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4 methods for measuring e-learning effectively

The concept of the extended enterprise, which is very popular, has developed rapidly to offer organisations new opportunities for growth. However, this somewhat atypical organisation also brings its own set of challenges. These include online training for employees, customers, partners and other extended enterprise stakeholders. To guarantee effective results and continually improve the training process, it is essential to regularly analyse the impact of e-learning on the operational efficiency of the organisation. In this article, we invite you to explore the challenges of an e-learning strategy, the key performance indicators to consider and the success factors for e-learning within an extended enterprise.

e-learning evaluation method efficiency

The challenges of e-learning within an extended enterprise

The development of globalisation and international trade, combined with the digital revolution, has encouraged companies to completely rethink their business model in order to adapt to these trends.

For several years now, we have been witnessing the emergence of ecosystems in which several entities (supplier, distributor, customer, service provider or subcontractor, etc.) work closely together on common projects with a view to improving the overall performance and competitiveness of the “lead” company. This concept is commonly referred to as the “extended enterprise” or “networked enterprise”.

However, this inter-organisational management can be more complex than it seems, due to the geographical dispersion and different skill levels of the various stakeholders. So, to encourage coherent and harmonious collaboration, the “pilot” company must be able to offer employees and stakeholders access to information and, above all, training.

First and foremost, this approach breaks down geographical barriers by offering your employees and partners equal access to training content so that they can improve their knowledge/skills and contribute to the success of the company. What’s more, the flexibility and adaptability of e-learning encourages learner participation and motivation through interactive methods such as storytelling and gamification. On the other hand, to achieve a satisfactory return on investment (ROI), the ‘pilot’ company must regularly analyse the impact of training on performance in the workplace, with a view to adjusting its strategy if necessary.

What are the key performance indicators for measuring the effectiveness of online training?

Data collection and in-depth analysis are the key to effectively measuring the performance of an e-learning course. To do this, a number of key indicators need to be taken into account, such as :

1. Traditional KPIs (engagement rate, completion rate, retention rate)

These key performance indicators provide the ‘pilot’ company with valuable clues as to the effectiveness of e-learning. Firstly, the engagement rate measures the degree of learner involvement and interaction with the e-learning system. This can include time spent on the various training modules, active participation in online discussions, webinars or forums, sharing comments, submitting questions, etc.

Unlike the completion rate, which measures whether the learner has followed the course in its entirety, the success rate measures the percentage of learners who have successfully completed the course, taking into account the total number of participants.

Lastly, the retention rate is an essential element in measuring the ‘pilot’ company’s ability to retain its partners and employees over the long term, in particular by enabling them to remain active and committed throughout the training programme.

Although many other indicators need to be taken into account through in-depth analysis, these KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) already reveal an overview of the quality of the educational content and the commitment of users to the training process.

2. The impact of e-learning on operational performance / return on investment (ROI)

The implementation of e-learning necessarily requires a rigorous and comprehensive analysis, particularly with regard to its impact on the company’s operational performance (work methodology, results obtained, customer feedback, etc.).

To begin with, it is essential to compare the performance of the internal and external teams before and after the training course, in order to gather reliable, concrete and usable data. This can be done in the form of reporting or an activity report, for example.

Based on the results obtained, you will be able to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of your training/learning process, and identify possible areas for improvement with a view to enhancing employee productivity and the organisation’s operational performance.

Finally, calculating ROI (return on investment) is an excellent way of effectively measuring the impact of e-learning. All you have to do is take into account the overall cost of the training in relation to the gains made by improving the performance of your employees and partners.

3. Questionnaires, surveys or polls to gather feedback from employees

In addition to the operational performance required to achieve the company’s commercial objectives, it is particularly important to gather feedback from employees on their e-learning experience.

To do this, you can opt for a questionnaire, a survey or a poll. However, make sure that the questions are clear and concise, so that the people involved understand exactly what is being asked of them. And to encourage greater honesty in their responses, offer learners the opportunity to answer the questionnaire anonymously.

The aim of this approach is to gather as much useful and concrete information as possible to measure the relevance of the online training (quality of the teaching content, ease of access to the platform, etc.), without forgetting to offer suggestions for improvement at the end of the questionnaire, so that the training can be readjusted in line with the feedback.

Taking into account the experience and satisfaction of your employees and partners in their learning path is essential to ensure their long-term commitment and loyalty to your organisation.

4. Regular follow-up or monitoring to assess long-term retention of knowledge and skills

To guarantee its success, an extended enterprise needs to develop a long-term vision. For this reason, it is essential to put in place regular follow-up or monitoring to assess the retention of knowledge and skills following e-learning.

Managers or trainers can use periodic assessments, review quizzes or practical exercises to ensure that employees and partners retain and effectively apply what they have learned during training.

Regular, ongoing monitoring enables the managers of the extended enterprise to identify potential gaps or areas requiring further development. In addition, this approach helps to project a positive and dynamic image of the organisation, demonstrating its commitment and involvement with learners beyond their initial training.

Bonus: what are the key success factors for e-learning in the extended enterprise?

In addition to the key performance indicators (KPIs), the success of e-learning within an extended enterprise depends on a number of other factors:

  • The commitment of management and those in charge: the senior management of the extended enterprise plays a crucial role in the learning process. They must ensure that they offer appropriate training programmes, as well as continually encouraging their employees and partners to give their best.
  • Diverse content and shared resources: one of the greatest riches of an interconnected ecosystem is the sharing of diverse knowledge, skills and resources. By extending its boundaries, the extended enterprise can not only provide more varied, diverse and relevant content, but also open up to new perspectives.
  • Access to a panel of experts from outside the company: working with external service providers (e.g. independent trainers) enables the extended company to offer its employees and partners the opportunity to access valuable resources that would not necessarily be available in-house. This approach will reinforce the quality, value and credibility of the training provided.
  • Tailoring training to the specific needs of learners: using an e-learning platform (LMS, MOS Chorus, etc.) will enable you to collect valuable data that will subsequently help you to further tailor training content to the specific needs of each learner.