Does anyone have any metrics about the take up of e-learning by users in an organisation. I am tyring to manage the organisation's expectation that we will have 100% take up of an e-learning course we are launching shortly and would like to benchmark against best practice. My thoughts are that 100% is unrealistic without a lot of policing which disengages employees and that 60-80% is nearer the mark for something which should be company wide.


I welcome your input.



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Hi Dennis,

You are in the same position as anyone trying to market a new product to their target market.

Factors that will affect take-up are:
- Employee motivation (what's in it for me?)
- Manager engagement (what's in it for my team?)
- Ease of access
- Usefulness of the product
- Desirability of the product
- The marketing effort that is put in to encourage engagement

Remember that take-up metrics bear very little relation to the effectiveness of the elearning materials. Better metrics are around whether the managers felt that their employees changed their behaviours following the course.

Having said that, I agree with you that 100% take-up is totally unrealistic.

You will be doing very well if you get 80% take-up. 60% is probably more likely. That's just a gut feel based on experience. The Towards Maturity website might have more information on this.


Thanks Mark, I will have a look and see what I find.

Hi Dennis

It raises the old chestnut, volume or quality? Perhaps the real metric goes beyond take up percentage. What percentage applied their learning to the job? If that % is high then regardless of the overall take up percentage; this one carries a lot of weight. Completion % of the e-learning is key also; take up % can ignore completion %.

I agree with Mark; the internal marketing/sell of the training will be vital. Managers being involved with the training prior/during and post is the real buy in.

100% take up is something you will see in highly regulated environments, banks for example, where the employees have no choice but to engage with the e-learning. If your course is compulsory then 100% is easily achieveable.


Sheena Clohessy
I Can Do Learning
Hi Dennis, we had a similar experience in our organisation.

Unless there is a clear steer from management that this is the expectation and they outline the consequences for not engaging with the activiity then a normal bell curve will say that not 100% will take part unless there is some motivation behind it.

As has been said, voluntary take up of online learning by people are dictated very much by their immediate or long term needs as Mark mentions.

I developed my last companies QA processes based around teh Sloan-c five pillars materails. I can recommend them, not least because they are free (!) and provide a benchmark of excellence for online learning delivery.

All the best, Tim
My immediate thought was to suggest the Towards Maturity website, but see you have already been signposted in that direction!
Hi Dennis

I'd tend to agree with others who have said that it is not the take up in itself which is important but the impact that the learning has on the organisation through the changes in people's behaviour. Of course, if the learning is statutory or mandatory, take-up becomes extremely important.

hope this is helpful

Hi Dennis

you probably know that over the years we've been independently benchmarking best practice on e-learning implementation looking at what factors actually influence impact and take up of e-learning at work.

one of the questions in this year's benchmark whcih is currently live is what % of your staff acces e-learning - i don't normally give out stats midway through the survey as they may be likely to change but given that LSG members are a sensible bunch, I think i can trust you with mid way data :)

As at 5 pm today, over 200 have answered this question ( from a real mix of private & public organisations, large and small all at different maturity of e-learning implemention) and so far the average take up is 57% of staff access e-learning . Over 25% of the sample has access levels of 90% and above ( with quite a few hitting 100%) and 25% have 15% or lower accessing it! ( so Mark's gut feel is spot on at the moment!)

Our previous industry benchmarks have flagged up the 6 areas of implementation behavior that influence take up so once this survey is closed one of the things we will be doing is cross checking the factors that influence the take up of those in the top quartile vs those in the bottom so watch this space.

If you haven't had a chance to go through the benchmark yet, do take part - its open til the end of July for free - everyone who completes it not only gets the full industry benchmark but also their own personalised review highlighting strenghts , weaknesses and action plans to improve take up and impact .The link for this is below ( it takes a bit of investment in time as we are pretty thorough :)!

hope this helps

let me know if you need any more info

My advice is to focus on the outputs, not the inputs. The issue is not one of "how many people take the e-learning course" but how many people get the skills that result from taking the course! So the critical metrics are assessment rather than take-up!
completely agree with Alan - when we do our benchmarks we focus on what influences impact of learning technologies ( on business metrics and staff motivation), take up of e-learning is an important indicator of future success ( if no-one accesses then you definitely won't get any outputs!)

We've found that the 6 areas mentioned above correlate to business impact, staff impact and take up so they are all interlinked in a way!



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