Many organizations are pushing money and resources towards eLearning & Continuing Education content delivery to build out brand awareness and expand revenue streams.
- The worldwide e-learning market is projected to be worth $325 billion in 2025
- E-learning increases retention rates by 25%-60%
- E-learning has lead to an increase in income for 42% of US organizations
- Organizations with comprehensive training programs have 218% higher revenue per employee and 24% higher profit margins
- IBM saved approximately $200 million after switching to e-learning
The numbers speak for themself. Organizations should, without a doubt, be delivering Continuing Education through e-learning.
For those who are offering e-learning services, and are looking for ways to increase ROI even more, we have some tips outlined here for you.
- Use a platform with fully-managed services
- Quality over quantity
- Implement certifications -higher engagement
- Used mixed-media and different content formats
- Make sure your eLearning courses are always available OnDemand - both for internal use and external use
- Use an ROI analysis tool
1. Use a Fully-Managed Platform
Often organizations who have converted to CE and e-learning for continued professional development have in-house employees whose sole job description is based on managing courses and their users. Large Associations and Law Firms especially run into this problem. It is inefficient and a draining use of resources to have entire teams dedicated to the management CE delivery.
Consider using a fully-managed service where you can outsource the technical operations, user tracking and data analytics, and certificate issuance. Fully-managed systems can save you money and resources that you are putting into the manual labor of Continuing Education and e-learning content delivery.
2. Quality over Quantity
Content is king - but quality is queen! Instead of expending time and money to produce an enormous amount of content and educational courses, commit yourself to half the amount and focus on curating relevant, captivating, and valuable content.
Think about it: Would you rather spend 8 hours a month attending mediocre classes or 4 hours a month attending classes with high-production value? Attention spans are decreasing at an alarming rate - and if you can’t beat them, join them. Offer impactful content for the short amount of time you will have someone’s attention.
The time, money, and energy you put into courses won’t even be recognized, and definitely won’t impact your ROI, if your audience isn’t even paying attention. The impact of fewer, higher quality courses can make your audience more excited to attend, more inclined to participate and will lead to higher retention rates.
It is essential to collect feedback on the effectiveness of your courses. You should definitely be issuing surveys at the end of every class and evaluating that data regularly. Ditch the low-performing content and expand and improve on the content that is getting the best feedback. Curate future content from suggestions in feedback or trends in data
3. Implement Certifications
The reason eLearning and Continuing Education works to increase productivity and your organization’s bottom line is because your employees are becoming more educated, more savvy, and are consistently developing skills in their area of expertise. That is what drives the development of your employees and, in turn, what drives ROI.
But none of that matters if you cannot keep engagement high enough for your employees to retain the information you are delivering to them. Certifications are a great way to increase retention rates.
Implementing Certifications means there will probably be some sort of assessments throughout the course and/or minimum duration requirements. This will incite both higher attention and retention of material.
You should be testing early, and testing often. Henry L. Roediger III, a cognitive psychologist at Washington University who studies how the brain stores and retrieves memories, argues that educators should use formative assessments early on (and frequently) to augment learning during the course.
Not only will Certifications help with retention & knowledge building, it will also give your audience a tangible takeaway that will now make them promoters of your brand. Think about it:
- A participant gets certification from your brand
- They post it on their LinkedIn (we know there are fewer things people love more than posting their life accolades on social media)
- Other people on their social media channels see the certification - ie: free marketing for you, further brand awareness
Certifications benefit both parties, and should absolutely be incorporated into your eLearning experience. You can turn your attendees into brand promoters - exponentially increasing ROI.
4. Utilize Mixed-Media & Various Formats of Content
We are so used to looking at our screens and absorbing content that we can be easily disenchanted with boring visuals and un-engaging virtual experiences. Virtual audiences are getting more pretentious when it comes to the expectations of visually appealing and captivating content.
A great way to keep people interested in your e-learning content delivery is to switch up the format of content you are offering to them during their virtual experience.
Evaluate the benefits of Live, SimuLive and OnDemand content and utilize all three in your courses.
Of course Live, being the most traditional format of e-learning delivery, will allow educators and guest speakers to present in real-time to their audience. This gives authentic and relevant production value to your course.
If you are under a time crunch or want to create a highly curated and edited presentation, consider pre-recording the lesson and premiering it during your course while you monitor chat rooms and answer questions. SimuLive delivery can also be great for presenters who might get a bit of stage fright and would rather the opportunity to pre-record themselves.
Finally, OnDemand content is great if you want to play a video, a snippet of a TED talk, or a sponsor’s commercial during your show. These are your highly edited and engaging videos that can do a great deal to revamp attention.
You should also incorporate images, PDFs, Podcasts, eBooks, slidedecks and other forms of mixed-media within your learning modules to retain attention, and attention spans are inherently tied to the effectiveness of your eLearning delivery and therefore your ROI.
5. Make sure your eLearning Courses are available OnDemand
If your plan is to have regularly scheduled, live presentations for your audience to tune into, you should definitely consider recording those lessons and workshops and hosting them in your Knowledge Base or Media Hub for continued OnDemand access and monetization.
You can bundle certain modules together and promote them to audiences outside of your organization. By marketing and monetizing this highly-curated media and content, you will extend the lifecycle of your efforts, reach larger audiences, and inherently increase ROI.
6. Use an ROI analysis tool
Find an official tool that can work for you, or at least have a plan for evaluating ROI. You certainly can’t improve ROI if you don’t know what it is in the first place. By using a formal tool you can assess the ROI of certain courses, certain presenters, certain interactive features and more.
You can see where your money is growing the most value. You can hone in on specifics, building on what is working and ditching what is not, which will improve your overall content strategy and fine-tune what is driving the most ROI.