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I want to use computer-based learning, but how do I justify the cost on a tight budget?


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When costs are an issue (and they are always an issue!), keep those five principles in mind to help present a compelling case for justifying computer-based learning (CBL) approaches as a sound learning model across the organization compared with traditional classroom, instructor-based training (Rosenberg, 2001; Hall, 1998):

  • CBL learning approaches are often more efficient, especially when large educational interventions are needed
  • The time it takes to deliver CBL training to all learners is significantly shorter
  • CBL costs are often lower than the cost of classroom, instructor-led training of the same content
  • The financial benefits of CBL come back to the whole organization through staff cost savings due to less backfill required to cover for staff members going off the unit of out of the department for training
  • The most money is saved through CBL learners returning to productive work more quickly
  • Improving the technical infrastructure can be expensive, but that infrastructure can be used may times and can also provide additional benefits to other departments outside of the training area

Do be certain to do your homework first and confirm that each of these assertions is indeed true before using any of them to support your position with CBL decision-makers and stakeholders.

Hall, B. (1998). Web-Based Training Cookbook. Wiley and Sons: New York.

Rosenberg, M. (2001) e-Learning. McGraw-Hill: New York

Adrianne E. Avillion, DEd, RN

(January 2011)