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Last updated: 13.01.12

E-learning is cheaper than people think, report suggests

Like any form of learning, e-learning requires a certain level of investment from employers or education providers. But carrying out an e-learning cost-benefit analysis can quickly show just how cost-effective digital learning can be for an organisation or educational institution.

According to a report published as part of Fordham's Creating Sound Policy for Digital Learning series back in 2012, courses delivered via e-learning platforms tended to be £4,167 cheaper than classroom-based modules per person, on average.

So where do these cost savings come from?

E-learning benefits: Cost savings

E-learning can naturally be much more cost-effective than classroom-based learning, as it does not require learners to travel to be in the same place, or invest in special equipment and learning resources for each module of their course.

Instead, learners can log into a portal, like Virtual College's Learning Management System Enable, from wherever they are, automatically removing travel expenses. As modules can be studied for via the screen, it also removes the need for people to spend on textbooks or other specialist equipment.

Systems like Enable also allow learners to study at a time that suits them, meaning they don't need to spend unnecessarily on expenses like childcare, making e-learning more cost-effective for them, as well as their company.

Asking all staff to complete an online learning module at the same time can also help to save money on running multiple training sessions in the long term, as well as saving a business precious productivity time.

E-learning benefits: The blended classroom

E-learning can be particularly cost-effective when it's used in conjunction with classroom-based learning as part of a blended learning programme.

There are always going to be some areas of training that require the application of practical skills and actually using equipment rather than just understanding the theory. But e-learning can be used as a cost-effective tool to complement these sessions, working efficiently alongside more traditional training methods.

If you'd like to find out more about the financial benefits of e-learning for your organisation, there is more information on Virtual College's bespoke e-learning packages and how they could help you here.

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