Evaluation and Training

January 15, 2006 at 9:47 pm 2 comments

In the past decades organisations have invested heavily in training staff often with the aim of increasing productivity.  Yet most organisations never evaluate the usefulness of such training. I’m suprised how many organisations still don’t undertake even basic evaluation to measure the reaction of participants.

The most well known model for training evaluation was developed by Donald Kirkpatrick way back in the 70s. But it’s still relevant today – he focused on evaluating four levels of impact:

  1. Reaction
  2. Learning
  3. Behavior
  4. Results

Reaction measures how well the participants liked the training program and is usually undertaking directly after the training via interviews or surveys. Learning focuses on what has been understood and absorbed once the training is completed through follow-up survey, tests and other methods. Behaviour looks at how the skills and knowledge learnt are used in the work environment and can be measured through interviews (peers, superiors) observations and diaries/logs. Results focuses on the impact on the organisation. This is the hardest step to measure, evidently. The main difficulty is how to determine if any changes in an organisation (e.g. increased motivation) is due to the training.  A fifth level, Return on Investment was added at a later stage (notably by J. Phillips).

I’m currently working with organisations in evaluating training with a focus on level four results, so I’ll post interesting findings on this blog.

Meanwhile, if your like to learn more about these four steps of training evaluation, consult this article by none less than four specialists.


Entry filed under: Training evaluation.

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