Measuring the value of learning

#1 in our training evaluation blog post series:

Good training evaluation techniques identify and measure what learning has occurred during and after learning, whether job performance improvements have been realized, and most importantly, what the cost-benefits are to the organization. When it comes to training evaluation techniques, Kirkpatrick's four level evaluation model (including level 1-reaction, level 2-learning, level -behaviour and level 4-results) is the most widely used and respected model for evaluation and measurement of business value. Level 5 evaluation, Return on Investment (ROI), is an additional step to training evaluation that has been developed by respected author and founder of the ROI Institute, Dr. Jack Phillips.

I found an interesting statistic in a 2009 ASTD study on The Value of Evaluation: Making Training Evaluations more Effective. 92% of respondents said they measure at least Level 1 of the Kirkpatrick/Phillips module of learning evaluation, but the use of the model drops off dramatically with each subsequent level. The study suggests that organizations may not fully grasp how evaluation should be used. I have to agree with this insight.  Many people I’ve talked to and worked with during my career don’t realize that good evaluation tools and techniques are available that can be used to make their organization stronger. There are ways to implement evaluation that can have a positive impact without being overly complicated or time-consuming. During our recent Kirkpatrick certification, I came across many T&D and HR practitioners who were looking for tools that could successfully work in their organization and processes to make evaluation “easier” to implement.

We, at Limestone, are passionate about the value of training evaluation and would like to share some of our thoughts, strategies, and ideas with you through a series of “evaluation” blog posts.  So stay tuned.