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10 Training evaluation methods


June 6, 2023



Training evaluation methods - SC Training (formerly EdApp)

Organizations invest a lot of time and money in their employees’ growth and development. But, these training initiatives may not be as effective as they seem. In this article, you’ll discover the types of training evaluation methods you can use to measure how effective your current training methods are.

1. Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Evaluation

Widely recognized and developed by Donald L. Kirkpatrick, Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Evaluation is a widely recognized and comprehensive framework used to assess how effective and impactful your training programs are. This model gives a structured approach to evaluating training initiatives and measuring their outcomes at different levels.

Training evaluation methods - Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Evaluation - SC Training (formerly EdApp)

Using this training evaluation method will give you valuable insights into your learners, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to improve their training initiatives.

The first level of evaluation is the Reaction Level Evaluation, which focuses on participants' immediate reactions to the training program. The second level is the Learning Level Evaluation, which measures how participants have acquired the intended knowledge and skills.

Next, the Behavior Level Evaluation assesses the transfer of learning into workplace behavior. 

The final level, the Results Level Evaluation, measures the impact of the training program on business outcomes.

Having an LMS like SC Training (formerly EdApp) can make using the Kirkpatrick training evaluation process a lot easier. You can track your learners’ progress, learning needs, in-lesson discussions and training feedback, and course evaluations in SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s analytics and reporting tool. It can even give you some quick ideas for how to use the data to tweak your current training program.

Create better learning environments by signing up for SC Training (formerly EdApp) today.

2. Phillips ROI Methodology

Developed by Jack J. Phillips, the Phillips ROI (Return on Investment) Methodology evaluates not only how effective a training program is but also its financial impact on your organization. It does this by linking training outcomes to measurable business results. This allows you to make more data-driven decisions, justify training investments, and continuously improve your training initiatives to maximize ROI.

Training evaluation methods -  Phillips ROI Methodology

The Phillips ROI Methodology comprises five levels of evaluation, with each level building upon the previous one. The first level focuses on participants' reactions and satisfaction with the training program, similar to Kirkpatrick's Reaction Level Evaluation. But, the Phillips ROI Methodology emphasizes the importance of capturing participants' opinions and feedback as a starting point for the evaluation process.

Moving to the second level, the Learning Level Evaluation assesses participants' knowledge and skills acquisition through assessments and tests. The Application Level Evaluation examines how much participants have implemented what they learned during the training program, contributing to improved job performance and efficiency.

The fourth level is the Impact Level Evaluation, which focuses on measuring the broader impact of the training program on key performance indicators (KPIs) and business outcomes. Finally, the fifth level, Return on Investment (ROI) Evaluation, quantifies the financial value of the training program. It does this by comparing the monetary benefits achieved as a result of the training with the associated costs.

3. CIPP evaluation model

The CIPP (Context, Input, Process, Product) evaluation model is a comprehensive framework used to evaluate training programs and interventions. The CIPP evaluation model gives organizations a systematic and comprehensive approach to evaluating their training programs.

Training evaluation methods - CIPP evaluation model - SC Training (formerly EdApp)

The first component of the CIPP model is Context Evaluation, which focuses on understanding the organizational context and needs that led to the implementation of the training program. Context evaluation guarantees that the training program is designed to address specific needs and challenges within the organization.

Input Evaluation examines the quality of training materials, expertise of trainers, and overall structure to guarantee effective delivery of learning outcomes. Process Evaluation looks at how the training is being delivered, the level of participant engagement, and the effectiveness of the training methods used. 

The final component is Product Evaluation identifies whether you’ve achieved your objectives and goals, how knowledge is applied in practice, and the overall impact on individual and organizational performance. 

4. Pre- and Post-Training Assessments

Pre- and post-training assessments examine the improvement in participants' knowledge and skills before and after training. These assessments are conducted before the training begins (pre-training) and after its completion (post-training), allowing organizations to compare the results and gauge the impact of the training initiative.

Training evaluation methods - Pre- and Post-Training Assessments

These two types of assessments can take the form of quizzes, tests, or surveys that cover the key topics and learning objectives of the training. Pre-training assessment helps identify any knowledge gaps, areas of weakness, or existing proficiency among participants. On the other hand, post-training assessment evaluates participants' understanding of the training content, their ability to apply the newly acquired knowledge, and their overall skill development.

Pre- and post-training assessments also give your teams feedback on their progress. They’ll be able to see their own growth and development, which can motivate them to continue learning more. Additionally, these assessments help organizations identify areas where further support or reinforcement may be required and guide future training initiatives to address specific needs and gaps.

5. Surveys and Questionnaires

Surveys and questionnaires give participants the opportunity to express their opinions, rate various aspects of the training program, and offer suggestions for improvement.

Training evaluation methods - Surveys and Questionnaires

What makes surveys and questionnaires different from pre- and post-training assessments is that they can be done at any point in the training program. That means they can be handed out before, during, and/or after the sessions or the program as a whole.

