(This blog post is page 1 of 5 …scroll to the bottom for links to the other pages)
Did I really just dare to answer this question? After years of debate? Yes, I did ! And why not .. maybe my opinion is worth something to someone….
I saw this question in a recent LinkedIn discussion from the ASTD group, raised by Kim Schweitzer. Again, there is SO much to say! Actually, the question was about “feedback from the audience”, but I adapted it slightly to talk about other things…
There are SO many questions that can be asked and approaches that can be taken to evaluating training – I’ve seen a lot as both a Learning+Development Manager and a freelance trainer. And the conversation goes on… so I will not try to play the expert here, but just outline what I think are the key issues.
Let’s start at the beginning…
What is key is to first be clear on WHAT you want to assess: Satisfaction? Learning? Behaviour? Competence? Return on Investment?
..then you need to ask WHEN you will do this
..and then: What will you DO with all this information?
Regarding WHAT you want to evaluate, consider Kirkpatrick’s 4 levels of evaluation:
- How did they react to training?
- What did they learn?
- What do they do differently?
- What are the results?
It’s my opinion that only level 1 can truly be assessed with a satisfaction form (happy sheet): How did they react?
We might say that we can assess levels 2, 3 and 4 with a happy-sheet, but I disagree. You can only assess what they SAY they learnt, do, achieved (which is perhaps also worth asking, by the way).
The rest of this blog is split into 4 parts. Choose one of these links to read more…
- If you are talking about level 1 evaluation (“happy sheets”) these are my current favourite questions
- If you want to assess learning, you need to test competence
- If you want to assess behaviour, you need to observe and talk to different people
- Finally, don’t forget to assess results
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