Management and Organizational Studies 3343A/B Chapter 11: 3343 T&D Chapter 11 Textbook Notes

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T&D Chapter 11 Textbook Notes
Training Evaluation
What is Training Evaluation?
TRAINING EVALUATION: A process to assess the value (the worthiness) of training programs to
employees and to organizations
Using a variety of techniques, objective and subjective information is gathered before,
during, and after training to provide the data required to estimate the value of a
training program
Analyzing data collected from trainees
It's a continuum of techniques, methods, and measures to inform management about value
of training programs
o Range from simple procedures (how much did you enjoy this training program?) to
elaborate procedures (assess transfer of learning, or degree of actual performance
Training evaluation is not a single procedure, rather it is a continuum of techniques,
methods, and measures
o At one end of the continuum are simple evaluations that focus on trainee satisfaction
o At the other end of the continuum lie more elaborate procedures that provide
managers with more information of a richer quality about the value of a training
In the end, training evaluation choices are a trade-off, balancing between quality and
complexity/costs between the informational needs of decision makers and the
difficulty and resources required to obtain that information
Why Conduct Training Evaluations?
Management has a stake in ensuring that the resources invested in training bear fruit
Training evaluation is therefore of value to:
o Help fulfill the managerial responsibility to improve training
o Assist managers in identifying the training programs most useful to employees and to
assist management in the determination o f who should be trained
o Determine the cost benefits of a program and to help ascertain which program or
technique is most cost-effective
o Determine whether the training program has achieved the expected results or solved
the problem for which training was the anticipated solution
o Diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of a program and pinpoint needed
o Use the evaluation information to justify and reinforce, if merited, the value and
credibility of the training function to the organization
Do Organizations Conduct Training Evaluations?
- Findings have shown that organizations are abandoning evaluation altogether
Perhaps dissatisfied with reaction-based evaluations, and unable or unwilling to consider the
use of better approaches, many organizations have chosen to forgo training evaluation
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Barriers to Training Evaluation
Pragmatic Barriers to Training Evaluation
Evaluation requires that perceptual and/or objective information furnished by trainees, their
supervisors, and even others (such as peers, subordinates, and/or clients) be gathered
before, during, and/or after the training session
Requires specialized knowledge
These data gathering and analytical efforts require extensive collaboration from the trainees,
their supervisors, and so on, which is disruptive and understandably difficult to obtain
o Costly & time consuming
o Time, effort, financial costs
Some training departments do not assess training because training evaluation requires
knowledge about evaluation models, research design, measurement, questionnaire
construction, and data analysis this may seem like an intimidating prospect
Evaluation also costs money
Moreover, with the advent of modern information technologies and new evaluation models
and designs, the disruptive impact and costs of data collection can now be
seriously eased
Political Barriers to Training Evaluation
Potential to reveal ineffectiveness of training
Evaluations are conducted when there is pressure from management to do so in the
absence of such pressures, many training managers would rather forgo the exercise
Some trainers fear that this will reflect poorly on them and/or the training function and the
service they offer
But without evaluations, managers are unable to demonstrate their value to the
organization, which may be inherently more risky than launching an evaluation system that
can improve training and its effectiveness
Other trainers do not evaluate on ethical grounds they feel that evaluations should be
conducted by external professionals to avoid a perceived or actual conflict of
Conflict of interest is unlikely when training managers make use of the established methods of
Types of Training Evaluation
- Evaluations may be distinguished from one another with respect to the data gathered and
analyzed, and the fundamental purpose for which the evaluation is being conducted
The data collected:
o The most common training evaluations rely on trainee perceptions, learning at the conclusion
of training , while more sophisticated evaluations go further to analyze the
extent of trainee learning and the post-training behavior of employees
o More recently, there has been a growing emphasis on evaluation studies that also assess the
psychological forces that operate during training programs and
that impact outcome measures such as learning and behavioral change
o Information about the work environment to which the trainee returns can be useful in
o Transfer climate & learning culture
Understanding the organization's culture and climate as well as its policies can strongly affect
training choices and effectiveness II)
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The purpose of the evaluation:
a) FORMATIVE EVALUATIONS: Provide data about various aspects of a training program
□ Ke goal is to idetif iproveets to the istrutioal eperiee
b) SUMMATIVE EVALUATIONS: Provide data about the worthiness or effectiveness of a
training program
□ Eooi idies are ofte a itegral ad iportat part of these tpes of evaluatios;
consequently, organizational managers show great interest in
these results
- A further distinction can be made between descriptive and causal evaluations
DESCRIPTIVE EVALUATIONS: Provide information that describes the trainee once he or
she has completed a training program
CAUSAL EVALUATIONS: Provide information to determine whether training caused the
post -training behaviors
Models of Training Evaluation
Models of training evaluation specify the information (the variables) that is to be measured
in training evaluations and thei r interrelationships
The dominant training model is Donald Kirkpatrick's hierarchical model
The COMA model and the Decision-Based Evaluation model are two recent efforts to improve
this model Kirkpatrick's Hierarchical Model: The Four Levels of Training Evaluation
Chapter Notes Page 1
Kirkpatrick's Hierarchical Model: The Four Levels of Training Evaluation
The Main Variables Measured in Training Evaluation
The COMA model and Decision-Based Evaluation model (DBE) - newer ones
Perceived and/or anticipated support Organizational perceptions Organizational results
How Measured
Questionnaires, focus groups, interviews
M/C or T/F tests (declarative); situational and mastery tests (procedural)
Self-reports, supervisory reports, direct and indirect observations, production records
Standardized questionnaires
Organizational records
The model identifies four levels of training evaluation criteria
According to this model, a training program is "effective" when:
L1. Trainees report positive reactions to a training program (Level 1 = reactions) L2. Trainees
learn the training material (Level 2 = learning)
L3. Trainees apply what they learn in training on the job (Level 3 = behaviors) L4. Training has
a positive effect on organizational outcomes (Level 4 = results)
In a more recent articulation, an additional level has been added to the Kirkpatrick model
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