During the training, short feedback surveys can be distributed to participants to gauge their immediate reactions and engagement. After the training program concludes, more comprehensive training evaluation questions can be distributed to participants to gather in-depth feedback, self evaluations, and insights. 

Your learners can also feed suggestions for future training enhancements or identify specific areas where they need further support or follow-up. By actively involving participants in the evaluation process, you can show your trainees how committed you are to their continuous improvement and guarantee that training programs meet their needs and expectations.

6. Interviews and Focus Groups

Interviews and focus groups are qualitative training evaluation methods that present valuable insights into participants' experiences, perceptions, and attitudes towards a training program. These methods involve direct interaction with participants, allowing for in-depth exploration and understanding of their perspectives.

Training evaluation methods - Interviews and Focus Groups

Interviews are one-on-one conversations conducted between an evaluator and a participant. On the other hand, focus group discussions involve a small group of participants who come together to discuss their experiences and perspectives related to the training program. 

They offer an opportunity to delve into individual experiences, thoughts, and feedback regarding the training program. Interviews offer a personal and confidential space for participants to share their thoughts, reflections, and suggestions. This gives you rich qualitative data that complements quantitative evaluation methods.

Led by a skilled facilitator, focus groups encourage participants to share their thoughts, engage in discussions, and build upon one another's ideas. The dynamic nature of focus groups allows for the exploration of diverse viewpoints and the identification of common themes or patterns. Focus groups also foster collaborative learning and encourage participants to reflect on their own experiences in the context of others.

7. Observation

Observation and job performance evaluation examine your team’s practical application of the acquired knowledge and skills in real work situations. These methods share valuable insights into participants' actual performance and the impact of the training on their job roles.

Training evaluation methods - Observation

Observation involves having your managers or your trainers directly observe participants as they perform their job tasks or apply the learned skills in a simulated environment. This training evaluation method allows for the assessment of participants' competency, accuracy, and efficiency in performing tasks related to the training.

It also offers real-time feedback to participants, allowing them to make immediate adjustments and improvements in their performance.

You can use SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s Practical Assessments to verify whether your current training process is effective or not. All the observers have to do is scan your team member’s QR code, tick off a skills assessment checklist on their mobile devices, and track the data through the analytics portal.

8. Case Studies and Simulation

Case studies and simulations allow your learners to apply their knowledge and skills in realistic scenarios. It fosters active learning and allows evaluators to assess their competencies and decision-making abilities on the go.

Training evaluation methods - Case Studies and Simulation

Case studies involve presenting participants with real or hypothetical situations that resemble challenges they may encounter in their job roles. Participants analyze the case, identify key issues, and propose solutions or strategies based on their understanding of the training content.

Simulations, on the other hand, equip participants with a simulated environment that replicates real-world scenarios related to their job roles. They can range from computer-based simulations to role-playing exercises.

Simulations also allow participants to practice their skills, experience different outcomes based on their actions, and receive immediate feedback. They create a safe and controlled environment for participants to enhance their skills and receive targeted feedback without real-world consequences.

9. 360-Degree Feedback

360-degree feedback is a comprehensive training evaluation method that gathers feedback from multiple sources to give a well-rounded assessment of participants' performance and development areas.

Training evaluation methods - 360-Degree Feedback

The process typically begins by identifying key competencies or performance areas relevant to the training program. Trainees are then assessed on these competencies through anonymous surveys or questionnaires. The feedback collected from different sources is consolidated and presented to the participant, offering them a comprehensive view of their strengths and areas for improvement.

This type of feedback gives a more complete and objective assessment of participants' performance. It helps participants gain insights into how their behaviors and skills are seen by others and delivers valuable feedback for personal and professional development. 

10. Comparative Analysis

Comparative analysis compares the performance or outcomes of different groups or learners to assess the effectiveness of a training program. It evaluates the impact of the training by examining differences in performance, knowledge acquisition, or skill development between various groups or individuals.

Training evaluation methods - Comparative Analysis

In comparative analysis, two or more groups are formed: one group that has undergone the training program and another group that has not received the training, or multiple groups that have received different variations of the training program. The performance or outcomes of these groups are then compared to identify any significant differences.

The comparison can be made using various metrics, such as productivity levels, quality measures, customer satisfaction ratings, or pre- and post-training assessments. By comparing the results of different groups, you can determine how much the training program has influenced your learner’s progress.

This encourages you and your organization to make better data-driven decisions, identify areas for further improvement, and continually enhance their training initiatives to achieve optimal results.

SC Training (formerly EdApp) is a mobile learning management system designed for today’s digital habits, delivering more engaging and effective micro-learning directly to learners anytime and anywhere.

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Stephanie Escuadro

Stephanie is an eLearning content writer for SC Training (formerly EdApp), a microlearning solution designed for today's digital habits. She creates content about cutting-edge learning technologies and resources to help companies deliver great training experiences. When not absorbed in writing, she spends her time taking care of her dog and binge-watching.

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