A Context for Performance (Results) Based Training
Learner-Centered Delivery Skills and Systems
Delivery Skills that Facilitate Performance
The Importance of Feedback, Reinforcement, and Motivational Incentives
Using Media-Based Delivery Systems
Selecting Methods That Compliment Delivery Systems
Evaluation Related to Training Delivery Systems
Emerging Trends in Instructional Delivery Systems
I really like the 14 Why's of training that Nickols (n.d.) gives us. I've long felt that "reducing risk" is likely one of the primary reasons for offering training. And I don't mean reducing the risk to the worker, but to the company. If training is offered and the learner fails, it is the learners fault. I think that some learners worry that their performance in a training program will be grounds for dismissal. In reality, it is likely that training is "flagging fast trackers" and leaving behind those who cannot keep up.
So I guess the first question to ask with evaluating training would be why. I don't think that most companies do much evaluation beyond Level 1. Nickols is correct that trainers ARE reluctant to evaluate training that may not have positive numbers. And the reasons the numbers may not look good is because the training wasn't answering the WHY question of offering training in the first place. If no needs analysis took place on the front end, how can anyone be certain that the training (method, delivery, topic) is really necessary. If the training format is incorrect for the skill gap then the evaluation of the training will likely show the discrepancy.
It is sad that training departments often take the blame for poor performance of employees. Yet these same people are often working under ridiculous budgets, timelines and authority. How many times have we heard (at least in our head) "Don't give me the training I need, give me the training I think I need". Management (and learners) come to the training table with their own preconceived ideas on what training should be. Effective trainers need to have a strong diplomatic streak to provide the needed training while letting the learner/manager/stakeholders believe they are receiving the training they think they need.
It is virtually impossible to effectively evaluate a training program unless everyone is on the same side. A needs assessment of what is REALLY wrong needs to be agreed upon by all parties. Once the NA has been established, then an effective evaluation of the training can begin. And I hope I'm never Lee Resnick.
Nickols, F., (n.d.). Evaluating training: There is no cookbook approach. Retrieved June 11, 2002, from http://home.att.net/~nickols/evalate.htm
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