Measurement and Evaluation for Trainers and Learners
The Importance of Measurement and Evaluation for Trainers and Learners
If only we lived in a perfect world where every bit of knowledge was easy to remember. But until that world is created, we live in this one – where we need to both learn, and to be evaluated on what we learn. Dismissing the value in measurement and evaluation of both trainers and learners, leaves you with few acceptable answers when asked how successful a training has been. Of course you can watch your learners from a distance and evaluate their on-the-job implementation of the training material, but it’s far faster and more accurate, not to mention more help to the learner, to officially measure and evaluate any training material after the training is complete. Let’s explore the concepts of measurement assessment and evaluation in-depth, to get an idea of how to differentiate them easily and quickly – and thus how to apply them.
Measurement is the process of “determining the attributes or dimensions of an object, skill or knowledge.” Consider how we use rulers or scales to measure physical objects – these measurements are consistent and accurate, elements we count on when taking the measure of anything. Having a baseline is critical when attempting to determine how successfully you’ve transferred a skill to the learner, how they are using that skill at work, and what parts of your training are not effective. The field of education, in all its forms, relies on measurement to determine raw scores, percentile ranks and even standardized scores.
Assessment is the process of anything from test-taking to behaviour monitoring, and must be judged accurately and reliably every time, using the same standards for all. Assessment in the workplace is critical to getting a solid idea of the skill level of your employees or trainees. While soft skills like behaviour and communication skills can be difficult to assess, many approach these elements by assessing things like confidence, defensiveness, truthfulness, level of interest, or even level of engagement – which are difficult elements to fake!
Finally, evaluation is the process of using the data you’ve acquired through careful measurement and assessment, and comparing it to the material you hoped would be gleaned from your instruction, and the amount of information the learners actually absorbed. Enterprises often rely on data to make their evaluations of employee success – and said data is built during the measurement and assessment processes. Let’s delve deeper into the elements of measurement and evaluation, to explore the value in the details.
Evaluation goes well beyond its basic definition, and can be used to measure and recognize achievements and successes that might be hidden in the data, and not immediately visible. Using evaluation as a tool to put down or discourage learners will do just that – discourage them. Be careful to highlight achievements and high scores by recognizing the learner effort, value and success. Elevating your most successful leaners to training or mentor positions is a great way to reward hard work.
As we mentioned above, within personality we can find many learned traits that it will take some digging to unearth. Evolutions are used to test how clearly a learner is thinking, how fast they recall the information, and how confident they are in using it at work or in their personal lives. This is a critical element of measurement and evaluation as it delves deeper into the emotional maturity of the learner, helping you take measure of how far they have the potential to go and grow.
Measure Effectiveness of the Program
Evaluation of learners is key, but their scores and outcomes reflect on how successful the training program actually is. If your training program seems fantastic, but evaluations show you learners aren’t absorbing the material, you can then make changes to your delivery method or training material to fill those learning gaps. Some trainers even find that while the material is great, their training style isn’t appropriate to the learning style of the trainees – a missed opportunity to better your trainers if you aren’t carefully measuring the effectiveness of the program.
Provide Uniformity of Standards
Different types of training and evaluation are used in each enterprise, but the uniformity of the standards for success should be consistent across the board. Grading and evaluating learners based on a sliding scale, may show you how your trainees stack up against each other, but won’t show you how they stack up against all the others making use of the same material and training program. This becomes especially critical as more groups go through and complete your program. Remember – learning styles may vary, but learned information is static always.
Guide Promotions & Incentives
Finally, without effective forms of measurement and evaluation, we would be forced to guess at which leaders to elevate, and which learners are the most suited as mentors or most likely to be a success in the future. As we discussed above, using evaluation as a tool for encouragement, by offering promotions or incentives to learn the required material, means students see evaluation as a chance to get ahead – not simply a vehicle of discouragement. Now that we know the importance of learning measurement, let’s discuss a few training evaluation methods that have proven successful time and time again.
Training Evaluation Methods?
For those seeking tried-and-true training evaluation methods, most find their way to the “Kirkpatrick model of evaluation.” Developed in 1959, Donald Kirkpatrick developed a model including 4 levels of evaluation. Let’s explore the “Four Levels” of Kirkpatrick’s training evaluation model, and how each level can be used to help fortify and standardize your training methodology.
First, gauge the participants’ reaction to the training by evaluating how satisfied, engaged and interested they look and act in the training and in the field. This is the most common type of evaluation in use in enterprises, being put to use to measure how your learners felt about the experience. By determining how the learners feel about the training, you can often predict just how successful the training will be in the long run.
Now we come to measuring how much learning your group has done in your training. This element will help you determine how much the training helped to deliver the desired knowledge or skills to learners. As discussed above, this element works hand in hand with assessment like quizzes, exams or tests.
Did you know that learners statistically know 40-50% of what the trainer is teaching? Kirkpatrick’s third level tells trainers if their training has had an effect on the behaviour of employees or those who have completed the training. Most corporate training programs are put in place to improve performance and boost business results or profits, making this change of behaviour all-important and a great measure of potential success of both the individual and the company.
Finally, we track results through data, to take a final determination of the overall success of a training program. At this step, we find out if any individual element of the training material, delivery or follow up is lacking – allowing you to spot-clean up your training for the next group. For example, you might find that while trainers are delivering the material in an effective way, the written training material is confusing or hard to understand.
Most of us want to succeed, learn and grow in our career – we can assume this based on our evaluation of your interest in this article! Learning measurement is the bar with which we measure the absorption of information, and how it’s best absorbed. For more information from the experts on what learning measurement can add to your training programs and processes, contact the experts at SkillSource today!