How to Evaluate e-Learning Training Effectiveness

An eLearning professional’s job does not end after creating a successful training and learning program. It probably just marks the beginning of it. After creating the whole program and then delivering it to the audience, is taken to be the start of something really important called “Evaluation” of the course and its effectiveness.

The role of an eLearning professional is not limited to merely creating content and presenting it, rather the job gets tougher as it moves towards the end of delivery.

The real job begins when output of the learning and training program is assessed. Organizations put in humongous amount of money into e-learning training’s and definitely look out for better results from their employees afterwards.

But then the question arises -when should an eLearning course be evaluated? 

Should it be assessed after the completion of the whole program? 

Or should it be assessed before presenting it to the audience?

The answer to this is something that not a lot of us believe in. it is generally thought that assessment of a task’s effectiveness is done only after its completion. But here, it is not so.  Effectiveness of a training program is assessed throughout the process of it being created to the point where it is presented till its completion. Assessment and response is needed at every step from the audience so as to make out how efficiently is the content being grasped by the audience and how much are they able to absorb.

One of the most common and widely accepted methods to evaluate effectiveness of an eLearning training program is the Donald Kirkpatrick Training Evaluation Model. It is considered to be the standard for evaluating any training program. Through this model, a lot of questions are given answers to, and a lot of problems are given solution to.

Donald Kirkpatrick divided his model into 4 levels: Evaluate e-Learning Training Effectiveness

  1. LEVEL 1-REACTIONThis is the first thing which is analyzed once the training is completed. Reaction of students and also the trainer is perused with the help of collecting data through questionnaires that have several questions in it which are answered on a scale given in the questionnaire itself.
  2. LEVEL 2- LEARNING: This evaluation is actually the deciding factor of the effectiveness of the training program as through this we get to know about how much has a learner learnt or understood from what was presented. Tests are taken to assess how much knowledge has the learning lot acquired during the training session, the results of which give us an estimate to its absorbable efficiency. There is also another thing that happens in this type of evaluation, and that is, the learners who have completed their training can go ahead and train other employees on the same topic. In this way, the learner who has been trained already gets to assess on his own how much he has gained, while the one who is being taught by the former will be a gainer anyway.
  3. LEVEL 3- BEHAVIOR:  According to the man himself, Donald Kirkpatrick, this evaluation is the most difficult one to execute. Basically it involves examining alterations in the learners’ behavior which have occurred after learning from the training program concerned. It also involves analyzing how well the learners’ are implementing their acquired knowledge and skills in their workplace. 
  4. LEVEL 4- RESULTS:  The final level of evaluation is the one that involves examining the monetary outcomes from the training session conducted. Financial aspects such as total profit, decrease in expenses, sales volume, and whether the set goals are getting accomplished, and increase in productivity and decrease in workplace accidents are analyzed in this evaluation.

With the help of this model, all the problems that are faced while assessing efficiency of any eLearning training program are given the ultimate solution by just four levels of evaluation. It has helped eLearning training content and program as a whole to improve and make it better at every step.

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