Daring to figure out the value of learning technologies


Learning and development teams that dare to look more analytically at how learning technology provides value for learners and the organisation will be sector-leading businesses, according to Phil Green of online learning specialist Onlignment.

In his World of Learning session, Technology not to just cut costs, but to add value, Green polled delegates on the cost and value of elearning. Out of 18 respondents, 78% said elearning removes costs from the business a little or a lot.

When asked how much elearning adds value to the business, 39% of respondents said a little and 33% said a lot.

Further discussion around the poll showed delegates found elearning a no-brainer in terms of reducing costs but there remained many challenges in making elearning relevant for learners. One delegate said he paid his children to take some of his elearning courses for him.

Following the session we asked Green to share his thinking on cost versus value of elearning.

He said cost and value depends on who you are. If those with the power in the organisation hold the purse strings then it is probably sufficient to be able to demonstrate cost savings alone.

The organisations that will be at the front in their sectors in the 21st Century will be the ones who dare to look  more analytically at that next part of the equation – to look at how we use the technology to derive greater value.

That value should be:

  • The extent to which people are learning
  • The extent to which people are capable through their learning to influence the skills and knowledge of other people in the organisations – working in a collaborative and social way
  • And how considered uses of technology can cause people to perform at a higher level within the organisation and so positively affect business results.

Green said he was not  surprised L&D professionals are not currently seeing the value but said there was a strong tendency for people to get more involved in deriving value.

Listen to the interview:

During the session, Green asked delegates to share their thoughts on learning technology on a shared Post-it Note board. Green is also organising a Webex session to carry on the conversation on 25 October.


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