In a session of ‘Top 10 questions which trainers ask’, I asked Bob Pike who is a well known figure in the corporate training field a question – ‘How do trainers get good feedback on his / her effectiveness in the classroom?’ I asked this in the context that the happy sheet is often just a ritual at the end of the class – participants frequently do not care to put down their true thoughts for all sort of reasons. They are rushing to leave. Or they try to be nice…..especially in Asia.
Bob’s immediate response struck me ‘Trainers should be evaluated by the underlying value which the training intervention brought to the company, but not just their effectiveness in the class.’ I know that there is argument like this i.e. we should go for level 4 instead of level 1 or 2 evaluation, but I just do not expect he would answer my question with this…. Perhaps it is because I have been focusing myself in the classroom effectiveness since I joined the training field. It made think whether I have had the wrong focus at all.
I do not have a clear answer yet, but it surely makes me think. Whilst I do not have a final conclusion myself
The sponsors or the employers pay for the intervention. It makes sense to evaluate the whole spending by looking at how much value e.g. increase in revenue, cut down in staff turnover brought by the intervention;
It is however often difficult or costly (in terms of time and money) to measure level 4. For example, it takes time for the change to show, and control groups have to be arranged;
If the course is paid by the participants e.g. a presentation training, it makes sense to just look at level 2 or 3 evaluation.
Perhaps I can have a better answer myself by looking into more Kirkpatrick’s thoughts on evaluation.
Anyway, re classroom effectiveness, Bob did give a good suggestion afterward and he modeled it as well. He is great. He promised to send us some bonus material if we send him an email after the session containing one paragraph about one key learning from that session. This is a good idea since it
Extends learning beyond the classroom – enhance retention
Checks for yourself your effectiveness
Shows that you care