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Measuring eLearning Success: What’s Your Data’s Story?

How do you know your eLearning programs are successful?

A meaningful evaluation strategy is much more than crafting a course evaluation template in your LMS or running a report. In order to know whether your eLearning programs are meeting the mark, consider setting three levels of measurement: Strategy, Portfolio Performance, and Learning.


Question: What are our strategic goals for our eLearning portfolio?

Often when I ask this question the response is “more.” More revenue. More registrations. More participation. But to what end? So you can do what? Define what results you’d like to see from your learning portfolio that contribute to the mission of your organization.

Sample measures:

  • Revenue: sales, units, refunds, profit/loss, market share, buying cycles
  • Registration: first-time registration, return registration, unique registrants
  • Controlled Costs: staff time, technology expenses, honoraria,

Action: Define your strategic objectives and then measure your progress meeting them.

Portfolio Performance

Question: What are our expectations of optimally executed learning programs?

Think beyond just getting content online to how your learning portfolio should ideally perform. Are you interested in reaching particular segments of your target market? Measure that’s happening. Are you interested in publishing two courses a month and delivering weekly micro-content? Monitor the development process for issues and note opportunities to introduce efficiencies.

Sample measures:

  • Customer satisfaction: reaction ratings, customer service calls, flagged issues, net promotor score
  • Development: delivering on publication schedule, noting where courses may be getting hung up in the development process, quality standards met
  • Utilization: desired targets are participating, course completion rates

Action: Define what a high-functioning learning portfolio looks like and measure your progress toward that target.


Question: Did learning happen?

Ultimately, the point of offering online learning is that learning happens. Our courses are designed to facilitate real change deepening knowledge, skill level, and competence. This transformation is the core value we offer our learners. It’s why they purchase our programs and return for more. It’s why they complete our courses. It’s why they recommend them to others. So let’s measure transformation is happening.

Sample measures:

  • Learning objectives: measure the course delivered upon its promises
  • Confidence: ask how confident participants are that they can apply what they learned in practice
  • Commitment: ask whether learners intend to apply what they learned in practice
  • Behavior: measure whether change happened – was the learning actually applied? Is deepened knowledge, skill, and competence evident? Were outcomes achieved?

Action: Define the expected learning outcomes and then design measures that will evaluate success – learning, behavior change, results.

Measure success by clarifying your vision for your learning programs. Then assess the opportunities to collect data before, during and afterward to map your efforts against your target. But don’t stop at data. Make time to listen to your data’s story and use it to make better decisions about your programs.

To learn more about how Blue Sky can help with your eLearning programs, contact us today.


Tracy King, MA, CAE

As Chief Learning Strategist & Founder of InspirEd, Tracy leverages her more than 17 years in the education industry for associations interested in increasing their relevance and revenue with meaningful live, online, and mobile learning programs. Tracy specializes in the intersection of learning science and technology. She’s a thought leader in education strategy and learning experience design. In addition, Tracy offers training to instructional design teams, content experts, and at conferences to promote leading edge practices developing learning experiences that make a measurable difference. For more information, please visit or

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