Organizations (business, non-profits, and government) are paying more attention to the impact of employee training and learning programs. They recognize that in this Knowledge Economy, learning and change must be a core competency. I’m Stephen J. Gill and I have been evaluating the impact of learning interventions in organizations for the past 35 years. Recently, LAD Global, an affiliate of the Singapore Training and Development Association, asked me to record a free, online, short course for them titled, Measuring and Evaluating Learning in the Knowledge Economy. In that course, I summarize lessons I’ve learned from the evaluation of many different learning interventions in organizations. I cover the following topics in the course:
- Introduction to Measurement and Evaluation of Learning
- Purpose of Measurement and Evaluation
- Methods of Measurement and Evaluation
- Process of Training, Learning and Achieving Results
- Designing Measurement and Evaluation
- Using Evaluation Results to Make a Difference
These topics are addressed over 72 minutes broken up into 6 modules. The course is designed to be an introductory look at the issues and practices that confront evaluators who want to enhance the impact of employee learning and development programs in their organizations.
The course covers the purpose of measuring and evaluating learning in the Knowledge Economy, some practical information about why evaluation is important in organizations, the different methods of measurement, how proficient practitioners need to be with technology and analytics, the best ways of presenting information to stakeholders, why learners and their managers need to be held accountable for results, how to approach designing measurement and evaluation for your organization, and using the evaluation results to make a difference in your organization.
- Engage stakeholders (learners, their managers, executives, team leaders, etc.) in designing evaluation of learning interventions.
- Emphasis should be on improving the learning intervention, not proving that it works or not.
- Do not use evaluation findings to find fault with people.
- Match the evaluation method with the questions you are trying to answer. Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels, Phillip’s ROI, and Brinkerhoff’s Success Case Method are three commonly used options.
- Engage stakeholders in reflecting on the meaning of evaluation findings and the implications for their work.
- Achieving positive results from a learning intervention has as much if not more to do with the culture of the organization and the support from managers. Evaluate those elements.
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