I have observed during the time that I have been a training consultant (having left ITC in 1998) that American-produced e-Learning courseware has tended to move away from learning values and, instead, has focused their efforts on the initial cost of online training technology.

For me, that has been a big step backward.  And, from a true ROI view, I’m relatively certain that the economic equation comes up on the negative side. 

That is because a well trained workforce will contribute so much more to profitability with smoother operations, decreased waste and downtime, and better troubleshooting.  Effective training is well worth whatever cost if it adds significantly to your organization’s bottom line.

Too often, the accounting folks just look at the cost of training.  They fail to measure the efficiencies that a well trained workforce brings to the table.  Tracking increased productivity, decreased waste and less downtime are just three of the items that will help you prove the real value of your training investments.

Similarly, when you look at a vendor’s website if you find the major emphasis on cost plus the bells and whistles associated with technology, you’re probably looking at a provider that is not conversant with the principles of effective learning.

Look closely at those websites to see if most of the following features/benefits are offered a prominent position:  a) emphasis on the visual, b) content author’s vitae, c) very short segments of learning, d) instant portability to smartphones and tablets, and e) optional audio capability.

Best of all, read whatever White Papers are attached.  Carefully looking at those will give you some idea of the “cost vs value” that particular vendor is hawking.

For a good example, here are a few disconnected quotes from a White Paper I read several years ago:   

 “Today’s Learning and Development professionals are confronted by an endless assortment of vendors offering an ever-expanding range of learning programs and support tools. While many of the best known vendors are promoting out-dated technologies, newcomers are emerging in their droves with a large majority embracing open source solutions as a fast track to building a business. Invariably both have one thing in common, and that is that they do not fully understand the cornerstones of the learning industry or the audience that learning professionals serve, but are going to tell you anyway that theirs is the ideal solution for you.”

    .  .  .

“No doubt you understand the importance of the Evaluation Team selecting and then embracing the correct technology in today’s eclectic world of choices. Beyond selection, you will know that you need to implement and market the system such that it is clearly identified as equipping your organisation’s leaders and workers with the tools and skills necessary to achieve and then exceed their goals.”  (Ian Smith, InterAction Training, Sydney, Australia)

That example is a similar philosophy to what we all believed in the days of Interactive Videodisc (IVD) and CD-ROM training. 

It’s the courseware creation concept we should be demanding from the vendors of e-Learning today.

Study those vendor websites carefully.  And, read whatever White Papers are attached.  You’ll learn a lot you need to know before choosing the right training partner.

Value — not, cost — should be the determinant.  Isn’t it always ROI !!!

More on Wednesday  –  –  –

  — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning

May 1, 2017  (Mondays & Wednesdays)


 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)