The Benefits of Elearning

M&S saved £500k in a year making the switch to elearning for one of their needs. They also improved customer service by 22% and became more profitable as a result. Still unconvinced? Read on.

5 benefits

here are 5 key benefits in which elearning has transformed the landscape of learning and development. When compared to the traditional mode of classroom learning, there is clear evidence that elearning brings:

  • It's what learners want - really
  • Faster delivery
  • Lower costs
  • More effective learning
  • Lower environmental impact.


It's what learners want - really

The recent report from Towards Maturity on the gap between corporate learning and what learners actually want highlights that, when given a choice, learners want mobile, relevant, personalised and self-paced content at a point of need. What they get, is often a little different - with too much emphasis on face-to-face and long courses.

The digital revolution and smartphone boom has triggered huge changes in how we access, consume, discuss, and share content. Naturally, learning is following suit. Whilst many want learning at a point of need, many learn in evenings and at weekends and on the way to or from work. 

A key benefit to getting your learning online and multi-device is that it ensures you are in sync with modern learners - delivering the type of content they want, when they want it. Get learners on-side, and you're more likely to get the results you need. Plus, digital, self-paced learning can be accessed at point of need, not somewhere else - like a classroom far away - so employees can apply what they've learnt straight away. 

The Towards Maturity report and our Insights report, also highlight learners' leaning towards social and collaborative learning. Technology can support and enable this, at a global scale. So, basically, digital is where it's at, all round.

See some examples:

Rolls Royce: A multi-device and personalised learning solution that has gamification techniques at its heart. 

EasyJet Onboarding: A blended approach that helps get 1,500 new recruits a year up to speed, with a sustainable solution.

You can read the report from Towards Maturity here.


Faster Delivery

At a time when change is faster than ever, a key advantage of elearning is that it has quicker delivery cycle times than traditional classroom-based instruction. In fact, research[1-2] indicates that elearning reduces learning time by at least 25 to 60 percent when compared to traditional learning. Elearning cuts down on the training time required because:

  • it does not take as long to start and wrap up a learning session
  • learners set their own pace, rather than the pace of the group
  • no travel time is needed to get to and from training events
  • learners can focus on elements of a programme they need to learn and can skip what they already know

Alongside these factors, there is also a practical limitation on how quickly learning can be rolled out with classroom-based instruction, as the capacity to deliver is limited by the number of available classrooms and trainers. Our rapid elearning service on the other hand, has enabled organisations to create and roll out training programmes within weeks, or even days.

To learn more, you can find our rapid elearning case studies here.


Lower Costs

Because of the speed and ease in which elearning is delivered, the costs of learning and development for an organisation are drastically reduced.

There are the immediate cost-effective gains of elearning in terms of reducing training time as well as cost-effective savings in terms of trainers, course materials, travel and accommodation. However, it is equally important to highlight that elearning, when done right, can also improve an organisation’s profitability. City & Guilds Kineo has a number of ROI case studies which demonstrate the immediate and long-term financial benefits of elearning, including: 

McDonald's who saved £5m over 2 years with their Business Controls Elearning, as well as seeing a 10% sales growth as a result of the training. View the full case study here.

Compass Group whose programme demonstrated an estimated cost reduction of £495k in 6 months as a result of no longer needing to pay for accommodation, travel, time out of the business, external trainers or materials. The full case study can be seen here.


More Effective Elearning

Our case studies show time and again that elearning courses can have a positive and direct impact on an organisation’s profitability by making it easy to learn and digest information.

Studies on elearning[3] and evidence found in City & Guilds Kineo case studies have made it increasingly clear that elearning has the following positive benefits for learners:

  • better attitude toward the elearning format and training in general
  • improved scores on tests, certifications or other evaluations
  • increase in number of learners who achieve ‘mastery’ level and / or ‘pass’ exams
  • greater ability to apply the new knowledge or processes on the job
  • better long-term retention of information


Lower Environmental Impact

By providing an alternative to the paper-based learning and testing of traditional classrooms, elearning is an effective way for organisations to significantly reduce their carbon footprint.

A study by the Open University found that on average, the production and provision of distance learning courses consumed nearly 90 percent less energy and produced 85 percent fewer CO2 emissions per student than conventional campus-based university courses.

The key areas in which elearning lowers an organisations’ environmental impact are as follows:

  • cuts down on the travel and accommodation costs associated with undertaking a course
  • reduces the need for a campus site and the accompanying costs of maintaining the facility and equipment
  • eliminates the need for paper, thus saving trees


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1. Rosenberg, M.J. (2001). E-Learning: Strategies for Delivering Knowledge in the Digital Age. New York: McGraw-Hill.
2. Hall, Brandon. (2001), “Learning management and Knowledge Management. Is the holy grail of integration close at hand?”
3. Hall, Brandon. (2001), “E-Learning Guide. Six Steps to Implementing E-Learning.”