Section 9.2: Tools to Evaluate Training Programs

Eisha Bhangu; Jovenvir Birk; and Xinyu Cao

To ensure training programs are effective and to identify areas for improvement, organizations can utilize the following tools during the evaluation process:

1.    Questionnaires:

Providing questionnaires is a cost-effective way of collecting data from the participants. However, to get the maximum results, it is essential for organizations to avoid including vague questions that could potentially confuse the participants. Organizations can develop a set of questions to determine the effectiveness of the training process and the trainees’ overall experience during the sessions. The questionnaires should include open-ended questions to encourage trainees to fully reflect on their training experiences. By doing so, organizations can collect the most accurate data on trainees’ opinions of the sessions (Training Evaluation Tools, n.d.).

2.    Observations:

Organizations can decide to observe trainees’ behaviour after training to evaluate the training program’s effectively. During the observation, it is critical to focus on determining if the trainee is able to perform according to the standards and designed learning outcomes, to determine the success of the training. Observations are a cost-effective approach and are not difficult to perform. However, they can be time-consuming and can sometimes be biased, depending on who is performing the observation (Training Evaluation Tools, n.d.).

3.    Interviews:

Organizations can utilize interviews to collect trainees’ opinions toward training sessions. During the interview, the interviewer can ask follow-up questions to get more clarification on interviewees’ opinions. By doing so, organizations will be able to collect the most accurate information and identify issues that were not clear before conducting the interviews. As interviews are generally conducted one- on- one, they are not the most cost-effective or time-efficient options. However, interviews can provide more insights compared to questionnaires and observations (Training Evaluation Tools, n.d.).

Post training Program Evaluations

After conducting a training program, it is important to evaluate the training program process based on the learner’s feedback (Andriotis, 2019). This is a great way to determine how effective the current training program is and what improvements can be made.

Through the learner’s feedback, organizations can assess the success rate of their training program so they can gain insight into the learner’s experience and make changes accordingly.

The best way to evaluate a training program is through a post training questionnaire that addresses several aspects of the training experience. This questionnaire should assess the following five aspects of the training program (Andriotis, 2019).

1.    Effectiveness:

When creating an evaluation questionnaire, assessing the effectiveness of the training program is the most important factor. This determines whether or not the learners gained the required knowledge as outlined by the program’s learning outcomes. Through the learners’ opinions, organizations can identify whether the learners benefitted from the lessons (Andriotis, 2019). Additionally, the assessment will inform the evaluators of what skills and lessons are to be gained from the training program and how satisfied learners are with the content. This is the most important factor to address because if a training program is not effective, organizations will not get the results they need to achieve their goals. To assess the effectiveness, the following questions can be asked (Andriotis, 2019):

  1. How effective did you find the program in helping you improve?
  2. What did you enjoy the most and what did you enjoy the least?
  3. How do you think this program could be improved?

2.    Comprehension:

This aspect of the post- training evaluation questionnaire defines how well the program was delivered to the trainees. This can be evaluated by asking questions regarding the way the program content was provided to the learners. It is important to evaluate this aspect to ensure that the delivery of the content is effective and that learners are able to gain sufficient understanding of the program material (Andriotis, 2019). Several factors including the learning environment and the trainer, highly impact the way learners understand the content. To evaluate the trainees’ comprehension, the following questions can be asked (Andriotis, 2019):

  1. What specifically did you learn in this training program?
  2. How effective was the trainer in delivering the content?
  3. How did the trainer provide assistance throughout the training?

3.    Attractiveness:

The presentation and visual appearance of the program is another important aspect to evaluate when assessing the training program. By providing program related material, trainers can keep their learners more engaged. Therefore, the course content must include attractive factors and multimedia components. Assessing the attractiveness is important, as it determines whether the overall program was aesthetically appealing to the learners. This is an important aspect to address because if the training is not attractive, the learners may not be motivated to engage with the program and take knowledge away from it. To evaluate the attractiveness, the following questions can be asked (Andriotis, 2019):

  1. How effective were the training materials (handouts, presentation slides, etc.)?
  2. How did the multimedia components assist your learning?

4.    Engagement:

To ensure the training program is effective, it is important to keep the learners engaged. By assessing the level of engagement of the trainees, trainers can identify how well the learners are understanding the program content. There are multiple active learning approaches to use to keep the trainees engaged such as quizzes, games and simulations (Andriotis, 2019). It is important to evaluate the effectiveness of the training program to decide which components are the most successful in improving performance. To assess the engagement, the following questions can be asked (Andriotis, 2019):

  1. How engaging did you find the training program: very engaging, neutral, or not very engaging?
  2. Did you find the interactive activities of the program helpful in your learning?
  3. What did you take away from the engaging components of the program?

5.   Suggestions:

To develop a questionnaire for the training program, trainers must ask for ways to improve to successfully complete the evaluation. Since asking for suggestions usually involves open-ended questions, learners are more likely to skip these questions as they require more time and thought (Andriotis, 2019). To ensure the learners complete this part of the evaluation, ask for 2-3 suggestions on how to improve the training program. This will encourage the learners to provide feedback on ways the organization can make changes for growth. To ask the learners for suggestions, the following questions can be asked (Andriotis, 2019):

  1. What are three ways the training program could be improved?
  2. What part of the program did you find the most effective and least effective in helping you improve your skills?


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

People Learning and Development Copyright © by Eisha Bhangu; Jovenvir Birk; and Xinyu Cao is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book