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Measuring the ROI of eLearning: A Guide for Businesses

Measuring the ROI of eLearning

Businesses care about ROI. ROI, or Return on Investment, measures performance and gauges the efficiency of an investment. When it comes to eLearning platforms, the case is no different.

What Is eLearning ROI?

eLearning ROI calculates the cost of developing and disseminating training programs on eLearning platforms against the benefits or value accrued. It provides a financial justification for the investment and evaluates the monetary advantages of delivering online/hybrid training programs.

When Should You Do It?

ROI is calculated when businesses are evaluating future investments or assessing the impact of their previous investments. eLearning ROI also must be calculated before implementing training programs on LMS but after developing a baseline to measure the impact and success of training programs through analytics, baseline reports, etc. It has to be calculated before and after course completion.

10 Steps to Understand eLearning ROI

1.Understanding the Benefits of eLearning
eLearning now allows enterprises to elevate skill sets and provide access to learning and development programs irrespective of location. It makes L&D immensely scalable, reduces training costs, and drives upskilling and reskilling programs by enabling anywhere, anytime learning.

2.Calculating the Return on Investment (ROI) of eLearning
eLearning ROI evaluation has less to do with how training was previously conducted and more about how to drive greater impact and cost-effectiveness. The formula is quite simple.

The formula is:


Benefits stand for the monetary value generated by a course or program Costs stand for the expenses involved in developing and implementing the program

3.Examining the Benefits of eLearning Compared to Traditional Classroom Training
As the new world of work is global and hybrid, eLearning becomes crucial to driving L&D initiatives. Traditional learning alone can no longer suffice as the need to roll out and disseminate powerful and impactful training and learning and development programs increase. eLearning emerges as a more cost-effective, scalable, and accessible platform to drive L&D initiatives and ensures greater completion rates. It lowers cognitive load as information is disseminated in bite-sized pieces. It also enables self-paced learning. These lead to better learning outcomes. eLearning also allows organizations to access trainers with specialized skills, irrespective of their location. It helps them power their upskilling and reskilling initiatives as well.

4.Analyzing the Financial Benefits of eLearning
eLearning allows organizations to create and disseminate learning content fast to take care of the development needs of their workforce.. It provides a central knowledge repository that hosts all learning content in a centralized location to help employees improve their learning outcomes and expand their knowledge.

eLearning also reduces cognitive load, allows organizations to fast track upskilling and reskilling initiatives and expand the competency of their workforce easily. Robust eLearning programs also elevate employee engagement and drive employee retention strategies. All these deliver significant financial gains to organizations.

5.Assessing the Quality of eLearning Programs
The quality of eLearning programs is directly proportional to the level of student achievement, student participation, instructor effectiveness, and course structure. Apart from this, the quality of eLearning programs must be based on access to resources, the presence of a centralized repository of information, and the capacity to create and implement learning and development programs with agility.

6.Identifying the Benefits of eLearning to Organizations
As hybrid work becomes a mainstay, eLearning is helping organizations meet the learning and development needs of their workforce. eLearning helps organizations close the skills gap, drive upskilling and reskilling initiatives and elevate employee performance. Apart from the significant cost benefits, eLearning also acts as a key driver of employee engagement as the drivers of engagement change.

7.Evaluating the Cost Savings of eLearning
Costs of development, delivery, and associated overheads such as communications costs and course design expenses can make technology-mediated delivery seem more expensive. However, a comprehensive and secure LMS platform makes it a cost-effective alternative as it eliminates trainer travel and accommodation costs. Enterprises also save costs as eLearning does not come at odds with employee productivity. Since time is not a barrier as eLearning enables anytime-anywhere learning, employees can access courses at their convenience, reducing downtime at work.

8.Understanding the Impact of eLearning on Employee Performance
eLearning systems that merely automate the process and management of teaching and delivering courses virtually do not offer much advantage as opposed to traditional learning. eLearning programs, however, do influence employee performance positively when the course content is contextual and bite-sized, making it easy to consume. The use of elements like gamification lowers the cognitive load and improves learning outcomes. Access to analytics provides insights into the efficacy of programs and provides clarity on key improvement areas. It also provides access to the best trainers and teachers since it is location-agnostic. These ensure better learning outcomes and elevated employee performance.

9.Exploring the Benefits of eLearning to Employees
eLearning allows employees to remain on the path of continuous learning. It allows them to enhance their skillsets and upskill/reskill themselves for better career outcomes. eLearning is flexible and provides the option to fit learning into busy schedules. Just-in-time accessibility provides employees with ongoing access to key resources. All these have a significant impact on employee productivity and employee engagement.

