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Evaluating Learning and Development Activities - PowerPoint Presentation Example

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The policy makers and planners use the findings of the evaluation to determine the efficiency of the activity. They would be interested in knowing how fairly were the resources were…
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Evaluating Learning and Development Activities Evaluating Learning and Development Activities The purpose of evaluation for different stakeholders
The evaluation of learning and development activities serves the needs of various stakeholders. The policy makers and planners use the findings of the evaluation to determine the efficiency of the activity. They would be interested in knowing how fairly were the resources were allocated and used. The evaluation results are also used by the sponsors, the government and the policy makers to assess the accountability of the programme. These stakeholders want to know whether the objectives of the programme were met and the extent in which it was successful. The impact of the programme is also determined by the evaluation process.
Return on Investment (ROI)
ROI is a measure of the financial benefits received by a firm over a period of time in return for the costs incurred on a training activity. One way of computing ROI is by comparing the resulting benefits to the costs incurred. Some of the benefits that may result include labor savings, increased productivity and other costs savings. Some of the costs incurred include design and development, administration, and materials/facilities costs. Using this method, percentage ROI is obtained by dividing the total benefits by the total costs times 100%.
Another way of measuring ROI is by using the payback period method which entails the determination of the period taken for the benefits received to cover the costs incurred on the programme. The shorter the payback period the more attractive the training programme (Phillips & Phillips, 2008).
Approaches and tools for evaluating (with merit for each)
The initial basic approach to evaluation is to determine the current performance levels and the skills of the members. This is done before the training so that it can be used as a benchmark after the activity. A structured questionnaire can be used to assess the skills and the performance levels of the participants. This tool is the most suitable since it is accurate and it gathers specific information that is required in the evaluation of the participants after the training (Phillips, 2010).
Measuring the reactions of the participants during and after the training, is another useful approach. This is used to assess the appropriateness of the training to the learners, how well the subjects were covered and how they intend to apply the acquired skills. Open discussions can be used as a tool for measuring this parameter. This tool is advantageous since direct responses are received from the participants. It would be easy to tell if they liked the training or not, and if they learned new skills (Bramley, 2003).
The skills acquired and the learning level can also be measured as a way of evaluating the effectiveness of the programme. This is normally done by the trainers or the responsible managers. A written test is the most appropriate tool of assessment in this approach. This is because it assesses each individual participant separately.
How do we design and administer the evaluation tools?
Questionnaires and written tests are easy to prepare and administer. As a trainer designing questionnaires meant to assess the current performance levels entails the consideration of the areas expected to be covered by the training. They are then issued to the participants, and should be completed and returned within a specific period of time. The questionnaire is set to acquire information on those areas. The same case applies to written tests used after the training; they are however timed and invigilated. Multi-choice questions are the most suitable for such written tests.
The results obtained from the questionnaires are analysed using descriptive statistics such as mean, mode and the use of charts and tables. This helps in identifying the key areas of the training that should be emphasized. However, open discussions would be more appropriate in the analysis of the results as compare to statistical methods. It would also be more useful to use statistical packages such as SPSS to analyze the results. In case the findings of the evaluation indicate that lack of resources is one of the reasons behind the performances of the employees, the stakeholders should decide on the way forward. One way is raising additional funds through borrowings in order to buy the lacking resources.

References
Bramley, P., 2003. Evaluating Training. London: CIPD Publishing.
Phillips, J. J., & Phillips, P. P., 2008. The Myths of Return on Expectation. Retrieved from http://www.roiinstitute.net
Phillips, P. P., 2010. American Society for Training & Development Handbook of Measuring and Evaluating Training. New York: American Society for Training and Development. Read More
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