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Measuring E-Learning ROI

Investment in any project, whether it be capital, time or resources, will be sanctioned based on the likelihood of successful delivery and whether achieving the project objectives will result in a return on investment (ROI). Measuring this and demonstrating the effectiveness of mechanisms for doing so is a challenge and one that has seen many an investor turn their back on a project. Looking at it as simply as possible, promoting and, more importantly, convincing stakeholders of the value of your project to their organisation is key to providing the necessary reassurance over ROI. Delivering an e-learning programme is a project like any other, so here are three things to consider that will help you promote its value to your organisation and determine the ROI:

  • Customer Satisfaction Is the Key to Success

    It sounds obvious but a project cannot be considered a success unless the customer is left satisfied upon its conclusion. This is undeniably true for e-learning projects, so the assumption should be that the customers (your learners) know what they want. If you do what you agree to do and the customer is happy at the end of it, you have your ROI.


  • Make a detailed agreement on deliverables

    - To avoid misinterpretation, always set expectations that are clear on both sides and measures of success.

  • Establish a realistic timeline

    - A fuzzy timeline often goes hand in hand with fuzzy expectations. This can lead to an underwhelming end result, which ultimately leads to an unhappy customer. Set a clear timeline and work to meet it or beat it.

  • Conduct a post project debrief with your client

    - This is vital for measuring their level of satisfaction and should be done as soon as the project has finished. This will give you more accurate feedback that will help you understand what went well and what to improve for the next project.

  • Align Course Outcomes to Measurable Goals

    -A common challenge facing e-learning courses is establishing a definitive link to real performance goals. In your mind they might be of immense value to your organisation, but to onlookers it’s not always clear how. For this reason it’s imperative for your course to have a performance focus.


  • Find a useable metric

    - Finding one might be difficult but there’s always one you can use.

  • Make it meaningful

    - Ensure that any metrics you use will be considered meaningful by those you need to convince of your course’s value.

  • Take on the role of performance consultant

    - Such an approach will better equip you to help your clients focus on the right things.

  • Lower Production Costs

    -Access to the metrics that measure success is not always universally available, and even if it is, sometimes trying to prove your ROI becomes too costly. Instead of focusing on what you can’t control, divert your attention to what you can, such as your production time and the resources needed to create your course. Demonstrating that your course is a cost-effective solution that meets the organisation’s needs is a powerful ability.

  • Calculate the cost of your courses

    - The figure doesn’t need to be to the penny, but it’s important to have a number because it will tell you what you cost the organisation and enable you to prove your value.

  • Benchmark your courses

    - Work out where you fit in comparison with the cost of competing courses at both ends of the market. When budgets are tight, training is usually an early casualty of cuts, so you need to demonstrate that your e-learning course is cost-effective.

  • Cut production costs

    - Making a commitment to cutting production costs by an achievable amount is a relatively easy way to implement one of your performance goals. It will save money and optimise team efficiency.

Achieving competency in these areas will go a long way to demonstrating the value that is so important when it comes to determining ROI. Looking at e-learning project delivery through the eyes of an accredited project manager is not easy, but with the help of ILX Group you will start to understand how the consistent application of best practice project management standards can help you deliver e-learning programmes that answer the value question.