What questions should you asked to assess training? or What is the best way to evaluate training?

(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:

  1. How did they react to training?
  2. What did they learn?
  3. What do they do differently?
  4. What are the results?

…see this link for more information


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…


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Published by Dan Steer

Wandering corporate trainer, learning and development consultant, conference speaker and professional El-Magico. I help people get better at stuff by creating and facilitating Infinite Learning © opportunities. The world would be a better place if everyone was doing what he loved and doing it well. I am working to bring out the "El Magico" in everybody. Training in presentation and communication skills, leadership, social media for learning and marketing, learning and development management + personal effectiveness.

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