Using Training Evaluation to Improve Practice: A Lesson Learnt from Rolling Out LMS Upgrade Training

Using Training Evaluation to Improve Practice: A Lesson Learnt from Rolling Out LMS Upgrade Training

Japheth Kipkorir Koech (Columbus State University, USA) and Kimberly Stokes Pak (Columbus State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1808-2.ch008


By providing you with a detailed description of our upgrade training case, we hope you would be able to (a) relate and compare our case descriptions, environment, processes to your organization and environment, (b) Identify similarities and difference between our cases, and (c) Develop possible action plan based on our lesson learn to carry out your training and evaluations needs. In our lesson learned, look for tools that work best for you depending on your environment to conduct training and evaluations (Beebe et al., 2012). Locate or create your training and evaluation data because they are very useful in improving your training for your learners (Phillips, 1997). Following-up extreme feedback after training evaluation (Goad, 2010) either directly in person or through related channel allows you to evaluate and gain more insight into learner's reactions.
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Our intent with this chapter is sharing with you what we learned as we migrated from one learning management system to a new learning management system. As you read we encourage you to compare and contrast our setting with your organization. Notice the similarities and differences. Doing so will better equip you to develop learning and evaluation plans.

Definitions of Training Evaluations

There are various definitions for training evaluation. These include (a) a process of gathering information to inform decision-making to determine the worth of a learning and design program (Griffin, 2014), (b) the systematic process of collecting and analyzing data for decision making (Boulmetis & Dutwin, 2014), (c) the process carried out to see that the training given has been successful in achieving its aim (Talbot, 2016), and (d) the uses of measured results to apply value or judgement to an outcome (Handshaw, 2014). Our working definition for this chapter on training evaluation is anchored on Griffin’s (2014) definition, which defined training evaluations as a “collection, analysis and presentations of information about a learning program and its consequences that can help inform decision-making and determine the worth of that program” (p. 10). This definition set a baseline and aligned our description with our field so as to differentiate terminology that may differ from other industries.

Data Collection

Many ways of capturing data to be used in a training evaluation have been proposed in the literature. In addition to questionnaires, surveys, and tests, Stawarski and Phillips (2008), specifically note the uses of interviews, focus group, observations, as well as monitoring organizations records, action plans, and performance contracting. Data collected could be in various qualitative and quantitative forms and formats (Boulmetis & Dutwin, 2014). Knowing variety and type of data format allows you to design right instruments to capture your training data for evaluations.

Needs for Training and Evaluations

Training requirements could be the need to bridge the gap difference between current achievement and desired accomplishment (Watkins, West Meiers, & Visser, 2012) or the need to help facilitate learning to happen instead of forcing learning (Goad, 2010). Other highlighted training needs found in the literature include the assessment of training effectiveness as well as identification of areas for further training as noted by Keen and Berge (2014), the need to use training as a tool to make your company competitive, the need to upgrade the skills required for new technologies, and need to keep the workforce employable (Gomez, 2004). More identified benefits of training evaluations to organizations, according to Grohmann and Kauffeld (2013), include issues such as the justifications of financial input, accurate decision making for continuation of trainings, training results used for marketing departments to attract potential job candidates, and retention of qualified employees.

Challenges Associated with Training Evaluations

Some of the noted barriers to training evaluation include cost of training, lack of requirement by organizations to train, and lack of experience with various methods of evaluations (Gomez, 2004). Issues such as lack of resources, inadequate time and personnel, and lack of managerial support were also noted as reasons for failure to evaluate; specifically for level 3 and level 4 evaluations (Kennedy, Chyung, Winiecki, & Brinkerhoff, 2014). Recognizing challenges go a long way in assisting you in finding the right solutions to address any challenges.

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