May 30, 2019

Learning Evaluation: How to make it count

With an increase in the number of digital platforms for learning, the way organizations train employees has experienced a decisive change. From compliance content to product awareness content, including certifications, different channels have made it possible for companies to deliver a variety of training content. The identification that adequate training measures lead to a higher chance of organizational success means that companies must keep up with rapid changes in different industries, for which a continuous focus on training and development is important. This, in turn, has made learning evaluation a necessary component to ensure that the digital learning roadmap is strategically aligned with business goals.

The Benefits of Training Evaluation

Delivering training programs is an investment of time and money into training employees towards achieving clear and well-defined business goals. The training imparted needs to be evaluated on the basis of different aspects for three important reasons.

  1. Evaluating the training program can help identify any shortcomings in your existing program. Once identified, these shortcomings can help improve the program so as to draw the workforce closer towards achieving organizational goals.
  2. Evaluating the training and development program provides access to information that can help make appropriate training decisions for the future.
  3. Training evaluation can also provide information that is vital for the justification of the current training spend. It can also provide valuable insights that help revise the budget for further expenditure on training.

The considerations of building a learning analytics digital initiative

Evaluating the training program means to initiate efforts into analysing the learning taking place within the organization. Since learning takes place through different forms of delivery, there are different considerations for building this learning analytics digital initiative. A structured process can help you evaluate your program whenever you want to and ensure that all aspects of the training have been covered.

Using the Kirkpatrick model of Evaluation, we developed a set of considerations that provide an all-encapsulating framework for the measurement and evaluation of an organization’s training program. The original model was meant to evaluate the outcome of traditional methods of training delivery, such as classroom training. Today, with a large chunk of training taking place through eLearning, we found that adding two more considerations to the original model provides a holistic structure that encompasses all forms of training delivery.

Below, with the help of the enhanced Kirkpatrick Model, we take a look at the considerations for building a learning analytics digital initiative in an organization. At every level of the framework, you ask specific, pointed questions that help you measure the outcome of the level.

  • Level 0: “Did the learners take the course?”This level takes into consideration the participation of the learners. The premise is whether the learners took the course at all or not. An important parameter of gauging the success of non-mandatory courses is the number of learners who took the course.
  • Level 1: “Did the learners like the course?”Here, the reaction of the learners is assessed. Very often, a good learning experience directly contributes to the effective retention and learning of the content. Learner reaction can provide information about what the learning experience was like.
  • Level 2: “Did learning occur?”
    At this level of consideration, how much and how well the learners have learnt is measured. By defining the goal and assessing the learning acquired by employees, organizations can assess if effective learning has occurred.
  • Level 3: “Were learners able to transfer their learning to the job?”
    At this level, organizations conduct an assessment of how much of the knowledge the learners are able to use in the workplace. The training program can be accurately measured only when learners are able to transfer the skills and knowledge learnt to the work that they need to carry out.
  • Level 4: “Were the organization’s business goals achieved?”Now, it is time to check if business goals were achieved. What was the result of the training and development program? Since the ultimate goal of the training is to enable employees to work towards achieving business goals, effective learning will ensure that business goals are met.
  • Level 4+: “Were the benefits worth the investment made in training?”The return on investment is an important parameter to measure, as an extension of organizational efforts to gauge whether the results of the training matched the business goals. Since training is an investment, the expenditure needs to be justified and provisions for further training spend need to be made. While it is certainly a part of the previous level, we treat it as an important independent indicator of how effective your training program was, as it can provide valuable feedback on what to do next.

DelphianLogic helps companies design their digital learning roadmaps, with learning evaluation being one of the core components. To accurately measure the effectiveness of your eLearning training program, and work towards building a good training evaluation initiative, get in touch here.