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[solved] Chapter 11 Training Evaluation Chapter Learning Outcomes Afte


Question:

Conduct scholarly research to compose a 2-3 page APA formatted paper that addresses these issues.

Conducting evaluation studies using full experimental designs and sophisticated data collection is almost impossible in real organizations.?

Some managers argue that training evaluations can provide meaningful conclusions only when conducted using these techniques.?

They therefore conclude that in most cases training evaluations are a waste of time and money.?

Debate this conclusion:?

Is it the case that training evaluations should be conducted only when it is possible to use the more sophisticated procedure??

Why do organizational leaders need to see quantifiable results and how can these results be presented in a reliable format?

This assignment will address the following Unit Learning Outcomes:

  • ULO 6.1 Assess the different types of training evaluation and discuss the barriers to evaluation.
  • ULO 6.2 Explain how training evaluation can be quantifiable.
  • UL0?6.5?Evaluate?relevant?scholarly?research?and?synthesize?research?to?complete?required?assignments.



Chapter 11 Training Evaluation Chapter Learning Outcomes

 

After reading this chapter, you should be able to: ? define training evaluation and the main reasons for conducting evaluations

 

? discuss the barriers to evaluation and the factors that affect whether or not an

 

evaluation is conducted ? describe the different types of evaluations

 

? describe the models of training evaluation and the relationships among them

 

? describe the main variables to measure in a training evaluation and how they are

 

measured ? discuss the different types of designs for training evaluation as well as their

 

requirements, limits, and when they should be used NEL 323 324 Managing Performance through Training and Development Bell Canada

 

Years ago, when Bell Canada installed a new telephone system for its business clients, it also sent

 

out service advisers whose task it was to train the

 

employees to use the new system. These training

 

sessions consisted of ?show-and-tell? activities in

 

which the instructors demonstrated the use of the

 

telephone. Simple as the training was, it was expensive, costing millions of dollars annually. With the

 

introduction of electronic equipment, the functionality of the telephone systems?and complexity for

 

the users?increased exponentially.

 

Initially, the company attempted to use its tradi?

 

tional training approach with purchasers of the electronic systems. However, a training evaluation was

 

conducted and it showed that following the training

 

experience, customer knowledge of the operation

 

of the electronic telephones was quite low. Training

 

was not effective.

 

A number of attempts were then made to

 

improve the situation. Different types of training,

 

presented by either Bell Canada or user personnel,

 

were tried and evaluated. None made any significant difference in terms of training effectiveness.

 

However, these training evaluation studies did

 

detect an important fact. No matter how training

 

was conducted, the users? knowledge of a limited number of functions?those they used a lot?

 

increased after training, indicating that practice

 

seemed to have a significant effect on learning.

 

This suggested that providing end users with

 

an instructional aid might help them gain greater

 

benefit from the electronic system. To that end, a

 

special instruction booklet was carefully prepared

 

and trainees were provided with a brief instructional session teaching the users how to use the

 

instruction booklet. The evaluation of this approach

 

showed, empirically, that the use of the instruction

 

booklet resulted in greater user mastery than the

 

formal training course.

 

Thus, the training evaluations conducted

 

throughout this process demonstrated a) that the

 

traditional training method was ineffective, b) that

 

changing the instructors had no effect, but c) that

 

the use of a well-developed instruction booklet had

 

greater effect.

 

This demonstrates the two main objectives

 

of training evaluation: to assess the effectiveness of

 

training and, equally important, to identify ways of

 

enhancing that effectiveness. At Bell, the traditional

 

program was discontinued and replaced with an

 

inexpensive booklet that was both more effective

 

and considerably cheaper. Training programs are designed to have an effect on learning and behaviour.

 

However, as the Bell Canada story demonstrates, this is not always the case.

 

Fortunately, in that case, the organization launched an evaluation program that

 

involved several studies, the results of which served not only to assess the effectiveness of the existing training but also to identify and test different strategies

 

for improving the situation.

