Developing a Model for Determining Return on Investment of eLearning: A Literature Review
Abstract: Much research surrounding eLearning focuses on comparing the effectiveness of technology-mediated education to that of traditional teaching methods; however, few studies exist exploring the holistic return on investment (ROI) of online learning programs. While some research examines potential cost- and time-savings, among other major investments and returns, no research encompasses all aspects of an eLearning implementation. This review of the literature about eLearning in universities and the corporate sector identifies six key considerations for decision makers when determining how best to leverage eLearning. These include the financial ROI; the return on time investment; the affective ROI for all stakeholders involved; the effectiveness of programs; the potential for indirect returns, such as larger community improvement; and stakeholder weight factors. As evidenced by the literature, each of these factors individually can determine the success or failure of an eLearning integration plan. However, considering all elements can provide a more thorough representation of an eLearning implementation’s risks and rewards. Through the synthesis of these major components as they are each outlined in the literature, this paper proposes a foundational model through which key decision makers in organizations can determine how eLearning adoption best fits in their institutions.