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We are examining our present system of evaluating our training sessions. Currently we use basic reaction-type questionnaires but would like to expand to something more comprehensive. I would appreciate any examples of evaluation and/or any thoughts on the process. Thanks.
Christine Mack

7 Responses

  1. Evalaution and Investors in People
    Christine. Your local training and Enterprise Council (TEC) or Business Link should be able to support you as you improve/enhance your evaluation techniques. I am an Investors in People Assessor and I see common evalaution techniques like yours which may not always provide the information needed to assess whether training and development activity is producing real bottom line benefits to the organisation or indeed improving the knowledge, skills and attitude of the sraff concerened. Why not contact them – failing that mail me back and I’ll be happy to help.

  2. evaluation issues
    Christine – Your current apporach is typical and I am encouraged by your desire to evaluate more effectively. Evaluation systems can range from the fairly simply to the very sophisticated. I am currently evaluating a number of EU sponsored projects and the lessons I have learned in that environment suggests that no off-the-peg solution is likely to suit you. It will depend on what it is you wish to evaluate. Feel free to contact me if you would like an example of an evaluation framework.

  3. the cost of evaluation
    What you are describing is unlikely to provide information about the value of a learning event. It will give you feedback about how the learner feels at the end of the sessions and it will tell you if the trainer did what s/he set out to do (validation). Real evaluation comes later when the individual is putting their learning into practice in their normal work environment, and, it is notoriously difficult to do! Evaluation is important when looking for cost benefit returns from expensive programmes where lots of people attend. It may not always be cost effective to try to evaluate all learning events for all individuals.

  4. LEAP
    If you send me an email address I will send you the details of an evaluation system in Microsoft Word format which I think you would find useful.

    My E mail is: [email protected]

  5. Evaluation
    As with most of the other comments you have received Christine, no one framework, system, or process I fear will suffice. My experience over more years than I care to remember suggests that you need to ask three vital questions: who is the evaluation for, what do they want to know, and why do they want to know it. The answers to these questions will provide you with the basis for an evaluation strategy, which will then provide you with a methodology, and finally you can decide what data collection tools/instruments you will need.
    If you want to discuss further my e-mail address is: [email protected] or ‘phone 01926 614229.

  6. Identify the desired business impact first
    Evaluation does not need to involve rocket science. Work out what the business impact you are seeking from the training 9if you can’t do that, ask why the training is needed in the first place!) Then identify what data exists within the business in the impact area you have identified, and develop a way of comparing the performance of those who are trainer versus those who aren’t. Piece of cake!
    It isnt of course straightforward when you get into the detail, but the principles are.
    Oh, and don’t forget to get your methodology signed off by the sponsor BEFORE you do the training. Otherwise you can come up with your brilliant analysis and he or she can easily say “so what?”.

    If you’d like to discuss specifics feel free to contact me : 01295 256161

  7. Evaluating training programmes
    Kikpatrick, D. L. (1994) Evaluating training programs: the four levels. USA; Berrett-Koehler.

    Kirkpatrick advocates going beyond simple reaction questionnaires; evaluation should focus on four levels – reaction, learning, behaviour and results.


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