 

In this chapter, you will learn several training evaluation models, the many

 

types of evaluations, the variables to measure and how to do so, as well as the

 

strengths and weaknesses of different data collection designs used in the ?conduct

 

of evaluations. NEL Chapter 11: Training Evaluation What Is Training Evaluation?

 

Organizational training and development is intended to improve technical competencies (e.g., learning new software), to modify attitudes (e.g., preparing a manager

 

for an international assignment), and/or to modify behaviours (e.g., better communication skills). Organizations invest in this organizational function because it is

 

expected that training makes a positive contribution to them and to their employees.

 

Training evaluation is concerned with whether or not these expected

 

?outcomes materialize as a result of training. They are designed to assist decision

 

making: Should the organization cancel or continue a training program? Should

 

it be modified? How?

 

Training evaluation is a process designed to assess the value?the ?worthiness?

 

of training programs to employees and to organizations. Training evaluation assesses

 

this value by analyzing data collected from trainees, supervisors, or others familiar

 

with the trainees and with the job context. 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.

 

Training evaluation is not a single procedure. Rather, it is a continuum of

 

techniques, methods, and measures. At one end of the continuum are simple

 

evaluations that focus on trainee satisfaction: Trainees indicate on a brief questionnaire if they liked the course. Certainly simple and easy to implement, they

 

regrettably yield minimal information.

 

At the other end of the training evaluation continuum lie more elaborate

 

procedures and more complete questionnaires and interviews that provide managers with more information of a richer quality about the value of a training

 

program. These evaluations may assess job performance improvements and even

 

isolate the unique role that training played in it. Others assess the psychological states of trainees immediately after training: Have they learned the skills?

 

Are they motivated to apply them? Are they confident they can? Will the work

 

environment help or hinder them? The more sophisticated the evaluations, the

 

better the information they provide, the surer the conclusions and the greater

 

the ?confidence with which they can be stated. However, more sophisticated evaluation procedures are more costly and

 

more complex and difficult to implement. Conducting elaborate evaluations may

 

entail disruptions to the training program and/or to the job. Specialized consultants may be required in some cases. But these factors are not required in every case. At times a simple and cheap

 

evaluation procedure will do while a more complex and sophisticated approach

 

might be overkill.1 In other cases the reverse is true. 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? Organizations invest in the training of employees and managers as it is a necessity for competitiveness in the current global environment. With chronic understaffing (one result of cost-cutting layoffs), the amount of time available for NEL Training evaluation

 

A process to assess the

 

value?the worthiness?

 

of training programs

 

to employees and to

 

?organizations 325 326 Managing Performance through Training and Development training has become smaller and must be used more wisely. In this context, management has a stake in ensuring that the resources invested in training bear fruit.

 

Training evaluation is therefore of value to:

 

?? Help fulfill the managerial responsibility to improve training. ?? Assist managers in identifying the training programs most useful to

 

employees and to assist management in the determination of who should

 

be trained. ?? Determine the cost benefits of a program and to help ascertain which

 

program or training technique is most cost-effective (see Chapter 12). ?? Determine whether the training program has achieved the expected results

 

or solved the problem for which training was the anticipated solution. ?? Diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of a program and pinpoint

 

needed improvements. ?? 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? By the year 2000 most organizations in North America were conducting some

 

evaluation of most of the training programs offered to their employees.2 However,

 

there has been a gradual decline in the evaluation activities of organizations. The

 

survey of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and the

 

latest Conference Board of Canada survey of organizations confirm this result.3

 

In 2002, 89 percent of Canadian organizations assessed training in some manner,

 

but by 2010 fewer than 50 percent still did. This significant decline occurred

 

even though the actual proportion of staff time invested in evaluation remained

 

steady (hovering between 4 percent and 10 percent). Notwithstanding the fact

 

that the same evaluation time is spent on fewer courses, the level of sophistication of the evaluations has not shown demonstrable growth. Most evaluations

 

are reaction based.

