Does online learning save an employer money?

Online training can save an employer money – sometimes. In my experience, one hour of online training can require, on average, about 100 hours of development. The actual time is dependent on the degree of computer-based interactions and the amount of multimedia, such as video, audio, and Flash. The more it includes, the longer it takes to develop and the more it costs.

In choosing to develop online training, therefore, a number of factors need to be considered to determine if it will be cost effective. Assuming that the same amount of time is required to develop the content for either online or classroom-based training:

  • How many people will receive the training? Compare the cost of development with the cost to deliver the total number of classroom training events.
  • How often will the training be repeated? Online training can be developed once and re-used, whereas the number of classroom hours continues to increase.
  • Do the learners or instructors need to travel? Online learning can reduce travel costs.

In my experience, online learning reduces training costs when large numbers of employees need to be trained and they are geographically dispersed. In some cases, it is still cost effective if the numbers are smaller but the training needs to be repeated, such as for compliance or re-certification.

However, there are some exceptions. A small organisation wanted an online induction program. Few employees would complete the program so the costs needed to be minimal. To develop the online program, therefore, they reduced the development costs by relying on existing resources on their Intranet, developed the online in MS PowerPoint and then used the “Save as” feature to save it as web pages on their Intranet. The organisation did not incur any additional costs but relied on the manual recording of the training. The design of the instruction, however, was not compromised. It guided the learner through the organisation, at their own pace, and integrated the learning with meetings with supervisors and other key staff.


2 Responses to “Does online learning save an employer money?”
  1. Cool blog! Many thanks for maintaining it. Keep going that way.

  2. Your website is really very informative. Many thanks for that.