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D6 discusses why learning organizations must document results and provided guiding principles for program evaluation and advice on what to measure, how to collect and analyze the information, and, especially important, how to market the results. Choose an organization you believe to be a learning organization, provide a justification as to why the organization is a learning organization and how it collects and analyzes the information or assessment information on why the training and/or learning was successful.
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Document, Document, Docu-what?
D6 is to document results in a relevant, credible, and compelling way that justifies further investment and supports continuous improvement. Evidence of results is needed to justify continued investment in any business initiative. Learning is not exempt from this requirement. In today’s business climate, companies must continuously improve the effectiveness and efficiency of all their business processes to remain competitive. Learning organizations should be models of continuous improvement.
But continuous improvement is possible, and continued investment is warranted, only when there is unequivocal evidence that the initiative generated value. The requisite data are those that document outcomes of importance to the business — not just activity (people trained, courses taught), learner satisfaction (reaction), or even the amount learned (see Figure I.8).
D6 discusses why learning organizations must document results. We differentiate between metrics needed to manage the learning organization and actual results that matter to the business. We provide guiding principles for program evaluation and advice on what to measure, how to collect and analyze the information, and, especially important, how to market the results.
In addition to the book it is important to talk about Kirkpatrick and his four levels.
The Four Levels
Donald Kirkpatrick, Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin and past president of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), first published his Four-Level Training Evaluation Model in 1959, in the US Training and Development Journal.
The four levels are:
Let’s look at each level in greater detail.
Level 1: Reaction
This level measures how your trainees (the people being trained), reacted to the training. Obviously, you want them to feel that the training was a valuable experience, and you want them to feel good about the instructor, the topic, the material, its presentation, and the venue.It’s important to measure reaction, because it helps you understand how well the training was received by your audience. It also helps you improve the training for future trainees, including identifying important areas or topics that are missing from the training.
Level 2: Learning
At level 2, you measure what your trainees have learned. How much has their knowledge increased as a result of the training?When you planned the training session, you hopefully started with a list of specific learning objectives: these should be the starting point for your measurement. Keep in mind that you can measure learning in different ways depending on these objectives, and depending on whether you’re interested in changes to knowledge, skills, or attitude. It’s important to measure this, because knowing what your trainees are learning and what they aren’t will help you improve future training.
Level 3: Behavior
At this level, you evaluate how far your trainees have changed their behavior, based on the training they received. Specifically, this looks at how trainees apply the information.
It’s important to realize that behavior can only change if conditions are favorable. For instance, imagine you’ve skipped measurement at the first two Kirkpatrick levels and, when looking at your group’s behavior, you determine that no behavior change has taken place. Therefore, you assume that your trainees haven’t learned anything and that the training was ineffective.
However, just because behavior hasn’t changed, it doesn’t mean that trainees haven’t learned anything. Perhaps their boss won’t let them apply new knowledge. Or, maybe they’ve learned everything you taught, but they have no desire to apply the knowledge themselves.
Level 4: Results
At this level, you analyze the final results of your training. This includes outcomes that you or your organization have determined to be good for business, good for the employees, or good for the bottom line.
Watch the following video on Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODjWRYh9HUA