The measurement of effectiveness of online training is a hot topic right now. In this article, I outline how you can use the Kirkpatrick’s model of training evaluation to measure training effectiveness, its impact, and the ROI of eLearning.
The measurement of ROI of eLearning needs an integrated approach that should begin during the Training Needs Analysis or TNA phase and should successively build up right up to the determination of its impact on business.
At EI Design, we use the approach shown here. Essentially, we focus on each stage from TNA to ROI calculation as the right action at each stage will impact the ROI of eLearning positively.
To show how these aspects are interconnected and are part of a cycle is captured in the diagram here.
ROI determination methodology: One of the popular models used for ROI determination is the Kirkpatrick’s model of training evaluati on. I will outline what it entails and how can it be used to determine training effectiveness and the ROI of eLearning.
Kirkpatrick’s model of training evaluation is one of the popular models used to evaluate the effectiveness of training. It was created in 1959 and has undergone revisions in 1975 and 1994. The fact that it has survived for over half a century affirms the value it continues to offer.
It features the following four levels:
Level 1: Reaction
Level 2: Learning
Level 3: Behavior
Level 4: Impact
Initially, the model was viewed as a pyramid with each level building up from the previous one.
Increasingly, the same 4 levels are viewed as a “chain of evidence,” and I feel this reflects a more relevant connection between the levels.
To use the Kirkpatrick model of training evaluation, we need to identify two aspects at each level namely:
Objective: At this level, the focus is to determine the learner’s reaction to the training. Today, we have wide-ranging options through Learner Analytics to identify if the learners liked the training if they found it useful and if they would be able to apply the learning.
From an evaluation perspective, this feedback enables L&D teams to assess if they are on track or if any further changes are required.
Objective: At this level, the focus is to determine what was learned or gained (this should be attributable directly to the training).
From an evaluation perspective, this feedback enables L&D teams to assess if they met their mandate (captured during TNA) that could include:
The pointers from this stage of evaluation would point to:
Objective: At this level, the focus is to determine if the learner behavior changed (again, this should be attributable directly to the training).
From an evaluation perspective, this feedback enables L&D teams to assess if there was a demonstrable change in the learner’s behavior.
Often, this is can be tricky. Although, learners had successfully cleared the assessment, yet there is no demonstrable change.
This may need re-assessment to determine why this is not happening.
Objective: At this level, the focus is to determine if the business saw the gain and if the required impact was created on account of the training.
From an evaluation perspective, this feedback enables L&D teams to review if the expected impact identified during the TNA phase indeed happened.
ROI determination (or Level 5): This is an add-on to the initial model (that has 4 levels) and is referred to as the Kirkpatrick-Phillips Evaluation Model of training.
In simple terms, you will have a positive ROI of eLearning if the demonstrable gain from the training exceeds the cost you incurred to create and deliver the training.
I hope this article gives you practical insights into how you can enhance the impact of each stage from TNA to the evaluation of its impact and see a positive ROI of eLearning.
If you have any queries or need any specific support, do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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