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3 Strategies for Maximizing Return on eLearning Investment

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3 Strategies for Maximizing Return on eLearning Investment

As you all know, online learning saves time, cost and environment. It gives learners the flexibility of taking training everywhere, anytime and getting a certificate upon completion. Corporate training alone is a $200 billion industry.

If you still have not taken the advantage of eLearning or have started small but want to expand its reach, and get the best of your training budgets, here are three major strategies you can follow.

These are based on my 14 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies and also small companies that saved millions of training dollars and effectively imparted training to people online.

1. Think Curriculum

Curriculum is a series of eLearning nuggets of 10–15 minutes each. Each nugget has one or two learning outcomes. When you think curriculum, you can decide what portion of the entire curriculum can go as classroom training and what can go as online training.

  • Can divide the course into various levels – Basic, Intermediary and Advanced
  • Once you have the overall strategy for the course, you can quickly develop and launch modules rather than wait for the entire curriculum.
Benefits for the Training Manager Benefits to the Learners
Gives a holistic view to the course Gives a complete overview of the course and its depth
Can divide the course into various levels – Basic, Intermediary and Advanced Can estimate his/her level of competency and decide his/her learning path.
Once you have the overall strategy for the course, you can quickly develop and launch modules rather than wait for the entire curriculum. Easy to absorb and learn if the modules are small. Reinforcement and motivation on completing one module and getting pass marks.

2. Think Translations

Here are some statistics to demonstrate the importance of translation in training global workforce.

  • In 2011, Fortune 500 companies pulled an average of 40% of their revenues from non-domestic markets (Tully, 2012).
  • According to the Globalization and Localization Association and Common Sense Advisory, a translation/localization research firm, the market for eLearning translation was about US$ 250 million in 2008 and was estimated to double in three to five years (Farrell, 2008).
  • According to Wendy Farrell, (an E-learning consultant with Lionbridge, a large NASDAQ-listed company in the business of localization and translation, based in the USA), organizations achieve the same degree of learning effectiveness with multicultural audiences as with their domestic teams, by localization and translation of their English language eLearning courses (Farrell, 2008).
Benefits for the Training Manager Benefits to the Learners
Create a single course that is cultural neutral in English and translate into various languages to train global workforce. Give the learners an advantage of learning in their native language for better understanding.
Reduce the time on travel and SME time. Break the barrier of taking the course only in English.
Use of translation to comply with government regulations. Compliance and certification online

One of the manufacturing majors, who has a global workforce of 2 million people, launched a performance management course for managers and employees before beginning their performance appraisal cycle. Once they created the English version, they translated these courses in 10 different languages. All this happened in 12 weeks of development time. Now all the 2 million people are trained in one go! This saves times, cost and is very effective to the learner– the best ROI on the training investment.

3. Think Promotion

Most organizations spend millions of dollars on LMS and apparently spend about $20,000 – $30,000 in developing an eLearning course. But apparently nothing much is done to promote these courses. If you create a best product and don’t inform people about it, you go out of business. The same is the case with eLearning. If a course is not made mandatory, the completion rate of eLearning courses is not more than 20%. If you want to get the best return on your eLearning, promote it through your training portal, make a flyer or a small 2-min video trailer that talks about the importance of taking the course.

One of our clients, a multinational consumer goods company, promoted their “Procure to Pay” course worldwide through print ads in cafeteria, made a 2-min video, created desktop wallpapers and got 500 people taking the course in 15 days’ time. They also had a feedback mechanism through a forum where the learners could present their experiences after completing the course.

If you do integrate these three strategies into your overall training plan, you will see that you are getting great value for each training dollar spent. Please share your experience, if you had adopted these strategies in your organizations.

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