Journalists and regular writers have the unusual habit of sounding what sounds sweet. For instance claims that e-learning is cheap has has rattled the pillars of learning for long. Everyone is gung ho on the "low cost" as they peruse through arbit reports and features on the subject. But that's just a common opinion -- the ground realities say that elearning is definately COSTLY.
Lets consider a scenario in India and calculate the cost factor.
First, the actual competent e-learning resources do not come cheap. This since learning is not about being able to write a script in flawless english and then prinking pictures here and there. True learning experts are people who have honed their skills after years of toil.
At the delivery end, any e-learning course has to run on a system such as an LMS that enables the administrators to track the learning progess. LMS prices are not cheap. Even an average LMS can be bought at nothing less than 40-50lakhs. Add to it the enhancements and maintenance involving a team of programmers.
Finally when the e-learning course is deployed that's not the end. Its just the beginning. Apart from a few subjects such as softskills, most courses would require updations and enhancements. This too requires a cost.
For the ones bugging the naive with all that "cost talk", I suggest that they look at elearning holistically -- the dynamism, the expertise required, the delivery mechanism, the constant maintenance and updations required and so on. Its not a magic pill that will erode all learning problems once and for all.