E-learning is a revenue generator, says Macromedia’s Sue Thexton, we justhave to convince the right peopleAnalysts predict that e-learning will be one of this decade’s killerapplications – Gartner believes that “online learning will be the mostwidely used web application by 2005” and IDC predicts a market value of$18.5bn in the same year. To meet such expectations in today’s economic climate, we need to convincebudget holders that what they are buying into is a revenue generator and abenefit to their business. From day one, it is essential an enterprise clearlydefines what its particular learning needs are and how training will link intoexisting business models. In reality, poorly-defined training can frustrate revenue generators inbusiness units who don’t see its value. This can lead to great content beingdeveloped, but to no predetermined ends, so the content is not used and moneyis squandered. E-learning champions need to internally promote how e-learning can savemoney. This can be achieved by preparing some dummy costings. Take a globalsales force within a pharmaceutical company – bringing the whole team togetherphysically for new product training could cost millions of pounds, whereasdeploying a CD-Rom alongside online web-based seminars, sometimes calledwebinars, will save time and money (and if used correctly, can be veryeffective). Also, corporates should move towards the idea of ‘learning objects’ in orderto maximise return on investment – this will help combat the cost argument usedby e-learning doubters. If corporates treat the content as assets (learningobjects) that can be moved across a number of platforms – for example, a FlashMX movie clip – then they will increase in value the more they are re-purposed.It is a case of greater use equals lower cost, equals greater return oninvestment. E-learning’s worth must be measured against improvement in employees’ coreskills. Within an enterprise, there must be key people who understand eachindividual’s development needs, and who should be responsible for building anddeveloping the e-learning modules to address pre-determined development areas.By creating specific content, the target audience will use the modules andprogress can be measured accordingly. The bottom line is that unless e-learning can be measured as delivering ahealthy return on investment, its adoption will never match analysts’ expectations.Sue Thexton is vice-president Europe at Macromedia, www.macromedia.com How to woo the budget holdersOn 1 Feb 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
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