 

As depicted in Figure 11.1, although many organizations have abandoned

 

evaluation, almost half have not. Most (92 percent) of these organizations gauge

 

training success by soliciting the trainees? opinions (their ?reactions?), and they

 

do this for most (80 percent) of the courses held. Figure 11.1 also shows the

 

rarity of organizations that measure learning, behaviour, or job performance

 

improvements to evaluate training success. Such evaluations are more useful,

 

but they are more complex. Longitudinal data collected by the Conference Board

 

indicates little change to these percentages since the survey began a decade ago:

 

the percentage of organizations that evaluate reactions has remained the same. The new finding, however, is the confirmation that organizations are not

 

simply abandoning reaction measures: they are abandoning evaluation altogether! Perhaps dissatisfied with reaction-based evaluations, and unable or

 

willing to consider the use of better approaches, many organizations have chosen

 

to forgo training evaluation. NEL Chapter 11: Training Evaluation F i g u r e 11.1

 

The Percentage of Organisations that Evaluate Training and the

 

Percentage of Courses Evaluated at various Evaluation Levels

 

100

 

90

 

80

 

70 % of organizations that

 

conduct evaluations 92 % of courses

 

evaluated 80

 

73

 

66 60

 

50 49 40 39 30 28 20 22 10

 

0 Reaction Learning Behaviour Results Source: C. Lavis, Learning and Development Outlook 2011: Are Organizations Ready for Learning

 

2.0? The Conference Board of Canada, 2011. Barriers to Training Evaluation

 

Studies of training professionals showed that some employers do not conduct

 

training evaluations because they are perceived to be too complicated to implement, too time consuming, and/or too expensive.4 Indeed, this may explain why

 

companies that conduct evaluation choose the simplest of procedures (reactionbased evaluations). In some cases, training managers resist evaluation because of

 

the difficulty of isolating from other variables the unique impact that training has

 

on employee effectiveness. In yet other cases, training managers do not conduct

 

evaluations because top management does not demand them, while others do

 

not because they may not wish to know. Thus, barriers to training evaluation fall

 

into two categories: pragmatic and political. Pragmatic Barriers to Training Evaluation Increasingly, training departments, as with all other departments, are expected

 

to demonstrate their usefulness, their contribution to job performance improvements, and ultimately to the company?s bottom line. Based on the ASTD and The

 

Conference Board of Canada reports, the training departments in most companies

 

are finding it a challenge to fulfill this obligation. Collecting training success data

 

that addresses management?s needs requires more complex evaluation procedures. Fundamentally, 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. 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. NEL 327 328 Managing Performance through Training and Development Some training departments do not assess training for a different reason. As

 

you will learn in this chapter, taking on the training evaluation task requires knowledge about evaluation models, research design, measurement, questionnaire construction, and data analysis. For some, that can seem an intimidating prospect. Evaluation also costs money. As the effectiveness of a training department

 

is often defined by the number of classes offered or the number of participants,

 

siphoning budgets from this main task to the evaluation of the remaining training

 

programs may prove unpalatable.5 This may partially explain why the Conference

 

Board of Canada reports show no real change in the budgets allocated to evaluation activities by training departments.

 

However, training evaluation has been unduly mystified. The principles,

 

techniques, and procedures involved in training evaluation?many of which are

 

described in this chapter as well as in Chapter 12?are logical, straightforward,

 

and implementable. Moreover, with the advent of modern information technologies (e.g., Web-based questionnaires and computerized work-performance data)

 

and new evaluation models and designs, the disruptive impact and costs of data

 

collection can now be seriously eased. Political Barriers to Training Evaluation Evaluations are conducted when there is pressure from management to do so

 

(see Training Today 11.1, ?Upper Management?s Role in Training Evaluation?). In

 

the absence of such pressures, many training managers would rather forgo the

 

exercise. Clearly, management needs to stress evaluation. Tra i ning To d ay 11.1 Upper Management?s Role in Training Evaluation

 

A few years ago, there was a rash of serious work accidents in a large transportation company. Some of these

 

accidents were the direct or indirect result of operator

 

errors due to the consumption of drugs and alcohol. As

 

a result, the firm declared a zero-tolerance policy concerning the use of such substances. The policy required

 

that no employee use substances that may impair effective and safe job performance, whether or not these

 

substances are legal. The key element of the policy was

 

that all supervisors were directly and personally responsible for enforcing the policy. Supervisors who failed

 

to enforce the policy would themselves be subject to

 

sanctions that could include dismissal.

