How to evaluate training programs?

by | May 15, 2020 | Uncategorized

Plan to evaluate from the beginning

Plan to evaluate training when you start the project so you can determine if it meets your performance and business needs.

I use Kirkpatrick’s levels of training evaluation to assess the impact of learning on an organization.


Evaluation questions

These are the key questions to ask for each of the levels:

Level 1: Reaction

These are commonly asked questions in a training feedback or evaluation form. They provide insights into how participants felt about the program and hint at what they learned.

  • What skill/knowledge do learners say they gained?
  • What’s their level of confidence in applying their learning?
  • What specific plans do they have for applying their learning?
  • How does the structured learning need to change in response to feedback?

Level 2: Learning

These questions are also common in training evaluation forms. Sometimes completing a pre- and post-test can also provide insight into what participants learned in the program.

  • What was the level of skill/knowledge before training?
  • What is the aggregate performance on each learning objective by the end of the training?
  • How does the training need to change to impact learning?

Level 3: Behaviour

Assessing a change in behaviour or performance is where training evaluation becomes challenging. There are so many other factors that affect performance – the participant’s manager, the company culture, work processes and workload. It’s still important to try to understand how participants’ behaviour changes as a result of the training program.

  • What opportunities have learners had to apply to their learning?
  • To what extent are learners applying their learning?
  • What barriers are hindering them from applying their learning?
  • How does the training need to change to impact performance in the workplace?

Level 4: Results

Assessing the business results requires that you have a clear understanding and have articulated the business need at the beginning of the design process.

  • What do the leading indicators suggest about results?
  • What success stories can we quantify?
  • What changes in business measures are due to structured learning?
  • Do we need to change our training or non-training solutions?

I’ve created a robust training feedback form that includes questions on behaviour and results. It relies on self-reporting and is estimated, but it still provides a window into what the change in performance might be and the impact on the business.

Click the button to get a copy of the feedback form.

Curious to learn more?

Here are some projects where I have worked with my client to incorporate robust training evaluation.

  • Linamar: Business Development
  • Shad: Award-winning design…
  • Foresters Insurance Sales Rep onboarding program

When you’re ready, here are a few ways I can help you and the employees in your organization:

  • Designing a learning curriculum that incorporates different delivery channels – online, in-person as well as non-learning approaches such as coaching.
  • Designing training courses that focus on changing performance and aligning with your business needs.
  • Coaching individual leaders and their teams.

Check out the other services I provide to clients to help them improve employee performance.

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Hannah Brown

I help close the gap between formal training from learning and development and leaders fostering learning on their teams to embed it into their DNA.