10.Comparing the ROI of eLearning to Other Training Methods
eLearning delivers a higher ROI when compared to other training methods, such as instructor-led classroom training. There is an average reduction in instructional time on activities such as instructor preparation, platform, learner “seat time,” and follow-up time. Learning gains can also be quantified through the measurement of KPIs and learner satisfaction ratings from post-training evaluation.

The Kirkpatrick’s Model

Developed in the 1950s, the Kirkpatrick model is employed by L&D professionals worldwide to accurately measure training effectiveness. This model has four levels of evaluation which are:

  • Level 1: Reaction
    Assesses the reaction level by measuring user feedback and evaluates the degree to which the learners found the course contextual, engaging, and important for their jobs.
  • Level 2: Learning
    Evaluates the degree of learning outcomes and assesses whether participants have acquired the knowledge, skills, and attitudes based on the program.
  • Level 3: Behaviors
    Evaluates whether training has introduced behavioral change and whether participants are actively applying their learnings at work.
  • Level 4: Results/Impact
    Evaluates the final results because learners participate in the training using methods such as Net Promoter Score etc.

Traditional eLearning ROI Calculations

Traditional eLearning ROI is the benefit (or return) of your investment divided by the cost (or investment). This measures the positive financial gain from the program against the costs spent on the program.

What to Take into Consideration While Calculating the Costs

The things to take into consideration when calculating costs are:

  • Personnel: The number of people to develop, deploy and implement eLearning programs.
  • eLearning Technology: The technology at work must not only be cost-effective but user-friendly, secure, and scalable to ensure faster training delivery and better training outcomes.
  • eLearning Content: The ease with which L&D teams can create and deploy training content, learning materials, and other knowledge resources.
  • Hidden Costs: The hidden costs, such as LMS training, user scaling, platform maintenance or technology upgrade, technical support costs, etc., for better ROI calculations.

Calculating the Return on Investment (ROI) of eLearning

This point has been covered in point no. 3 of 10 8 Steps to Understand eLearning ROI and then again in Point no 7 in 9 Ways to Measure the ROI Of Online Training. We have mentioned what to take into consideration when calculating costs as well.

9 Ways to Measure the ROI Of Online Training

Clearly defined KPIs help enterprises measure the effectiveness and help them calculate the ROI Of Online Training. The key parameters to define are:

  1. Learning Objectives
    Set clear learning goals and elaborate objectives, starting from ROI metrics and going up to the learners’ reactions.
  2. Creating a plan
    Build a data collection, a data analysis, and an ROI calculation plan to monitor the progress and measure success. The plan should also contain:
  3. Information about the objectives of the training
    Plan of how to achieve training objectives
    List of tools and the deadlines
    Stakeholder responsible for the implementation of each plan item
    Data Collection Before and After the Program
    Evaluate learner reactions to the content and assess acquired knowledge, application of acquired knowledge in practice, and the change impact.
  4. Calculate Direct Training Impact
    Isolate the training effect using controlled user groups, learners’ estimates, and supervisors’ and managers’ estimates of the program impact.
  5. Convert Results to Monetary Values
    Put a monetary value to each result, such as performance, time, and quality, connected with the training program to gauge the impact.
  6. Estimate Training Costs
    Create an estimate of training costs that include both direct and indirect expenses, such as the cost of LMS, instructor salaries, etc.
  7. Calculate ROI
    Calculate the ROI using the formula:

8.Identify Intangibles
Measure intangible benefits such as greater employee engagement, improved brand image amongst employees, more skilled resources, etc., along with monetary results.

9.Report Results
Create detailed reports to provide important information to key stakeholders. These include completion reports, case studies, brief articles, whitepapers, etc.

How Gyrus Helps in Ensuring Success of eLearning Initiatives

Gyrus offers a comprehensive, secure, and industry-compliant Learning Management Platform to eLearning businesses. Loaded with powerful features, GyrusAim LMS provides all the capabilities needed by modern-day enterprises. Robust certifications and assessments to build strong learning pathways, ease of content sharing, and learning resources in the form of e-learning videos, documents, and webinars create a specialized learning experience.

GyrusAim also enables mobile learning, enabling eLearning companies to disseminate programs in a device-agnostic manner. Partner training and reporting capabilities such as need analysis, gap analysis, competency rating, and other reports on learning programs and their outcomes make this a powerful platform to drive eLearning initiatives. Explore what businesses are saying about us here.

Most importantly, the GyrusAim allows third-party integrations and best-of-breed applications to integrate seamlessly with the existing LMS ecosystem. Schedule a demo today!


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