 

The training department was directed to develop

 

and administer a training program to all supervisory

 

and managerial personnel in the company that was

 

aimed at teaching the policy and its implementation.

 

However, the CEO of the company also insisted that

 

the training program be evaluated to ensure that it was effective. As a result, the training department, which

 

normally only administered ?smile sheets? to evaluate

 

their training programs, launched a much more sophisticated training evaluation program that included three

 

measurement times and the collection of information

 

on dozens of variables. Clearly, this effort was launched

 

because the training program had attained high visibility and because top management demanded it. The

 

training evaluation did uncover some problems with the

 

training program and suggested a number of changes.

 

However, none of these changes was ever implemented.

 

This was because top management showed no interest

 

in the results of the evaluation study, as these became

 

available several months after the training program was

 

administered.

 

The moral of the story is that high-level visibility

 

can stimulate evaluation actions. However, maintaining

 

that visibility is important to ensure that the evaluation

 

results will prove of practical use.

 

NEL Chapter 11: Training Evaluation But evaluation can be threatening. These studies might conclude that part of

 

a training program?or even an entire training approach?is not effective. While

 

this should be considered a valuable finding (as in the Bell Canada case), 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 interest. How can the person doing the training also be the one responsible for evaluating its effectiveness? Conflict of interest, although always a possibility, is unlikely when training managers make use of the established methods

 

of evaluation?many of which are treated in this chapter. Types of Training Evaluation Most training evaluations focus on the impact of a training program on trainees? perceptions and, to a much lesser degree, behaviours. Perceptions are assessed through

 

questionnaire measures, while behavioural data may require a combination of techniques including self-reports, observation, and performance data. 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. 1. The data collected: Evaluations differ with respect to the type of

 

?information that is gathered and how that is accomplished. a. The most common training evaluations rely on trainee perceptions at the

 

conclusion of training (did the participants like it?), while more sophisticated evaluations go further to analyze the extent of trainee learning and

 

the post-training behaviour of trainees. b. 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 behaviour change. Research in this area has helped to identify

 

psychological states (affective, cognitive, and skills-based) that are

 

important training outcomes because of the influence they have on

 

learning as well as to improvements in job behaviours.6 c. Finally, information about the work environment to which the trainee

 

returns can be useful in evaluation.7 For example, measures of

 

training transfer climate and a learning culture have been developed.8

 

Understanding the organization?s culture and climate as well as its policies

 

can strongly affect training choices and effectiveness.9 The degree to

 

which opportunities exist for on-the-job practice of new skills or the level

 

of support provided by others to new learners, amongst other things,

 

have been found to influence training success.10 Training courses that are

 

strongly aligned with the firm?s strategic vision tend to be more effective. It has also been shown that training programs are more likely to improve

 

job performance when using the new skill improves the performance of

 

participants whose remuneration depends on performance.11 NEL 329 330 Managing Performance through Training and Development Formative evaluations

 

Provide data about various

 

aspects of a training

 

?program Summative evaluations

 

Provide data about the

 

worthiness or effectiveness

 

of a training program 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

 

behaviours 2. The purpose of the evaluation: Evaluations also differ with respect to

 

their purposes. Worthen and Sanders distinguished between formative

 

evaluation and summative evaluation.12 a. Formative evaluations are designed to help evaluators assess the value

