More specifically, how do you measure the success of training when learners don’t have a test to pass? The goal of our training is for participants to be able to do their job better. How easily can that be measured, taking into account all of the other variables that can affect job performance?
When we look at the success of our on-the-job training, we use the Kirkpatrick Model as a guide. The Kirkpatrick model has four levels. When you measure each of the four levels, you have an overall impression of the success of the training. By looking at all four levels, it gives us the chance to make sure that what is learnt can really be implemented. Each level can individually help, but looking at all four levels together gives the real story. If you’re not familiar with the Kirkpatrick Model, here is a short summary:
Kirkpatrick’s four levels
Are the learners/participants happy with the process?
Did the learners acquire the knowledge, skills or attitude that they were meant to learn?
Have the learners changed the way they do something when they got back to the job?
Has the training helped to achieve certain results?
An example of the four levels in practice
A group of phone operators in a help desk take English training. Following the training, they fill in a feedback form (reaction) about their satisfaction with the training. They could be tested either during or after the training to assess their new knowledge (learning). Once back on the job, they can be observed to see what they are doing differently (behavior). Finally, some sort of job-performance indicator can be used to see if the actions of the learners are having the desired effect (results), e.g. the time it takes to resolve a problem or a measure of customer satisfaction.
When looking at all four levels, we can not only measure success of the program, but we can also pinpoint potential problems. For example, if we only measure the end result and we don’t see any change, it may be possible that some other variable is responsible for the situation. Maybe the learner is learning and is satisfied with the training but is not given the opportunity to implement their new skills.
More on the Kirkpatrick model
Some of our key staff are Kirkpatrick certified and available to answer your questions about training assessment. Use the comments function below or contact us via email.