The eLearning Guild Getting Started series of reports will help you understand the concepts common to e-Learning design, development, and delivery. We base each report on eLearning Guild member data, and the experience and insights of many people and organizations including this report’s author. Guild members with more experience have learned important lessons along the way that will be helpful to you as you get started. Each report will help you make sense of the options, and evaluate both your and your organization’s needs.

This report is the first in a new series of Getting Started Guides to help ramp up your organization quickly and successfully in e-Learning. If you’re exploring e-Learning as a new training platform, or are already invested and considering further expansion into a specific project, this report is the place to start. Each report in the series will draw from the wisdom of more than 32,000 eLearning Guild members who have already paved the way to help you make sound business decisions that will produce timely results. Each report will provide data, tools, and information to help navigate important decisions such as product market-share trends, selection criteria, feature satisfaction levels, emerging technologies, and costs.

E-Learning can feel like a bit of a minefield when first starting. It seems like there are countless decisions to be made, and mistakes can be costly. Overall, however, most organizations do meet their financial goals with e-Learning, and the majority yield positive returns. In an April 2009 survey of eLearning Guild members, 48% reported a positive return on investment (ROI) from e-Learning, while only 5% reported no return or a negative ROI. In fact, not only do most members generate a positive return, but 50% report a ROI greater than 15%.

This report, Building the Business Case for e-Learning, will focus on the evaluation phase of investing in e-Learning to determine whether e-Learning is the right delivery method for your organization or project. For most organizations, these decisions are subject to business considerations, so this report will tackle that evaluation from a business management and financial perspective. It will illustrate the early decisions needed, and demonstrate a high-level financial analysis with a detailed ROI calculation.