Evaluation should occur throughout the process allowing you to refine your training based on experience and feedback.
Donald Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Learning Evaluation are often utilized during this phase of the ADDIE process.
The degree to which participants find the training favorable, engaging and relevant to their jobs.
After the completion of the workshop consider sending a feedback survey to gouge reaction. Asking someone to complete a survey after the workshop is not as successful as allocating time at the end of the workshop.
The degree to which participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, attitude, confidence and commitment based on their participation in the training.
On this level we test the knowledge and skills acquired during the training. This evaluation can take place right after the training is concluded, or after some time has passed. Tests and surveys are used to evaluate the training results and to assign to them a measurable value. Another option is to have the learners who have completed the training to train other employees, conduct a presentation for colleagues from different branches, or help in adapting and training new hires. Besides helping internalize the acquired knowledge, this has the additional benefit of speeding up the knowledge transfer process.
The degree to which participants apply what they learned during training when they are back on the job.
According to Donald Kirkpatrick, this evaluation level is the hardest to implement. It involves analyzing the changes in the learners’ behavior as a result of participating in training, and also understanding how well and how often the acquired knowledge and skills are being employed in the workplace. In most cases, the latter reflects the relevancy of the knowledge delivered via the training, as well as the motivation to use the newly acquired knowledge the training may have imparted. For this level, the best evaluation tools are observing the learners’ behavior in the workplace and focus group testing.
The degree to which targeted outcomes occur as a result of the training and the support and accountability package.
Finally, the fourth level deals with analyzing the results of the conducted training. Namely, whether the delivered results matched up to the goals that had been set. Some examples of goals could be include increase in productivity, improvements in quality, decrease in workplace accidents, increase in the number of sales, and decrease in turnover.
It is important to determine the factors that will be taken into account to determine the effectiveness of the training beforehand, and to measure them before and after the training is conducted.
Evaluation on this level is both difficult and expensive. To obtain results that are as accurate as possible, it is recommended to use one of the following methods:
- Using a control group (consisting of employees that have not participated in the training).
- Performing the evaluation after some time has passed since the completion of the training, so that the results would be more pronounced.
- Performing the evaluation both before and after conducting the training.
- Conducting the evaluation a number of times during the course of the training.