5 Quick Ways to Evaluate Training
06.13.22 | Operations Chat
One of the best ways to maximize the effectiveness of your training programs is to regularly evaluate employees to determine their attitudes, understanding, and application of the course content to their jobs. This blog offers a snippet of the most common evaluation techniques to help you gauge the effectiveness of your training and inform your subject matter experts on how future training can be improved.
Questionnaires are one of the most commonly used evaluation techniques as they can collect information from trainees before, during, and after a course has concluded. Questions can assess the trainee’s overall satisfaction with the course, gather feedback for instructors, assess the relevance to their work, and much more. Questionnaires are an excellent tool to explore if you’re looking to collect feedback from a large group of people in a relatively quick and cost-effective manner.
2. Work Samples
Work samples consist of practice exercises that are designed to replicate the types of tasks and scenarios that trainees will encounter in their day-to-day work. They can include group projects, case studies, role play, and simulated work assignments. Work samples double as a method to determine changes in trainee behavior and an opportunity to provide real-time feedback.
Testing trainees before and after a course can supply a wealth of information on their baseline understanding and what they learned as a result of their training. Tests can employ a variety of question types that range from multiple-choice to short answer and can dive deeper into a trainee’s understanding, application, and overall mastery of the course content.
4. Focus Groups
A focus group is an evaluation technique that uses a structured series of questions to collect feedback from a representative sample of trainees. These small group discussions should be led by an experienced facilitator who often begins with general open-ended questions that are followed by specific follow-up questions to collect more detailed feedback. This method can produce rich insights that inform training topics, delivery methods in terms of virtual or onsite, instructor expertise and effectiveness, and the impact of the training on the day-to-day work of trainees.
Interviews are conducted one-on-one to better understand a trainee’s perspective, attitude, and understanding of the course content. By asking clarifying follow-up questions, interviews can collect more personalized feedback from a trainee based on their unique role and characteristics within your organization. Interviews are a great way to unearth the unique experience of a trainee and identify potential blind spots in the training program.
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Nick Romanowski is a Learning and Development Specialist who challenges organizations to focus on developing what matters most, their people. He consults with leading industry experts to design, deliver and evaluate a variety of professional training programs. Nick earned his master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and an Advanced Certificate in Human Resource Management from Iona College. His scientific and practitioner background in organizational learning and development makes his strategies evidence-based and practical for professional service firms. Nick brings a direct, detailed, and down-to-earth style that engages audiences and is rivaled only by his bowtie-wearing dog, Tito.