When a company initiates a training project for its employees, what it expects is to improve the performance of its internal resources and, consequently, company productivity. But how to understand if the investment in training is bearing fruit?
In the case of online training, eLearning platforms provide numerous metrics that allow you to assess every aspect of your training program in a timely manner: from its instructional effectiveness to learning outcomes and the impact on your company's strategic goals.
In this article, we'll outline the key metrics for measuring the effectiveness of online corporate training.
Dropout and completion rates
One of the most common problems with online training is related to the percentage of users who leave the course before completing it. The higher the dropout rate, the more likely it is that your employees found the course unengaging or unhelpful.
The only exception is mandatory training courses, where dropout rates are likely to be relatively low regardless of actual user engagement because users are, in fact, required to complete the course.
Analyzing these key indicators will allow you to understand which courses are the most popular (and unpopular), those that are particularly difficult, or those that take a long time to complete.
Keep in mind, however, that you can't compare the dropout rates of an online course to those of a traditional classroom course. That's because it's much easier for an employee to stop participating in an online class than it is to drop out of a classroom. Therefore, online courses are very likely to have higher dropout rates.
How many employees are registered on your eLearning platform? And how many of those are active users? That is, how many people are actively participating in courses within your LMS?
High inactivity rates can indicate a lack of employee interest, which you need to address by increasing engagement levels in your courses or modifying their content.
We recommend that you monitor this metric on both a weekly and monthly basis and also account for any extenuating circumstances. For example, you may experience a drop in active users at certain times of the year due to factors outside of training such as, vacation plans, holidays, concurrence with other projects, etc.
Any modern LMS will give you the ability to track time spent by employees within modules and courses. How much time was spent on online training? What is the average training time per user? Are there modules that employees are spending more time on than they should?
These metrics (combined with completion rates) will tell you which courses your employees found most engaging and interesting. Or, conversely, which courses were difficult to take and could be improved by revamping their content.
To best interpret your course statistics, you have only one way: ask for participant feedback. Of all the metrics analyzed so far, this is probably the most important.
Don't be afraid to ask for your employees' opinions on all aspects of your training program, including course design, content, and faculty performance. User feedback is the best way to really determine what kind of experience you're providing, where it can be improved, and what you're doing well. It can also give you an idea of what your employees would like to learn more about or what they found unnecessary instead.
You can gather feedback in many different ways: through surveys, interviews, interviews, and less formal actions. In any case, remember that you don't need to use overly complex rating systems: a simple "satisfaction" scale of 1 to 5 will do just fine and provide you with data that is easily interpreted and ranked.
Test Pass Rate
Learning test results are an extremely valuable metric in eLearning courses, as they are the best way to evaluate user performance. The most important KPIs in the area of learning tests are:
- Pass rates: how many users pass the test? A high failure rate could indicate that the course is complex or the questions not appropriate. Conversely, a high pass rate could indicate that the tests (and perhaps the entire course) are too easy for your employees' skill level.
- Average score: Are employees' scores consistent with the expected skill level? For example, a very low average score could indicate that the course is not clear enough or that the test is not appropriate for the training program followed by the teacher.
- Number of attempts: How many times do your users repeat the test before passing it? If you feel that the average is too high, we recommend that you make it so that the user is forced to repeat the course (or part of it) when they don't pass the test, in order to deepen any topics that are not clear enough.
If your eLearning platform includes gamification tools, it will be important to monitor their metrics. How many points, badges, or levels do users acquire? How does this affect their learning behavior and performance?
Analyzing these metrics will allow you to assess the effectiveness of your gamification strategy and, if necessary, modify it for maximum engagement.
Impact on individual skills
Especially in the case of corporate training plans, your LMS should be able to provide you with a ranking of the skills your employees have acquired based on course completion and learning test scores.
Building on these metrics, you could combine your LMS data with individual performance indicators in order to find correlations between course completion, acquisition of certain skills, and individual performance. Have there been changes in productivity or sales? Are employees faster or more efficient?
However, the impact on performance can be difficult to measure quantitatively. Therefore, it will be necessary to create clear strategic metrics for learning activities and monitor them over the medium and long term.
How? For example, you can rely on supervisor evaluations, peer observation, pre- and post-training evaluations, or even employee self-assessment through questionnaires, interviews, and surveys.
Impact on organizational performance
At this point, you can extend your analysis to a higher level and assess whether training has impacted your company's organizational performance. In other words, is there a relationship between training and profit change or the achievement of strategic goals?
For example, did it help increase levels of business efficiency and productivity? Or, has there been a decrease in staff turnover? And so on.
To find out, you'll need to measure the difference between those metrics before and after the training, and repeat those measurements over time. Remember, though: for your assessments to be reliable, you'll need to start measuring outcomes before training begins and continue over time.
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