Businesses are well aware that training evaluation helps them meet a key challenge in improving their training offers. Within training departments this is even more true, as training evaluation is essential and helps ensure they are on the right track. Only 10% of businesses already use a training evaluation strategy, but around 45% have begun the process – an increase of 13 points in two years (source: Panorama Féfaur / Talentsoft des pratiques d’évaluation de la formation dans les entreprises françaises). Let’s take a look at the different evaluation types and how they are enhanced by digital technology. There are 4 main categories.
Only 10% of businesses already use
a training evaluation strategy
Assessing satisfaction: pre-training evaluation, immediate evaluation, and deferred-evaluation
“Training evaluation” often evokes the idea of an “immediate” evaluation, conducted directly after the training session with the object of collecting the trainees’ feedback on what they have just learned. Businesses use this type of evaluation the most, (almost 90% use it for half of their training) and it’s already heavily digitised as 50% of the forms are distributed in digital form (an obvious time saver with no need to re-enter data).
Tip: rather than doing this evaluation directly after the training, it’s better to wait until the next day in order to get more carefully-reasoned responses.
An immediate evaluation can be complemented by a deferred evaluation a few weeks, or even months, later. This means the trainee can be questioned about operational aspects of the training and how well they’ve been able to put it into practice.
Whilst these two types of evaluation are both well-known and well-used, pre-training evaluation is much less frequently implemented. Using pre-training evaluation, it’s possible to assess employees’ knowledge level on specific subjects, identify their expectations and requirements, then the business can offer more targeted, and thus more effective, training.
The common point shared by all these types of evaluation is that they are trainee-oriented to elicit personal responses.
Assessing learning: formative and summative evaluations
“Formative” evaluations allow the trainer, or digital resource, to adapt the training programme very quickly and flexibly. By diagnosing the difficulties experienced by trainees during training, a formative evaluation marks the starting point for remediation strategies. In a virtual classroom, for example, digital tools mean trainees can be questioned remotely.
Another type of evaluation led by the trainer: summative evaluation. Well-known in compliance strategies for strongly regulated fields (e.g. the pharmaceutical sector), this evaluation types allows verification of trainee skill acquisition and may a qualification. There is also the certificate evaluation. Here also, digitalisation helps simplify the process by automating the production of customised certificates.
Assessing use: data and social interaction evaluation
Here we touch on a type of evaluation quite rarely applied in companies. Technically speaking, however, the best LMSs already supply plenty of information regarding use of the platform available on the dashboard: time spent in training, number of logins per day or per training module, etc. Based on relevant statistics and taking into account the large number of trainees, these evaluations give a much more objective image than immediate evaluations.
Today, social interactions form an integral part of training. It’s therefore important to be able to quantify these interactions to assess the relevance of training: the number of likes, or posts etc. Here, as well, it’s important to choose an LMS which allows requests for this type of criteria.
The challenge here is to directly link training to the actual development of employees’ competencies in their work. Of course, this requires a platform integrating both training and talent management. Despite this, less than 20% of businesses currently use a fully-integrated solution.
As the figures in this article demonstrate, we are entering a new phase in the digital learning market. Even though most businesses already take advantage of the benefits afforded by digital technology in general, they are now realising the importance of proper evaluation of their training systems. The digital revolution has brought us new means of facilitating this process.