A quick 5 in 5 on why we should be measuring learning events in the workplace!
1. Why should I be measuring learning ?
It’s important to measure learning events so you can ensure that your intended outcomes translate into behaviour change or action within the workplace.
Evaluating training, seminars, workshops or events that you have put time into developing is important so you can:
- Find out if your learning event had the intended outcome
- If your learners didn’t get the required outcomes from the event, you can find out if there’s anything you need to follow up on (e.g. extra resources, follow up training etc.)
- Reflect on what went well and could be improved next time to help you embed continuous learning to how you develop your people.
2. What do you mean by ‘learning event’?
If you have developed/delivered a training/event/workshop/seminar for staff or volunteers. This might be as simple as a two-hour face to face training session or a series of workshops or experiences that build into a ‘program’.
3. What if I think I need more comprehensive measurement?
You might do! If you’re doing a large scale project/change/series of events I would recommend a more detailed approach to measurement than a standard event follow up survey.
For example in some situations it may make sense to test your learner’s knowledge of the topic prior to the learning event/s so you can ask the same questions after and see the impact of your approach.
Alternatively in some situations it may make sense to survey both the learner and their manager to discuss change of behaviour from both perspectives.
A word of warning though – you don’t want to disengage your stakeholders through asking too much of them!
4. How do I measure?
You want to be careful that you’re measuring with a purpose – so don’t ask anything of your learners that isn’t going to feed in to constructive analysis afterwards.
Check out this great basic analysis on Kirkpatrick’s four-level evaluation model from Mind Tools.
This PDF of possible training questions is a good start – but it leans towards the old-school ‘happy sheet’ model where impact on, and change to, behaviour isn’t measured.
I recommend choosing a couple of questions around the experience of the learning event and then focusing most of your questions on what impact your learning event had on your main objective. This might be something like ‘increasing amount of time customer service staff spend making potential customers feel welcome in store prior to engaging in sales’, or ‘sharing personal personality testing results to enable constructive conflict to happen within our team’.
Once you’ve defined your primary objective it should be much easier to build a couple of questions around assessing the impact of your learning event on changing behaviour in this space.
5. What tools can I use?
Well you can go old school – forms at the end of the session. But for your convenience – as well as some additional analytics tools – I recommend using something like Survey Monkey to send out your survey electronically. It’s free to use and is a great starting point for gathering data on your learning events.