Return on investment (ROI), as far as this financial concept is concerned, is the difference between the gain which we get from the investment less the cost of the investment, which means the net gains divided by the cost of investment. Let us go to the method of calculation of the ROI, as far as training is concerned.
Calculating the return on investment for training involves four steps:
Collect Information – Gains and Costs
The first step concerns collecting information on the benefits gained and the costs incurred. Now, calculating the costs of a training program is pretty simple and straight forward, which we had discussed in the earlier blog post.
“Isolate” the results of training
The next step is to isolate the benefits which you get from training from the benefits you get from some other inputs. This means you have to put a percentage on training’s contribution. This can be a challenging step. It is not as simple as straightaway apportioning the benefits of the training to results.
Now, the best way to do this it to use a “CONTROL” group and a “TEST “group. The CONTROL” group is not put through training but the TEST group is. ALL other factors are kept constant. Whatever results accrue from the training group or the experimental group can be directly attributable to training.
The question then arises: How far is it practical to have control groups and explanatory groups in an organizational context?
Well, in a research organization or in a laboratory, this is how it is done and you will get pretty valid results when you have a control group. But as far as we are concerned, in a dynamic organizational context I don’t think it is practical to have a control group for each and every training program unless the program is of pretty high visibility and high investment. Then, it makes sense to do such an evaluation and isolation. We would like to do this especially when we want to scale it up across the organization and you would like to first see the pilot and the kind of results you get out of it.
In case you are not able to use the control group and the explanatory group method, you must measure the impact based on the estimates given by the participant supervisors, managers and the experts through questionnaires.
The questionnaire will ask them what they think is the percentage of contribution of training in the result they achieve? For example, if there is an increase in Sales, we ask the supervisors what they think the percentage of increase in sales is and whether they attribute it to the training which the sales people have undergone.
Likewise, we ask senior managers, participants and so-called industry experts or internal experts. You’ll immediately realize that there is a fair degree of subjectivity in this kind of estimate. Somebody may say its 25%, or 50% or even 60%, so it’s anybody’s assessment of how much that kind of impact is worth. So, isolating the results of training, as you can see, is not simple.
Put money value on gains
Once that is done, being able to monetize gains is pretty simple and straightforward because your finance and accounts will be able to give you the monetary value on the gains.
And then it is a straightforward application of the formula of ROI. So, you just take the gains subtracted from the investment you made or the cost and divided by the cost of investment to get the percentage. This is your Return on Investment.
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Day-by-day, the demand for rapid e-learning is increasing, and so, everyone is using rapid authoring tools to develop online courses. There are many authoring tools available in the market but a few became very popular. Most of our customers and prospects prefer Articulate Storyline to other rapid authoring tools such as Captivate and Lectora. Developing courses in Storyline is very easy, and the tool offers a lot of flexibility to customize the features or look and feel of the online course.
When it comes to mobile learning, HTML5 with responsive design is required to provide the best learning experience on mobiles, especially on smart-phones with small screens. Courses developed in Storyline and Lectora work fine on mobile devices such as iPads and other tablets, but it is difficult to view them in smart-phones. Captivate has a responsive design feature. So, we must choose it if we need to develop courses for all mobile devices. Captivate is not very intuitive and flexible to develop customized features. We can also build mobile- compatible courses using manual coding but it is time-consuming and expensive.
Recently, I read the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design” and in it, I saw the great news for which I was waiting for a while. I thought I should share it with you all. The developers of Articulate Storyline, Lectora Inspire, Lectora Online and other authoring tools are in the process of adding responsive design feature by the end of 2015.
Here is some information from the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design”.
|Scales to multiple screen sizes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Responsive design features||Coming by end of 2015||Yes||Coming by end of 2015|
2016 will be a watershed year for mobile learning as all courses may be made compatible to all mobile devices. Storyline may become the first choice to develop e-learning or m-learning courses because of its intuitiveness. This may force all learning management systems to be compatible with mobile devices. MOODLE is ahead in this regard, and it has a responsive design feature and works on all the mobile devices.
Hope you find this post useful. Do share your views.
Despite today’s technology and a connected world, classroom training is still an effective method to impart training to all employees. But, instructor-led teaching may not be appropriate for all training needs. Suppose there is a requirement for an organisation to train its employees spread across the globe, on a particular product, in a month’s time, classroom training will not serve the purpose. Here, e-learning serves as a good option to train employees, at comparatively lower costs, within a given schedule. Due to improvements in reliability and speed, converting classroom training materials into online courses has become a justified and cost-effective opportunity.
In my previous blogs, I have discussed about the importance of instructional design strategy and visual design strategy, the two main elements of e-learning in terms of design approach. In this blog, I will discuss about the significance of audio and audio strategy.
Every organization has to follow a set of laws which govern their sector in the country they operate. So, it needs to ensure that the employees are effectively trained on these rules to avoid compliance issues. Traditionally, this was done through face-to-face training in an engaging manner. But, with organizations expanding globally and the need for constant training, companies started using e-learning to quickly reach their global employees.
E-Learning is gradually replacing the classroom training format, worldwide. 41.7 % of fortune 500 companies are using e-learning tools for online training (E-learning Magazine 2013).
Online courses need to be engaging and interactive because they are self-paced i.e. an instructor is not present to deliver the courses.
Content comprehension is an important step in the e-learning development process. It broadly includes identification of relevant content and its separation from irrelevant content and arranging it in a proper manner. It enables instructional designers (IDs) to ensure that topics ‘flow’ in a logical sequence. It also helps IDs to find gaps in the content. If performed effectively, it will help you understand the subject-matter of the course better, and you will be able to present the content in an easily understandable manner.
IPad – a device that has revolutionized the corporate world. According to the Mac Observer, 94% of Fortune 500 companies are either testing or using this device from Apple. The widespread usage of iPads has resulted in the opening of new vistas in online training. No longer were learners required to carry “heavy” laptops or remain confined to their desks. People could conveniently go through online courses on these devices. Indeed, these devices have truly made learning anytime, anywhere.
When it comes to training, most organizations have a need for product training. Be it manufacturing, pharmaceutical, electronics or finance, product training needs to be imparted by companies in all industries. So, how does one cater to a single form of training for such different segments? In this post, we will look at a few effective e-learning design strategies that are best suited for product training across various industries.
Curriculum-based courses are very much in demand today. Organizations prefer curriculum-based courses to stand-alone courses. Curriculum courses cater to a long running training program that usually runs for a period of two to three months. It is a course that has several modules which instruct on a particular subject in-depth. From the learner’s perspective, these modules would be easy to grasp and understand. They can be bite-sized modules that are easily accessible by the learners, anywhere, anytime, as per their convenience. Since all the modules of a curriculum are inter-related to each other, it is a tough task to develop such modules effectively.
Ask Compliance managers what they expect from a good online compliance course, and all of them will say, “It should make our employees adhere to rules and policies.”
Most of the companies provide compliance training through e-learning, and often, these courses have high dropout rates. Poor instructional strategies are one of the main reasons for this problem.