The Top Metrics to Use for Evaluating Your eLearning Programs

Designing Digitally


The Top Metrics to Use for Evaluating Your eLearning Programs

Say you're looking to create a Learning and Development (L&D) culture amongst your employees. Or, maybe you're just looking to upgrade an existing Learning Management System (LMS). Whatever the case may be, employee training courses are trending and lots of companies are adopting ready-made or bespoke training programs into their workplace culture. For this reason, it's becoming increasingly important to measure the efficiency of employee training programs.

Sure, developing such an educational learning system for your employees is an important step. Still, there's no fire without smoke! And, in our case, the smoke is represented by the results of the training course. Is the training course helping increase the business' bottom line? Are employees more productive, happier, or more satisfied with their job? Is your turnover rate lower now than prior to course implementation? These are all valid questions to ask when gauging the efficiency and ROI of an employee learning program.

Start the process by answering these two questions:

  1. What metrics will you use for evaluating employee training?

  2. What kind of models should you follow to extract the pertinent data?

Why Measure

As mentioned, it's important to set up some key metrics to evaluate training. This part of the process is needed because the resulting data will point towards a myriad of effects the training course is having on your organization and employees. You'll gain valuable insight into the quality and impact your training is having on your staff and your bottom line.

There are two categories of measurements you'll need to have a close look at, performance and activity metrics. Performance metrics speak to the effectiveness of the training from a business standpoint. Measuring the course's job impact, how long it takes for employees to incorporate new skills into their jobs, how effective instructors are, impact on the overall goals of your business, as well as how many employees stick around and how many leave, will help you correlate training outcomes to changes in the bottom line.

Activity metrics provide insight into the success of course implementation and employee participation. Measuring how many employees participate and how many succeed in finishing the course will indicate whether the course is a success, what portions need more work, and the course's level of perceived difficulty. This data will set the ground for further developing your training program.

What to Measure

Without further ado, here are a few of the main employee training metrics you can use to gather and analyze important data resulting from running your employee training: 

  1. Training Completion Time Tracking

This metric can help you discover which employees speed through the course and which of them are lagging behind. You'll then have clear data about how learners are faring within the course and create clear solutions for helping them along.

  1. Number of Attempts Needed to Finish the Course

It's important to track how long employees take to finish the course but it is just as important to figure out where they get stuck and how many times they try to pass the same module. Including quizzes and various types of tests will ensure you have the right data to support your inquiry. You might find that an employee takes five tries to pass a certain test while another gets it right the first time. This metric will help define whether the course is too hard for most people to complete. In this case, you'll be able to better adapt the course to learner needs and capabilities.

Read also: How You Can Motivate Your Employees to Complete Training Courses

  1. Score Tracking

Your employees' final scores combined with the number of attempts and completion time are a great indicator of overall training success. The resulting data will inform you on how successful learners were in retaining the new knowledge and applying it in their day-to-day job.

Read also: Tin Can (xAPI) Vs. SCORM: Which is Right for Your Learning Needs? 

  1. Employee Turnover Rate

The turnover rate is closely linked to employee job satisfaction. If employees feel they have room to grow in your organization, they'll stay on for longer. Thus, correlating the old turnover rate with the new rate, upon course completion, can illustrate the efficiency of your training course.

Read also: How Employee Training and Development Reduces Turnover

  1. ROI Tracking

In the end, we are all affected by the company's bottom line. If employees flourish, so does the organization, and vice-versa. Taking a close look at the impact the training has on the bottom line can help you make decisions about the next step in your company's L&D evolution. You might find that consistent employee training reflects an increase in ROI, and thus adjust the budget to offer more educational opportunities for your staff. The opposite can also happen. That's when you would need to reevaluate the efficiency of the course altogether.

  1. Gathered Data

One of the best elements of online training is the instant and regular feedback you get from employees before, during, and after course completion. Make sure to include surveys about the training and trainer performance. Ask your staff what they liked about the course, what you could improve, and what hit the nail squarely on the head. This method will also make employees feel heard and prove their input is important to you.

How to Measure

There are quite a few methods you can use for measuring eLearning effectiveness. Here are the top five methods for successfully analyzing employee training metrics:

  1. The Kirkpatrick Model

The Kirkpatrick Model was developed in the mid-1950s. Donald Kirkpatrick proposed a four-level evaluation model for determining whether a training module is successful or not: Reaction, Learning, Behavior, and Results. Using this model will yield a plethora of data pointing to on-the-job performance vis-a-vis learner knowledge retention and skill acquisition.

  1. The Phillips Model

The Phillips Model is an extension of Kirkpatrick's Model. Phillips added a fifth level: ROI. He proposed that it's important to try and discover the effect training has on the company's bottom line.

Read also: The Phillips Model and How to Use It for Evaluating Employee Learning

  1. The Kaufman Model

Kaufman also used the Kirkpatrick Model as a springboard for creating his own evaluation criteria. Kaufman's metrics are based on needs and look to the interdisciplinary quality of evaluating training success. He proposes that we measure outcomes, outputs, products, processes, and inputs. These five metrics are tied in through analyzing the macro, micro, and mega types of needs a system might have.

  1. The Anderson Model

This model insists upon total alignment between the desired learning outcomes and the company's goal-driven strategy. Anderson believed that true analysis of training efficiency could be observed only when these two elements are in sync.

  1. The Brinkerhoff Method

Brinkerhoff's Method deals in extremes. He encourages organizations to take a close look at the high-achieving learners versus unsuccessful learners and dissect them in detail. This method can help refine the training course so that future training efforts can have higher success rates. 

Read also: How to Measure the Effectiveness of Mobile Training


There's no single best way of evaluating your eLearning programs. But, knowing what metrics to use for evaluating employee training can get you closer to true results. Although the Kirkpatrick Model is the most widely used, choosing the right method for your business will go a long way towards enduring training success. When in doubt, feel free to contact our team for assistance. Effective collaboration will teach you how to create, implement, and assess a valuable training program.