As with any endeavor, it’s very important to evaluate a training course to find its rate and degree of effectiveness. Remember, a major factor in the success of any business or program is how well the people are trained to do their jobs during their training classes. So what are some things to remember when evaluating a training course? Here are some pointers:
- Articulate measurable goals for the training classes. The first thing to do would be to write down specific, measurable goals that the training classes are designed for. This would prove to be the yardstick against which the training would be evaluated. Also, writing down the goals would help the training providers determine the best method of delivering the training, as well as the activities that the training should have.
- List qualities the training must have. This is in relation to number 1. You must prepare a list of characteristics that the training classes must have, to make sure that they are directly geared towards attaining the prescribed goals. Important characteristics include “relevance” (that is, each and every topic and activity included in the training classes must be geared towards the trainees’ ability to perform their job well in the future), “interesting” (to promote high morale and motivation among trainees), “up-to-date”, “promotes social interaction” (if the trainees’ future responsibilities would have them interacting a lot with one another), etc.
- Acquire constant trainee feedback during training. You could acquire trainee feedback in different ways. One way is to conduct short quizzes and evaluations right after every topic or module; this would assess whether trainees were able to sufficiently understand the lesson. This would also be a way for the training providers to decide whether the trainees are prepared to move on to the next topic, or if reteaching must be conducted. It is advisable that if reteaching is to be done, another mode of lesson delivery be employed (since the previous mode of delivery apparently didn’t work). Another way to acquire feedback would be to ask the trainees how they are finding the training so far. They may also be free to give suggestions on how to make the training classes more effective and conducive to learning. The training providers must also observe trainees’ performance during the training. They must have an outline to help them in their observations. For example, do the trainees appear to be motivated and enthusiastic to learn? Is attendance consistently high? Are the trainees highly participative or passive?
- Determine the passing rate. Other evaluation measures should be employed, including determining the passing rate among the trainees. How many were eligible to receive their certificates after the course certification training? If you are conducting a training course as review for a professional board exam, how many of your trainees passed? Of course you should aim for a consistently high passing rate; low passing rates are a sure sign that you have to plan for the further development of your training program.
- Ask supervisors’ feedback. If the training program is to train company employees, take the time to conduct interviews with the supervisors and managers to find out whether their subordinates were adequately prepared for their responsibilities after the training. Get their feedback and their recommendations as to what other skills need to be developed during training, and what other information trainees should know. The key here is to have a solid and consistent communication base between field supervisors and trainers, to make the training program truly relevant and efficient.
- Ask employees’ feedback. After a set period of time, interview the employees that underwent training and ask their feedback as to whether they were adequately prepared to handle their job responsibilities due to the training program. In essence, this is to find out whether the training program is indeed realistic and relevant, and whether it is lacking in anything. Also, if you have conducted supervisor training, you could ask employee feedback as to whether they found their supervisors to be more effective due to the training.
These are just some pointers to help you in evaluating a training course, whether it be for a company, a certification course, or a supervisor training. Remember, in evaluating a training course it is important to be consistent and to always be on the lookout for ways towards the further development of operations. Good luck!