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Evaluation of drama-based training

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I am keen to find out about any studies that have been carried out into the effectiveness of drama-based training. Although there is a lot of very positive anecdotal feedback I have not seen any studies - ideally at level 3 and 4 of Kirkpatrick. Please let me know if you know where I could find any such studies or if you have carried any out. Thanks.
Matthew de Lange

8 Responses

  1. validate or evaluate?
    Hi Matthew,

    An interesting question!

    There are for me 2 aspects to your question:

    1 – was the drama-based training effective – i.e. did it deliver on the stated objectives?

    2 – did learners take things back from the course and put them in to practice in the workplace such that the organisation got some measurable benefit?

    Generally (1) is known as validation and (2) is known as evaluation.

    It would be useful to know which of these you are looking for data on.

    Cheers

    Martin

  2. You’ll Be Lucky!
    Matthew – the absence of any response to your immediate question I think tells you everything you need to know in relationship to this matter.

    The grim reality is that I would estimate that about 95%+ of training delivered in the UK has no evaluation undertaken at levels 3 & 4 of any substance or worth, and certainly none that I am aware of specifically around drama based training.

  3. Good question
    and I dunno the answer – sounds like a good topic for a dissertation ! A couple of suggestions – try the ASTD or similar website, and ask someone like Michael Maynard (of Maynard Leigh). OK, so he’s got an axe to grind, but he’s very helpful. Give us an update if you find anything.

  4. Evaluation of drama-based training in 2008
    Perhaps it’s a sign of changing times but at Theatre and Ltd we encourage all our clients to explore the benefits of validation and evaluation from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective.
    We approach all our projects keeping our clients learning objectives in mind at all times and ensure the learning activities selected within any programme can provide the client with meaningful information that goes well beyond a happy sheet.

    Drama-based training can do so much more than entertain – if it is really focused on your organisation’s needs with the supplier having sound learning knowledge the transfer of learning far outweighs other learning methods.

  5. Examples?
    Kath Hirst wrote: “Perhaps it’s a sign of changing times but at Theatre and Ltd we encourage all our clients to explore the benefits of validation and evaluation from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective. ~ We approach all our projects keeping our clients learning objectives in mind at all times and ensure the learning activities selected within any programme can provide the client with meaningful information that goes well beyond a happy sheet.”

    Can you give us some anonymous examples Kath to illustrate both organisational learning objectives and the associated qualitative and quantitative measures you employ?

  6. Evaluating drama-based training
    Should this be any different from more traditional training methods??

    We use a number of different measures which are formed right at the very start of a project. These can range from:-
    – Focus Groups
    – Interviews
    – Line management review and feedback
    – Reflective Research
    – Customer/ service user feedback

    All of which are to measure movement for example – what is now being done differently, what behaviours have changed since the learning objectives have had the chance to embed back in the work environment. And if no change – Why not?

    Not to mention more of the quantitative measures such as:
    – Reduction in lost working days due to stress
    – Grievances (can be plus or minus)
    – Performance Management
    – Reduction in legal employment costs

    All of the above are completely dependent on the specific learning and organisational objectives of the client.

  7. And ?
    .. what WERE the outcomes of effectiveness measures that Matthew and Gary were looking for ?

    If you must plug your company, please explain, preferably quantitatively, what difference your interventions made.

    Thanks, Peter

  8. Case Study Examples?
    Thanks for responding Kath – I understand the measures, but I was actually interested in some actual anonymous case study examples with data, perhaps culled from one of your advertised clients that you’ve worked with?

    • The Independent Police Complaints Commission
    • Centrex
    • Her Majesty’s Prison Service
    • GlaxoSmithKline
    • National Museums, Liverpool
    • Dorset Police
    • Essex Probationary Service
    • University of Wolverhampton
    • University of Arts –London
    • University of Glasgow
    • Environment Agency
    • Coventry City Council
    • North Yorkshire County Council
    • London Borough of Southwark Council
    • Pennine Housing 2000
    • South East England Development Agency
    • South Birmingham Primary Care Trust
    • Five Boroughs NHS Trust

    I have no hidden agenda, I’m genuinely interested.

    And in answer to your question; “Should this be any different from more traditional training methods??”

    Definitely not.

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