eLearning can be classed as any instruction that uses digital technology as a way to distribute and deliver educational content to participants. Many organisations are incorporating online learning into their learning and development plans due to the cost and efficiency benefits that it brings.
Using an eLearning platform in your organisation can deliver significant benefits, discussed here:
1. Cost savings.
One of the key factors in every organisation when delivering training is cost implications. Whether you are conducting annual health and safety courses, monthly induction training programmes, or providing a regular training service, the costs in which you do so all have an impact on your bottom line.
Delivering your learning online will, more often than not, completely eradicate many of the costs associated with face to face training, including:
- Equipment provision
- Room hire
- Printing course materials.
The savings are even more prominent when a workforce is spread across the country, or the world!
You can also commonly experience a marginal cost of delivery – no matter the number of trainees you have (be it 10 or 100, the delivery cost stays pretty much the same).
2. Speed and consistency.
The speed at which training can be rolled out is much quicker than face-to-face courses as there is no reliance on classroom or trainer availability. In addition, it’s viable to provide bite-sized “just in time” updates that wouldn’t be practical with traditional methods.
Time savings can be due to reduced travel time and less time needed at the start and finish of the training, but, most crucially, time savings can be made from the self-paced environment that eLearning brings, enabling learners to access learning at a time convenient to them.
Research from eLearning market research company, Brandon-Hall, indicates that eLearning reduces the actual learning time by at least 40-60% (when compared to traditional classroom learning) – another benefit of indirect cost savings.
Online learning provides opportunities for a rich learning experience that can include video, interactive elements and assessments to help you check understanding. Depending upon your needs you can also incorporate social elements such as discussions and surveys too. A study into the comparison between online learning and face to face training from Brandon Hall (2001) found that there was:
- A better attitude towards the eLearning format
- Improved scores on tests and certifications
- An increase in learner numbers who achieved ‘mastery level’ or ‘pass exams’
- A greater ability to apply new knowledge and processes on the job
- A better long-term retention of information – Retention increased by between 25-60% with learners remembering much more of the course content.
The increase in efficiency of training online may also be down to the quality of content. By maintaining one training platform and content in one core location consistent delivery to all learners is assured. What’s more, content can be kept up-to-date easily as and when required – without needing to reprint training material when it becomes out of date. Content can also be customised to specific groups if required.
3. Increased profit and ROI.
Many organisations see improved profitability since implementing its online learning platform – due to the increased efficiency of the learning delivery.
For example, profitability may be seen from increased sales due to an efficient online sales training programme, or improved customer retention from a highly effective customer service course.
The following examples have been recorded by eLearning platform provider, Totara:
- UK hotel chain increased staff retention by 38% in year one of use, with use of Totara LMS as a platform from which to launch brand values and to focus and streamline onboarding delivery;
- International electronics brand increased course completions by 181% in the first month of use of Totara LMS;
- Healthcare provider improved compliance training rates by 50% releasing considerable amounts of time for front line service and back office administration;
- Local Authority reduced the cost of training delivery by 80% to its 5,800 users (including partners not on the corporate network) through providing a central point of online training across large geographical area;
- A professional association and trade union saved over £100,000 compared with a comparable proprietary system’s license at the same time as increasing access and consolidating previously disparate systems through customization;
- Pension fund manager saved 50% in operational costs with targeted, blended learning and achieved full, 100% compliance of mandatory training for financial consultants.
4. Environmental impact.
Should you need any more reasons to consider delivering your training online, there is also the environmental aspect that you can be proud of. The reduction in travelling requirements, coupled with the fewer materials needing to be printed are a great way to further reduce your carbon footprint. What’s not to love?!
We appreciate that there may be occasions that you feel your learners will benefit from the face to face experience. Many great eLearning platforms, such as Moodle and Totara LMS, allow for a blended learning approach so you can create a mixture of online and face to face training programmes as you wish.
Need help implementing eLearning in your organisation? Get in touch with our experts on 0330 660 1111 or contact us here.