According to an article on the wall-street.ro website, eLearning courses are becoming more and more sought after by Romanian companies. On the one hand, the costs for training their staff are reduced by up to 70 % through this method; on the other hand, the employees’ productivity can increase by up to 55 %. This article is based upon interviews with specialists in both software solutions and eLearning, including Alex Mălureanu with Ascendia.
Alex Mălureanu states that the more employees a certain company has, the more likely it is to use eLearning solutions. If there are more than 100 employees, companies need to reduce training costs. Using a computer instead of paying a trainer is much more convenient, which is why eLearning solutions are becoming increasingly popular.
The effectiveness of eLearning solutions is given by the learners’ permanent access to the learning materials, which boosts their retention of facts considerably. Moreover, an eLearning module is easy to follow, as it lasts for 30 to 90 minutes depending on its purpose and complexity.
According to Alex Mălureanu, eLearning courses are interactive; they include both simulations and role-playing games to keep learners engaged. To highlight the benefits of using eLearning solutions, he gives the example of a sales training at a pharmaceutical company that would enable pharmacists to learn cross-selling or up-selling strategies, as well as several methods of handling difficult clients.
Another aspect that Alex Mălureanu draws attention upon is that the demand for mobile learning apps is on the rise. Ascendia’s eLearning solutions consist of modules which are easy to go through, as they last for 10 to 15 minutes.
Alex Mălureanu estimates that a personalized eLearning application comprising 30 to 90-minute modules can be charged from 950 euro to 6,800 euro. The exact price depends on the complexity of the subject matter, as well as the course’s degree of interactivity. For instance, a complete 3D model of a motor will be more expensive than a finance course. Besides, overall prices are lower in Romania. A 3,000 euro’s worth of eContent here can amount up to 13,000 pounds in Great Britain.
If companies use eLearning solutions, the employees’ training is valued at 50—60 % less than instructor-led training, while the productivity of the learners increases. These are the reasons why Alex Mălureanu considers that using the latest technologies is the best option when it comes to teaching. Nevertheless, many Romanian companies using local capital haven’t become aware of these benefits and have been overrun by foreign competitors as a consequence. Furthermore, the development that the field of eLearning has been undergoing in the past few years makes up yet another advantage, as modern eCourses consist of more than text, images, and YouTube clips. Nowadays, eLearning apps are interactive; they engage students and prevent them from being just passive listeners.
Alex Mălureanu remarks that eLearning has ceased to be an exotic practice, as over 40% of the Fortune 500 companies make use of the latest technological advances in their employees’ training. However, some people still resist technology and are not as receptive to the eLearning benefits. Mălureanu also mentions those who can’t tell the difference between an expository course and an interactive one, which includes simulations, games, and applications. Fortunately, these two types of customers are not to be encountered that frequently anymore.
The eLearning industry’s worth was estimated to be of 40 billion euro on a worldwide scale in 2014. Ever since, it has increased at an annual rate of 7.6 % worldwide and 5.8 % in western Europe. Alex Mălureanu finds the case of eastern Europe to be the most interesting one, as the eLearning industry has grown by 17.7 % annually. In addition, he thinks that the industry will evolve from 600 million euro in 2013 to 1 billion euro in 2016.