tremendous ROI. Part of this L&D investment will be online learning or eLearning since eLearning is still preferred as lots of work continue to be remote. How do you make sure you realise positive eLearning ROI in your company?
What is eLearning ROI?
Before we talk about eLearning ROI, we need to clarify what ROI even means.
ROI or return on investment is defined as a performance measure that is used to assess or evaluate how efficient or profitable an investment is. A positive ROI means we gained more than we spent. A negative ROI is its opposite.
Any business can invest and gain value in many different ways like:
- Investing in the financial market
- Investing in product development
- Investing in technology
- Investing in learning & development (L&D)
Investing in eLearning is essentially an investment in technology and L&D. eLearning ROI then obviously refers to how efficient and profitable those eLearning-related investments were.
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Investing in eLearning becomes inevitable
eLearning was once a niche product– a small, experimental slice of the L&D budget. As of 2021, the valuation of the eLearning market surpassed AUD 444 billion. We see this continue to grow in 2022. It is clear to see why.
- eLearning is a practical, modern, and convenient alternative to in-class learning
- eLearning ROI is quite significant, because they tend to cost less than traditional learning methods, allow for scale, and offer the same if not better results than traditional seminars or training
- Revenue in the e-learning sector increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Corporate organisations are implementing work-from-home policies to carry out everyday operational tasks in response to the growing employee safety concerns.
- It is consistent with familiar consumer behaviours developed in recent years: video streaming, social media, and online gaming, among others
It is then increasingly likely that your business, department, or team will allocate more resources to eLearning projects in the foreseeable future. Now, ensuring good eLearning ROI is achieved may be complicated, which is why we’ve put together four tips to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Four guidelines to maximise ROI
First, analyse your business needs and end goals. For example, corporate training and academic learning are vastly different and require unique features.
Corporate L&D could have eLearning projects like:
- Onboarding courses
- Regulatory compliance courses
- Process training
- Sales training
- Customer support training
- Special skills courses
- Consumer education
- Product demos
- Tools walkthrough
- …and more!
As there is such a wide choice of eLearning providers, many will offer unhelpful and unnecessary features for your business model. Consequently, it is vital to recognise what you wish to achieve with your chosen eLearning partner.
Now ideally, you don’t go to a new eLearning supplier for each single project. That would be exhausting. At the same time, you don’t want to be stuck with an eLearning provider that can only do some –but not all– of these ideas.
How It Impacts ROI
You want to find an eLearning provider that is capable of customising the product to all your needs. List down everything you’re doing and are intending to do and see how many in the list can your prospective eLearning supplier cover. The key is to find one eLearning provider you can rely on and develop a long-time partnership with.
Doing this lowers down your costs down the line doing procurement, accreditation, proposal-making, deliberations, and everything else in between. Project turnaround is faster because briefings and feedback are streamlined, and overall productivity improves due to the relationship built.
By this point, you have likely spent hours tirelessly searching through the hundreds of providers available. Reviews and ratings can help you create a shortlist that will allow you to compare compatibility more effectively and whether they meet your needs.
At Strawberry Solutions, we work with many different eLearning providers, implementing the best solutions for our clients. Other than individual business needs, there are some overall essential qualities that your eLearning platform should have. These are:
eLearning Platform Criteria Checklist
- User-friendly and intuitive learner interface.
- Responsive design.
- Variety in learning resources.
- SCORM compliant.
- Automated learning journeys.
- Easy and effective administration and reporting.
- Authoring tools.
- Collaboration and social learning tools.
How It Impacts ROI
You want to work with an eLearning partner that is as engaged in the procurement process as you are in order to avoid unnecessary and unexpected costs, project delays, and major rework. You have to shortlist suppliers that are compatible with how your business, processes, and tools are setup.
This also means being able to communicate your expectations, your technology stack, the features of your platform to your prospective partners. In order to get positive eLearning ROI, it is important for clients and vendors to be on the same page even before pen hits paper.
BONUS! Recommended next reading:
Strawberry Solutions has also created a Definitive 6 Point Checklist for Choosing The Best eLearning Development Partner for You should you wish to know more about finding a suitable vendor for your next eLearning ROI – generating project.
List of needs? Done. List of compatible suppliers? Done. It is now time for you to review their business portfolio. A business portfolio is essentially a detailed compilation of samples from their past works that indicate:
- The nature of the challenge,
- The approaches taken,
- The tools utilised,
- The final output, and
- The results, whenever available
Doing so can give you a better idea of how well each eLearning provider produces its content and whether it will be a good choice for your business.
Most eLearning companies will offer a free trial or a reduced rate before you subscribe to a monthly or annual package. Investing some time into this opportunity can be the best way to get a feel for each provider and find the perfect eLearning platform.
How It Impacts ROI
To maximise your eLearning ROI, you need to be assured that the prospective partner has actual proof of work. This ensures that your investment will go to a reliable and capable supplier.
This also allows you to save time and resources on briefing and conceptualisation as you can simply point to a particular past execution as a peg and build from there. Without samples, you will have to dedicate hours just visualizing what you have in mind for the vendor to understand.
Celebration time! After all, the hard work and hours of researching and curating your chosen package, you should have found the perfect eLearning provider for your business at this point.
If you’re still looking for tips on how to build a successful eLearning platform, you can find them here.
Just one more thing, beyond the compatibility and competency, there are still some considerations you need to review before hitting the ground running:
eLearning Procurement Checklist
- Monthly or annual fees
- Rights and ownership policies
- Data policies
- User needs
- Support services
- Content and features
- eLearning solution
- Quality assurance
- Project timelines
- Performance metrics
How It Impacts ROI
Costs impact different resources: money, information, time, and people. The process of getting a project done is as important (sometimes even more) as the finished project. This means it is extremely important to find an eLearning partner that values your time, money, and people just as much you do. They will demonstrate this through detailed project management processes, quality specifications, and reassuring policies that put your best interests at the centre.
The ROI of eLearning: Final Word
Taken as a whole, eLearning impacts ROI in terms of costs due to the following reasons:
- Scalability. eLearning works regardless of scale. From an individual to thousands of learners, it can deliver results.
- Customizability. eLearning allows you to customize different experiences for different learners, all within the same project.
- Portability. No need to book actual conference rooms. Learners can consume eLearning content straight from their phone, tablet, or desktop
- Repeatability. Forgot what was said in the live seminar? eLearning allows learners to go back to their lessons exactly as they experienced them.
- Modularity. eLearning can be stackable. It can be module by module, lesson by lesson. No need to develop the entire training in one go. If you forget a module, you can easily add it to the journey.
- Measurability. It’s hard to track learner engagement in traditional learning. eLearning has analytics that can tell you what works and what doesn’t.
In terms of revenue, a custom-built eLearning course can be a new asset for your business, creating a new business stream apart from your core products and services (say, a fee-based or subscription-based course that your customers pay for).
At the end of the day, eLearning can have direct and indirect impacts on ROI for your business. It all boils down to what you’re looking for, the eLearning partner you’re working with, and how you use the final output to derive value.
We are Strawberry Solutions
As Australia’s leading eLearning authority, our LMS implementation experts can help you get the best possible ROI from eLearning and future-proof your business. Our rockstar team of educational specialists are ready to create entertaining education experiences that engage and help you train new skills in your students and staff.
Email us at email@example.com for a free consultation.