ROI Calculations for Technology-Based Learning

By Elkeles, Tamar; Phillips, Patti et al. | Talent Development, January 2015 | Go to article overview

ROI Calculations for Technology-Based Learning


Elkeles, Tamar, Phillips, Patti, Phillips, Jack, Talent Development


It is difficult to imagine a world of learning and development without technology, and investment in technology continues to grow at astonishing rates. Its growth is inevitable and its use is predestined. But these investments attract attention from executives who often want to know if they're working properly.

Does it make a difference? How does it connect to the business? Does it really add the value that we anticipated? Is it as effective as facilitator-led learning? These are some of the questions L&D professionals must answer to show the impact learning technologies have on talent development.

A fundamental change

Learning technologies have been used in the workplace for more than 20 years, but it is only in the past few years that their impact could be described as a "fundamental change." More recent evolutions of learning technology bring significant change in how we grow and develop our current and future employees. These include:

* mobile learning

* game-based learning

* bring your own device (BYOD) programs

* open educational resources

* massive open online courses (MOOCs)

* flipped classrooms.

Technology, with its many forms and features, is here to stay. However, some concerns must be addressed about the accountability and success of technology-based learning. The Association for Talent Development's (ATD) new book, Measuring the Success of Learning Through Technology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Measuring Impact and ROI on E-Learning, Blended Learning, and Mobile Learning, explains how these types of programs can be evaluated with executive-friendly data.

The need for business results

Most would agree that any large expenditure in an organization should in some way be connected to business success. Even in non-business settings, large investments should connect to organizational measures of output, quality, cost, and time--classic measurement categories of hard data that exist in any type of organization.

In Learning Everywhere: How Mobile Content Strategies Are Transforming Training, author Chad Udell makes the case for connecting mobile learning to business measures. He starts by listing the important measures that are connected to the business, including:

* decreased product returns

* increased productivity

* fewer mistakes

* increased sales

* fewer accidents

* fewer compliance discrepancies

* increased shipments

* reduced operating cost

* fewer customer complaints.

Udell goes on to say that mobile learning should connect to any of those measures, and he takes several of them step-by-step to show how, in practical and logical thinking, a mobile learning solution can drive any or all of these measures. He concludes by suggesting that if an organization is investing in mobile learning or any other type of learning, it needs to connect to these business measures. Otherwise, it shouldn't be pursued. This dramatic call for accountability is not that unusual.

Credible connections

Those who fund budgets are adamant about seeing the connection between investing in learning technologies and business results. These executives realize that employees must learn through technology, often using mobile devices. And they know that employees must be actively involved and engaged in the process and learn the content. But more importantly, employees must use what they have learned and have an impact on the business.

Unfortunately, the majority of results presented in technology case studies are void of measurements at the levels needed by executives. Only occasionally are application data presented--measuring what individuals do with what they learn--and rarely do they report a credible connection to the business. Even rarer is the ROI calculation.

Evaluation of technology-based learning rests on six levels of data (see table on page 45). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

ROI Calculations for Technology-Based Learning
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.