Evaluating Reinforcement

5-Levels of Evaluating Training Success

The reinforcement scorecard provides an overview of the methods used, the defined objectives and the results. Level 1 results (Reaction) to Level 4 results (Impact) are shown well-ordered. It’s up to the organization to determine Level 5 (ROI) by using this reinforcement scorecard.

Building a comprehensive evaluation process is like a puzzle in which the pieces are developed and put in place over time. The Mindmarker reinforcement evaluation is a step-by-step approach to develop key measurement that are important organizations and their stakeholders. The types of measurements are categorized into levels and serve as the framework of training evaluation. 

Level 1: Reaction, Satisfaction, and Intention

Place the learner central by assessing their satisfaction with the training and their intention and motivation to apply what they have learned.

Almost all organizations evaluate at Level 1, usually with a generic, end-of-program questionnaire or survey. While this level of evaluation is important, a favorable reaction does not ensure that your learners have actually acquired new skills.

Level 2: Knowledge Retention

Level 2 focuses on what the learner retained from their training program. A learning test is helpful to ensure that learners have absorbed the content and understand how to use their new knowledge.

Reinforcement is more than increasing knowledge retention. Although the learner knows HOW to implement a skill, there is no guarantee that the learner will apply their new skills on the job.

Level 3: Application and Implementation

A variety of follow-up methods are used to determine whether learners are applying new knowledge and skills on the job. Level 3 focuses on application and frequency.

While Level 3 evaluation may prove that the learner is successfully applying their new knowledge and skills, Level 3 still does not guarantee business impact.

Level 4: Business Impact

Level 4 focuses on the actual results achieved and how these results impact the organization. Level 4 measures include output, quality, costs, time, and customer satisfaction. The ultimate level of evaluation compares the monetary benefit of the program in relation to the program costs.

Level 5: Return on Investment

Although the ROI can be expressed in several ways, it is usually presented as a percentage of benefit-cost ratio. Impact is not truly measured until Level 5 where ROI evaluation is developed. The reinforcement scorecard provides an overview of the evaluation levels 1 to 4 from the reinforcement course. The Return on Investment (Level 5) calculation is often done by the organization itself.

Evaluation is Critical to Training Success

Evaluation is not an after-the-event exercise. Evaluation needs to be strategically positioned as in integral component of any reinforcement program. Critical data gets lost or is not collected systematically if evaluation is done on a “post facto” basis.

Evaluation questionnaires must be carefully designed to provide high value information that can be used by program developers to executives.

A senior corporate executive should be appointed as program sponsor and be held accountable for the effective implementation and execution of the reinforcement program. The results of an evaluation exercise of this nature must be communicated to all stakeholders.

Interested in assessing your training programs and measuring training impact? Download our eBook, The Science Behind Mindmarker.

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Mindmarker addresses a common problem: learners return from a training or eLearning course and quickly forget the information they just learned and revert back to old habits. For training to have the most impact, it has to be reinforced. Read more about us »
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