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Benefits of e-Learning through LMS from a Company Perspective

Published: May 17, 2021

Any company trading from within South Africa must meet several requirements for training of employees.  Pertinent mentions include Human Resources’ (HR) record of attendance and competency, Employment Equity (EE) reporting and the BBBEE scorecard.

To summarise the requirements to satisfy these needs, a company must:

  • Have a record of who received the training;
  • Retain a copy of the content of training provided;
  • Proof of attendance by employees;
  • Certain criteria call for the proof of competency; and
  • Detailed costing of the costs incurred to provide said training.

The achievement of these requirements depend heavily on record keeping and company procedures being followed.  Maintenance and administration of these records are costly and, not to mention, time consuming.

It would be terrific if a solution can be found where these criteria are attained and contained in one specific location! In my search for a solution, I found an LMS would be the perfect solution and the cost savings were surprising, to say the least.

An LMS is an e-Learning platform and basically means: Learning Management System.  The beauty of this system is you only need to load your course once and then tick the majority of the required boxes.

AchievementInstructorHREE ReportBBBEE
Training Records of who attended which course
Monitor time spent by each delegate
Determine payroll cost per delegate 
Ease of determining the overall cost per delegate using time monitoring system 
Level of competency can be measured by way of a quiz or assignment 
Issue certificates of attendance, competency, or both to the delegate  
Have time to assist individuals who require a one-on-one approach   
More time for courses to be developed and tweaked according to the requirements of clients / delegates   

Over and above the administrative nightmare which training management poses: there’s the logistics of gathering the delegates in one room simultaneously; the time and cost of the facilitator who presents the course; snacks and refreshments are expected for longer sessions; the training materials to be provided to each delegate; … this list can be quite extensive.

As someone who has provided and administered training for companies with a staff compliment of up to 100 employees, I analysed my own needs by weighing up the pro’s, con’s and costs. 

With the 3 training scenarios below in mind, I conducted an in-depth 2 step analysis of each:

  1. Offsite Training Centre – Hiring of a venue
  2. Inhouse Training Centre – A training centre within the company or making use of the boardroom.
  3. An LMS – Online e-Learning platform

Firstly, my criteria and thoughts consisted of:

Criteria / NeedOffsite TrainingInhouse TrainingTraining on an LMS
VenueA venue would have to be booked which costs in the region of R 400.00 per person. (Cost based on Tshwane region as at May 2021)A training centre/facility would have to be allocated within the company’s premises.  You’re paying rent/mortgage for each m² from a costing point of view.   Their usual work area which is calculated into the company’s overhead rates or the home of the employee if they choose to do the course offsite.
Presentation EquipmentHired / Own: Microphone, projector, PC/USB connection, screen, flipchart/whiteboard, etc.  

The cost of which could be anything from R 150.00 to thousands.  
Hired / Own: Microphone, projector, PC/USB connection, screen, flipchart/whiteboard, etc.  

The cost of which could be anything from R 150.00 to thousands.  

An internet connection which is almost a certainty in any work environment.  

A device with which to connect to the internet: mobile, PC or tablet.  
AccommodationShould the venue be outside a reasonable driving distance, or if the course runs over 2 or more days, then accommodation will need to be provided.None if all delegates nearby.  But if the course is to be attended by staff of other regions, then accommodation would need to be provided or the facilitator would need to travel and be accommodated.   None at all … ever.
CateringThe basic water, tea or coffee would be essential.   

Snacks and meals become a factor when considering the duration of the course.  The average meal costs in the region of R 150.00 per person per meal, the costs mount alarmingly quick for larger groups.  
For training sessions which exceed 2 hours, the basic water, tea or coffee would be essential.   

Snacks and meals would be at your discretion should the course extend to full day.  

Certainly wouldn’t meet nor exceed the expenses as for offsite training.  
None. 
Materials to be ProvidedTraining manuals or booklets need to be printed along with a notepad and a pen.

  Should additional “show and tell” be required, the facilitator would have to ensure all is supplied accordingly.  

Cost to print each Manual:
R 25 for cover  
R 16 for binding
30c per A4 page in basic colour  

Average manual of 30 pages would cost R 50.00 each.  
Training manuals or booklets need to be printed along with a notepad and a pen.

  Should additional “show and tell” be required, the facilitator would have to ensure all is supplied accordingly.  

Cost to print each Manual:
R 25 for cover  
R 16 for binding
30c per A4 page in basic colour  

Average manual of 30 pages would cost R 50.00 each.  
Notepad & Pen if necessary
Scheduling & LogisticsOf great concern to any planning operation, its scheduling of who can attend … at what time … without leaving a department / section devoid of staff.  If you don’t want to close down an entire department / section while training is in progress, 2 or more sessions would need to be co-ordinated.  Thereby increasing the cost of the training course.Of great concern to any planning operation, its scheduling of who can attend … at what time … without leaving a department / section devoid of staff.  If you don’t want to close down an entire department / section while training is in progress, 2 or more sessions would need to be co-ordinated.  Thereby increasing the cost of the training course. None – At delegates’ pace within an extended timeframe.
Other Pro’s and Con’s Very conducive to group discussions as you’d have a captive audience.    

Timeline imperative to ensure all content covered.    

Little to no time for individual assistance or assessment  

Show and tell type interaction would be tricky but do-able.
Conducive to group discussions but the interruption factor could still occur.  

Timelines are imperative to ensure all content covered.    

Little to no time for individual assistance or assessment  

Inhouse is always best for demonstration training.
Group Discussions are difficult to achieve.      

Longer period can be provided to complete the course.   

More than ample time to provide assistance and assessment  

Hands-on interactions would be impossible and video clips would need to be used.  

Secondly, the unavoidable and often brutal factor is that of Cost. 

I found the cost implications of subscribing and building my own platform excessive for my budget and, therefore, decided to make use of a local platform within South Africa called The Nest Lab which suited both my requirements and my budget. 

The fee structure of The Nest Lab is perfect for me in that the fees are only applicable when a student is given access to my courses.  (Click Here to see fee structures)

In the costing details that follow, I made use of:

  • an average sized course for 15 delegates
  • averaged the cost per delegate for the offsite venue costs of Tshwane
  • included catering costs for both offsite and inhouse as a “worst case scenario”
  • the LMS fees are on an average sized course for the 15 delegates
  • the manuals are based on current printing & binding costs of Plan Photo Repro

It is now clearly apparent, the use of an LMS is definitely a viable option for majority of courses offered.  Considering the 2 con’s, being group discussions and demonstrations, they too can be overcome.

A video clip can be created to overcome the demonstrations obstacles and group discussions can be held on a variety of online facilities: Skype, Google Meet, Zoom are a few of the more popular choices.

Keep an eye out for my next article in which I’ll provide the processes, criteria and fee structures used in my investigations.

Author:

Samantha Göke is a business systems Guru with more than two decades of experience working in various financial and office managerial roles. She is highly skilled in all bookkeeping functions, Inventory control, Job costings, asset management and controlling several branches. In her current role, she oversees all human resources, financial administration and legislative compliance functions for creative professionals.

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