Ways to Evaluate Training Progams Part I
One the book books I have read recently is How Do They Know They Know: Evaluating Adult Learning by Jane Vella, Paula Berardinelli, and Jim Burrow. It’s a great book to help you assess any type of training program that you are leading or helping out with. It would be a formal, non-formal or informal training time. It could be one class you do often, a week long training or a nine month or longer training. I think you get the idea. Let me give you a quick overview of the book and then some helpful thoughts. This will be a short series of five or six posts.
Vella, Berardinelli and Burrow in How Do They Know They Know, give us a framework by which to design a comprehensive and accessible accountability process by which to evaluate adult learning. They start by sharing their philosophy and practice of evaluation and from there take us on a journey on how to implement the accountability planner, which helps us to evaluate the outcomes (goals and objectives) of the training program as well as the educational process (content, methods, activities, resources and materials, and the instructor) itself. They help us evaluate what learning takes place during the training, what knowledge, skills and attitudes transfer over to real life, and the impact this learning has on the organization as a whole. The tools, principles and practices they provide in this book helps link evaluation with program design, thus making evaluation meaningful.
Tomorrow I will share with you some things from this book that you need to keep in mind when developing a way to summarize, analyze and evaluate training programs.