Evaluating Trainings

Evaluating Trainings

Evaluation is often looked at from four different levels (the "Kirkpatrick levels") listed below. Global Training Guide offers different level of assessments.

Reaction - What does the learner feel about the training?

Learning - What facts, knowledge, etc., did the learner gain?

Behaviors - What skills did the learner develop, that is, what new information is the learner using on the job?

Results or effectiveness - What results occurred, that is, did the learner apply the new skills to the necessary tasks in the organization and, if so, what results were achieved?

Although level 4, evaluating results and effectiveness, is the most desired result from training, it's usually the most difficult to accomplish. Evaluating effectiveness often involves the use of key performance measures -- measures you can see, e.g., faster and more reliable output from the machine after the operator has been trained, higher ratings on employees' job satisfaction questionnaires from the trained supervisor, etc. This is where following sound principles of performance management is of great benefit.

Typically, evaluators look for validity, accuracy and reliability in their evaluations. However, these goals may require more time, people and money than the organization has. Evaluators are also looking for evaluation approaches that are practical and relevant.

Training and development activities can be evaluated before, during and after the activities. Global Training Guide follows the following:

Before the Implementation Phase

Will the selected training and development methods really result in the employee's learning the knowledge and skills needed to perform the task or carry out the role? Have other employees used the methods and been successful?

Consider applying the methods to a highly skilled employee. Ask the employee of their impressions of the methods.

Do the methods conform to the employee's preferences and learning styles? Have the employee briefly review the methods, e.g., documentation, overheads, etc. Does the employee experience any difficulties understanding the methods?

During Implementation of Training

Ask the employee how they're doing. Do they understand what's being said?

Periodically conduct a short test, e.g., have the employee explain the main points of what was just described to him, e.g., in the lecture.

Is the employee enthusiastically taking part in the activities? Is he or she coming late and leaving early. It's surprising how often learners will leave a course or workshop and immediately complain that it was a complete waste of their time. Ask the employee to rate the activities from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest rating. If the employee gives a rating of anything less than 5, have the employee describe what could be done to get a 5.

After Completion of the Training

Give him or her a test before and after the training and development, and compare the results?

Interview him or her before and after, and compare results?

Watch him or her perform the task or conduct the role?

Assign an expert evaluator from inside or outside the organization to evaluate the learner's knowledge and skills?

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