Naturally, each eLearning project is unique in terms of end objectives. But while some modules aim for compliance training and others strive for certification, there are a few consistencies for measuring the success of any eLearning program. Once eLearning has been completed, you should be able to evaluate its efficacy based on the three main factors of a successful program: Your eLearning evaluation checklist. Make sure all your bases were covered or you might find yourself back at square one.
1. Did They Learn Anything?
Sure, it sounds like the most obvious question for any eLearning program, but it’s not always answered in a measurable way. Think about it: Simply asking for verbal feedback after the program has been completed will probably yield mostly positive answers. Not only are learners eager to please, but they can also be falsely positive when put “on the spot,” especially by a manager or supervisor. But switching your method of evaluation could mean completely different results. Asking users to take a post-completion quiz or sending out a user completion survey means you get honest and measurable answers to what might be a somewhat ambiguous question. Think beyond the verbal questions and you’ll be able to better assess the level of learning and proficiency gained from an eLearning program.
2. What’s the ROI?
Consider this mini case study: A national cosmetic sales company wants to increase employee product and sales knowledge to increase revenue. They create an eLearning program to that effect, ensuring all salespeople undergo the training. In the month following the training, sales increase by 30 percent. Therefore, the eLearning program was successful, right? Not so fast: To truly attribute the success of the high sales month to eLearning alone, it would have had to be the only training intervention utilized to improve salesperson knowledge. Measuring training ROI can be notoriously subjective, but it’s possible. By isolating the specific information taught in eLearning (say, production information training about a new line and then seeing increased sales for that particular product), you get a better picture of ROI based on the eLearning program on its own.
3. Did Users Like the Program?
Finally, it comes down to a question of preferences: Did the users find the program to be functional and engaging? Here’s the thing: Don’t be surprised if you notice a generational gap in your post-project surveys. Older workers often prefer more traditional methods of training (think conference rooms and PowerPoints), while younger millennial users clamor for more convenient mobile-based, media-heavy training. And, to please everyone, you may have had to go for a blended approach. Still, the general consensus should be that users found the program to be helpful, user-friendly, engaging and ultimately, effective. Ending your eLearning project with surveys, quizzes and even games can help you get a better handle on how you did. Without eLearning evaluation tools and checklists in place, you might be prone to repeating past mistakes. Instead, creating a baseline for what you want to achieve and evaluating the program allows you to ditch the stuff that doesn’t work, while making more room for the stuff that does.