e-Learning technologies help in training ROI measurement

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Why don’t we have an innovation using e-Learning, rapid e-Learning, Web 2.0 technologies and other technologies to measure training ROI?

Over the past few months I have been involved in a small study on: “How to help learners apply what they learn from training and conferences.”

Yes, it is a very old question. Unfortunately, most of the literature that I reviewed or the people I interviewed discussed “training ROI” as driven by top executives and statisticians. They are costly undertakings and would take months to complete. These are “bricks and mortar” and paper-based approaches. I wondered: Can we not use new e-Learning technologies to solve this problem?

Before I get discouraged with the seemingly insurmountable workload in using traditional ROI approaches, I turned my attention to a more basic question: How do individual learners apply learning and measure results? I was perhaps naive in posing this very basic question. Silly, at least that’s how I felt.

However, this old question deserves more attention. So I interviewed participants to the conferences presented by Training magazine Events. “How to show proof of measurable returns from your conference or training attendance?”

This is what I learned:

1. “It’s great to have a lot of information, but I am overwhelmed on what to do next.”
2. “After the conference I set out to deliver big goals, then I fail to follow-up. Other things get into the way.”
3. “I don’t know how to measure my own training impacts. I know I make some contributions, but measuring it is difficult and near to impossible.”
4. “Why measure? I am here for a company paid vacation and shopping.”
5. “I take one small idea, focus on it, and apply it immediately at work. This helped me track the results from one application.”
Response #5 was very interesting and led me to think differently about training ROI: Why not measure “micro-learnings?”

My initial findings suggest that because traditional training “ROI” processes are paper-based, slow, and hidden (really inefficient) from the learners, trainers and managers, the application and measurement of training is often not pursued.

However, with the aid of the Training Impact Seven Step Process and a Web-based tool (new e-Learning technology), I discovered that learners can learn, apply, and measure micro-learnings.

Let me know what you think of micro-learnings and applications to help measure training results.

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”