Evaluating online learning
HERE'S TWO WAYS to reduce costs whilst maintaining effectiveness and volume:
How many courses have you been on, or run, where you have to wonder 'what on earth is this person doing on this course?' Sometimes they already have a grasp of the content and are just attending because 'everyone has to'. Sometimes the content has no real relevance to their work and they are just taking the course out of interest or 'because it's there'. These people deliver no return on the investment. Training them is a waste of money.
But, I hear you saying, if we cut out these people, we're reducing volume, so we're not having our cake and eating it. True, but this is not volume that counts, it is not meeting an identified need. It's volume you should never have counted in the first place.
How is it possible to make sure that you're training the right people at the right time? Here's some ideas:
There are ways of making small cost savings, but if you are interested in a bumper cost reduction, try technology-based training (TBT). TBT can deliver substantial efficiencies, regardless of whether it is delivered from CD-ROM or online. Research has repeatedly shown that interactive, self-paced learning takes much less time to deliver than classroom methods - the saving could easily be more than 50%. There is a proviso - TBT must be appropriate to the learning objectives, otherwise you'll impact on effectiveness.
TBT can also make significant savings in delivery costs. Once designed and developed, TBT is extremely cheap to deliver. As the number of learners rises, TBT gets less and less expensive per learner, whereas classroom training, which takes much less time and effort to design, stays at much the same cost level.
As if that wasn't enough, TBT will also save you money in travel and subsistence costs. That's three cost savings in one!The effect of cheaper learning
Imagine that you could reduce your training effort down to a few simple figures. You train 500 people a year at a unit cost of £1000 and with a financial benefit to the organisation of £1200 a person. The return from this effort would be £200 x 500, or £100,000. If you could reduce costs by 20%, without affecting volume and effectiveness this would be the effect:
© Fastrak Consulting Ltd, 1999. All rights reserved. Last revised 27/8/99