How to measure the effectivness and profitability of E-Learning

Training and further education initiatives often come with significant expenses, making it crucial to measure their effectiveness through key metrics. Discover how you can determine the return on investment (ROI) of e-learning in your organization. While this blog post explores the traditional monetary RoI indicator, it also delves into other metrics that effectively measure the success of e-learning initiatives.

Measuring the Effectiveness of E-Learning Through Monetary Metrics

E-learning RoI: RoE

Return on investment, commonly referred to as RoI, is a crucial business metric that assesses the profitability of an investment.In the realm of education and training, the concept of Return on Education (RoE) is employed to gauge the effectiveness of an investment. It involves evaluating the benefits derived from an e-learning initiative and comparing them to the associated costs. This calculation is performed by subtracting the costs from the benefits, dividing the result by the costs, and multiplying it by 100.
Example: A company invests €10,000 in an e-learning measure on the topic of customer satisfaction. This leads to an additional turnover of €16,000, the RoE according to this formula is 60%.

Costs & Savings

The overall expenses of the e-learning program encompass all financial investments associated with the creation, implementation, and maintenance of the e-Learning initiative. This includes the development of educational content, the establishment of technical infrastructure, the deployment of learning platforms, the training of instructors and mentors, as well as the continuous upkeep and updating of content. Through a comprehensive analysis of these costs, organizations can gain a deeper understanding of the resources utilized for the e-learning program and their correlation to the achieved outcomes.

One crucial metric to consider is the cost savings in training. It highlights the extent to which the e-learning program generates savings compared to conventional training methods. This includes reductions in expenses for physical training materials, travel costs, and fees for trainers. By transitioning training activities to the virtual realm, companies can realize significant cost savings that would have otherwise been incurred for printed materials, venue rentals, travel expenses, and in-person trainers.

Other qualitative and quantitative factors to consider

RoE, costs and savings are therefore easily quantifiable variables, but there are other criteria that should be considered in terms of effectiveness:

Learning objectives

The clarity and precision of the established learning objectives provide a clear benchmark to assess the extent to which they have been accomplished. By defining objectives with transparency, it creates a solid foundation for evaluation. This critical reflection on goal achievement is essential for evaluating learning progress, identifying any potential shortcomings, and making necessary adjustments or additional interventions to ensure a comprehensive understanding and successful acquisition of knowledge.


Measuring the performance of participants is a crucial aspect in determining the effectiveness of an e-learning program. By assessing the progress of learners before and after their participation, organizations can gauge the impact of the program on their skills and performance. This evaluation can be done through pre and post-training assessments, as well as through practical applications of the acquired knowledge in real work situations. It provides valuable insights into whether the e-learning initiative has successfully enhanced the capabilities and performance of the participants.


The evaluation of a course is incredibly valuable, especially when it includes feedback from participants. This feedback not only helps to gauge the overall acceptance of the course but also provides targeted insights into specific areas for improvement. By carefully analyzing the feedback, it becomes possible to identify which aspects of the course were particularly well-received and where there may be room for enhancement. It's not just about the content design and teaching methods, but also the structure of the course materials and the clarity of the information provided. Additionally, participant feedback helps to identify any ambiguities and make necessary adjustments to create the most optimal learning environment.

Competence development

The practical application of the skills and knowledge gained through the e-learning program is a vital indicator of its effectiveness. It showcases the extent to which participants can implement their newly acquired skills in their actual work environment. A thorough analysis can involve identifying specific examples and areas where these skills are applied in participants' day-to-day tasks. Understanding how the acquired knowledge is put into practice in specific professional contexts and how it contributes to solving real work challenges is crucial.

Commitment of the learners

The completion rate provides valuable insights into the motivation and dedication of learners towards their e-learning course. It indicates the level of commitment and enthusiasm learners have in actively participating in the course. Additionally, the frequency of use is a significant indicator that showcases how regularly learners engage with the content and how intensively they utilize the course. A high frequency of use suggests that participants have a heightened interest in the learning materials offered. This could be attributed to various factors, such as the relevance of the content, the quality of the presentation, or the flexibility of integrating the learning process into their own schedule.

Participation rate

The participation rate serves as an essential indicator of the e-learning program's effectiveness in mobilizing and engaging participants. It reflects the program's ability to encourage active involvement, with a high participation rate indicating a significant number of registered users actively participating in the learning process. This positive response and level of engagement further highlight the effectiveness of the e-learning program in achieving its objectives.

Acquisition of knowledge

Assessing the level of knowledge attained by learners can be achieved through the use of quizzes and assessments. The pass rate, indicating the percentage of participants who successfully complete the exam at the conclusion of an e-learning course, serves as a valuable indicator of the effectiveness of the program. A high success rate suggests that the program has effectively imparted the necessary skills and knowledge to the participants. This information provides valuable insights into the efficacy of the e-learning offering.

Conclusion & Tips

Therefore, it is important to go beyond simply measuring the "return on education" when assessing the effectiveness of e-learning initiatives. It is crucial to consider the various aspects mentioned earlier. Utilizing Learning Management Systems (LMS) platforms that offer reporting functions allows for precise data analysis, such as tracking registration frequency, the amount of time learners spend on the platform, and the number of course completions. These detailed reports provide a comprehensive overview of areas that could be improved upon.

To wrap up, here are a few tips:

1. Ensure that your learning objectives are clearly defined and that your content aligns with them.

2. Make sure that your e-learning platform and courses are user-friendly. Intuitive navigation, interactive elements, and the ability to track learning progress can increase motivation and engagement among employees.

3. Regularly review and update your e-learning initiatives to ensure that they continue to provide value.

4. Actively involve your employees in the e-learning process. By creating a culture of learning and promoting collaboration and communication, companies can fully tap into their employees' learning potential.