 

of the training materials and processes with the key goal of identifying

 

improvements to the instructional experience (the clarity, complexity,

 

and relevance of the training contents, how they are presented, and the

 

training context). Hence, formative evaluation provides data that are of

 

special interest to training designers and instructors. b. Summative evaluations are designed to provide data about a

 

training program?s worthiness or effectiveness: Has the training

 

program resulted in payoffs for the organization? Cost?benefit

 

analyses (see Chapter 12) are usually summative. Economic indices

 

are often an integral and important part of these types of evaluations;

 

consequently, organizational managers show great interest in these

 

results. A further distinction can be made between descriptive and causal

 

?evaluations. Descriptive evaluations provide information describing trainees

 

once they have completed the program. What has the trainee learned in

 

training? Is the trainee more confident about using the skill? Is it used on the

 

job? Most evaluation designs have descriptive components. Causal evaluations are used to determine whether the training caused the post-training

 

behaviours. Was the performance improvement caused by the training program? Causal evaluations require more sophisticated experimental and statistical procedures. Models of Training Evaluation Models of training evaluation specify the information (the variables) that is to

 

be measured in training evaluations and their interrelationships. The dominant

 

training evaluation model is Donald Kirkpatrick?s hierarchical model.13 However,

 

research and practical experience has indicated that Kirkpatrick?s model can be

 

improved. The COMA model and the Decision-Based Evaluation model are two

 

recent efforts in that direction; both are discussed below.14 Kirkpatrick?s Hierarchical Model: The Four Levels

 

of Training Evaluation Kirkpatrick?s hierarchical model is the oldest, best known, and most frequently

 

used training evaluation model. For example the Conference Board of Canada

 

data summarized in Table 11.1 are organized using that model. 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 5 ?reactions). L2. Trainees learn the training material (Level 2 5 learning). L3. Trainees apply what they learn in training on the job (Level 3 5 ?behaviours). L4. Training has a positive effect on organizational outcomes (Level 4 5 results). NEL Chapter 11: Training Evaluation Ta b l e 11.1

 

The Main Variables Measured in Training Evaluation

 

Variable Definition How Measured Reactions Trainee perceptions of the

 

program and/or specific aspects

 

of the course. Questionnaires, focus

 

groups, interviews. Learning Trainee acquisition of the program

 

material. Declarative learning

 

is knowing the information.

 

Procedural knowledge is being able

 

to translate that knowledge into a

 

behavioural sequence. Multiple choice or

 

True-False tests

 

(declarative); ?situational

 

and mastery tests

 

?(procedural). Behaviour On-the-job behaviour display,

 

objective performance measures. Self-reports, supervisory reports, direct and

 

indirect observations,

 

production records. Motivation Trainee desire to learn and/or

 

transfer skills. Questionnaires. Self-efficacy Trainee confidence in learning

 

and/or behaviour display on the job. Questionnaires. Perceived and/or

 

anticipated support The assistance trainees obtain

 

and/or the assistance trainees

 

expect. Questionnaires. Organizational

 

?perceptions How trainees perceive the organization?s culture and climate for

 

learning and transfer. Standardized

 

?questionnaires. Organizational

 

results The impact of training on

 

?organizational outcomes. Organizational

 

records. In a more recent articulation, an additional level has been added to the

 

Kirkpatrick model. Level 5 refers to return on investment (ROI), which is designed

 

to assess the financial benefit of training to the organization. However, for simplicity?s sake we continue this description using the original four-level version

 

of the model proposed by Kirkpatrick (ROI and the financial benefit of training

 

programs is discussed in Chapter 12).

 

The model states that the four levels are arranged in a hierarchy, such that

 

each succeeding level provides more important (though more difficult to obtain)

 

information than the previous one. The model also assumes that all levels are

 

positively related to one another, each level having a causal effect on the next

 

level. Hence, positive trainee reactions (L1) cause trainees to learn more (L2),

 

which in turn leads to the behavioural display of the new skill at work (L3),

 

which in turn impacts on organizational effectiveness (L4)?the ultimate reason

 

for conducting...

 


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