Training Evaluation

E-Learning Perspectives

Kirkpatrick’s four-level training evaluation model is still considered an industry standard across the HR and training communities. And quite right too. But who is actually applying the method from A to Z? Who is meticulously looking for every level of feedback?

Level 1: Learner’s Satisfaction
Did the participants like the class? Typically most training classes have participants fill out a short survey at the end of the class. Everyone does this because it is quick, not expensive and very easy to obtain.

Level 2: Increase in Knowledge
Did the participants learn what was intended? This implies that a “test” was administered (formally or informally). Such a quiz is fairly common because it is relatively simple to set up. But ideally you want to determine the amount of learning by having a “pre-test” before the course, and a “post-test.” How many training managers are setting up pre and post-class tests?

Level 3: Change in Behaviour
Are the participants actually using their new skills on the job? This is harder to measure because it typically requires cooperation of line-managers. But this level is actually more important than the 2 previous ones. How many of you send out post-course surveys to the managers, some time after the course, with specific questions geared toward assessing a behaviour change on the job? Or conduct interviews or audits?

Level 4: Effect on Business
Can you prove the effect of training on your business? These may include increased sales, increased quality, higher profits, return on investment ... This level is the hardest to measure, even though measures are often already in place via normal management reporting systems. So the challenge is only to relate these to training and trainees.

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 03/03 at 09:42 AM
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