A training evaluation is an in-depth assessment to determine whether a project or program has achieved its objectives or not. Managers and trainers must consider it before training has occurred. The information gained from the training design process is valuable for evaluating the training. The evaluation process should begin with determining training needs. It helps to identify what knowledge, skills, behavior, or other learned capabilities are needed. The evaluation also helps identify where training is expected to impact. The evaluation results encourage all stakeholders in the training process, including managers, employees, and trainers, to design or choose the training that helps the organization meet its business strategy and helps managers and employees meet their goals.

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Why is training evaluation important?

  1. To understand achievements or the lack of them: An assessment helps to evaluate the learning during or at the end of an instructional journey by comparing it against some standard or benchmark. It allows the learners to be actively involved in their education and helps them identify goals to move them forward. It also helps the instructors refine their instruction plans.
  2. In improving accountability: Evaluations not only keep learners interested in the curriculum but can also provide instructional designers with information on the effectiveness of the course, potential learning gaps, and learning outcomes.
  3. In generating knowledge: Evaluation is crucial for improving knowledge, skills, and understanding and is a significant factor in motivating learning. The information allows for better communication, which is essential for public relations. It demonstrates the progress and success of the program overall.

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How to conduct a well-aligned training evaluation?

To conduct a proper evaluation:

  1. First, it is essential to identify the problem and the need for a training evaluation. It recognizes the gap in the training program.
  2. Next, it is essential to determine the design of the training evaluation. It determines the type and level of training.
  3. Then, the task is to collect data about the employees and organization.
  4. After that, one should analyze the collected data. While most organizations can uncover enough data to start building a training strategy through surveys/ questionnaires, leadership, management interviews, and focus groups, some may opt for others, such as tests, assessments, advisory committee reports, observations, and the like.
  5. Then, it is essential to provide feedback related to the training program. This evaluation contributes to determining what needs to be improved.

Types of evaluation

There are two types of evaluation:

  1. Summative evaluation
  2. Formative evaluation

The idea of evaluating learning through assessing learners’ performance at the end of a learning journey is summative evaluation. Formative evaluation differs from summative evaluation in that formatives are used to understand better how the learning experience is progressing by tracking the learner’s progress during a lesson.

Training evaluation models

There are many models to evaluate training modules more systematically, and each offers its approach to assessing courses.

  1. Kirkpatrick’s four-level training evaluation model
  2. The Phillips ROI model
  3. Kaufman’s five levels of evaluation
  4. The CIRO model
  5. Anderson’s model of learning evaluation

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What are the tools of evaluation?

  1. Questionnaire
  2. Interviews
  3. Quizzes
  4. Fill-in-the-blank questions
  5. Assignments
  6. Discussion forums
  7. Polls
  8. KWL charts
  9. Exit slips
  10. Self-assessments
  11. Practices scenarios/simulations
  12. Gamification
  13. Observations
  14. Checklist
  15. Attitude Scale
  16. Semantic Differential
  17. Anecdotal Notes

The advantages of a training evaluation

Providing learners and facilitators with regular feedback on progress toward their goals is the primary function of the evaluation. It aids in increasing academic achievement. It also helps learners close the gap between their current knowledge and learning objectives. By conducting an evaluation, one can have the following advantages:

  1. Identify the suitable material: Before a training program starts, the evaluation will help to determine which policies, skills, and materials employees use daily. Then, the program can focus on the most critical topics. It identifies performance goals and the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for the workforce to achieve the desired goal.
  1. Recognizes the right audience: It will help determine which employees need training and how much training they need. A training needs analysis will enable the organizations to target the correct employee for each training session, ensuring everyone follows a personalized training plan to get the most benefit possible.
  1. Uses the proper method: A good evaluation will tell if there is a need for a new training program or if an alternative approach would be better. It will also determine the right method of training the employees. It also addresses the resources required to fulfill the organizational mission, improve productivity, and provide quality products and services.
  1. Identifies training needs: Often, employers believe they know what their employees need to know, but there could be gaps in their knowledge. An evaluation will help validate the training requirement. Training needs analysis recognizes the need for training. Training evaluation allows the instructor to examine their instructional practices to determine the desired results. This type of evaluation, as a result, provides a personalized experience to its learners.
  1. Helps to prioritize training needs: By conducting an evaluation, organizations find it easy to target what needs to be done at this point and which training can be left for later. Training evaluation connects the learning objectives with real-world problems and situations. It draws learners into the instructional activities and feeds their natural curiosity about the program.
  1. Prepare for specific jobs: Instead of training everyone in the same way, by conducting a training evaluation, one can learn which programs are best for specific positions in a particular organization. It lets the employees upskill in their jobs at a faster rate and creates significant opportunities for their economic mobility. It also promotes the skill of self-learning in the learners. After a few rounds of evaluations, learners can set their own goals and objectives. They will also develop the practical skills and capabilities required to solve real-world problems.
  1. Structural improvement: It gives a structure to the program conducted by a series of analyses. The evaluation helps to conduct the training program structurally. Training evaluation has a direct impact on learning in a significant way. It has the power to transform learning through instruction. It allows the learners to stay focused on the most critical activities without distraction. It helps in developing critical thinking and self-awareness. It motivates the learner to evolve with the learning journey.

Training evaluation promotes ongoing reflection and is used to adjust learning and development quickly. It helps to assess the learning problems and gaps if any. It is a process that can happen every day. Therefore, it gives continuous sources of performance evidence and prompts immediate feedback.

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Training evaluation

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Conclusion

Training evaluation in L&D programs is increasing its demand. Training evaluation works for both the motivational and achievement needs of the learners. The evaluation helps learners assess their skills and determine whether they are on track to reach the objectives. It enables them to plan what they need to do to progress. Training evaluation even provides a break from the monotonous learning journey. Here is a link to some resource.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is training evaluation important?

Training evaluation works for both the motivational and achievement needs of the learners. The evaluation helps learners assess their skills and determine whether they are on track to reach the objectives. It enables them to plan what they need to do to progress.

What are the two types of training evaluations?

The two types of evaluations for training programs are formative and summative evaluation.

What are the tools of evaluation?

Types of tools used for training evaluation: questionnaires, interviews, quizzes, fill-in-the-blank questions, assignments, discussion forums, and polls.

What is the best training evaluation model?

The best training evaluation model is Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model.

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