Evaluating learning and development

Evaluating learning and development
Evaluating learning and development

Evaluating learning and development

Order Instructions:

Evaluating learning and development
Print Page

This week’s Key Concept Exercise asks you to consider how evaluation theory can be used practically to help organisations measure the value of learning interventions. This goes beyond the application of techniques and encourages you to drill down into the key questions underpinning evaluation methods and approaches, especially in considering political and stakeholder concerns in the evaluation process. You should feel confident enough about interpreting the theory to come up with new ideas for and approaches to evaluation. This is also a good opportunity for you to showcase any good practice in your own organisation in order to make connections with theory and to aid others’ learning.

In this week’s Key Concept Exercise, you define evaluation and explain why organisations evaluate learning activity. In addition, you critique a range of models of evaluation.

To prepare for this Key Concept Exercise:

•Review the Required Learning Resources from the email that I sent.

•Consider why organisations evaluate learning activities.

To complete this Key Concept Exercise:

In an approximately 550-word response, address the following issues/questions:

•Use specific examples of theories, definitions and practices of evaluation and how they can be applied in an organisational context.

•In formulating your Key Concept Exercise, consider the following issues/questions:

o How do organisations evaluate learning activities?

o What modules of evaluation are used within organisations?

o Can organisations ever really know that they get a return on investment made in learning and development activities?

o Having considered the literature on the subject, how would you suggest ways that your organisation could improve its evaluation processes?


Evaluating Learning and Development

Evaluation can be defined as an estimation of the entire value of a learning agenda. During the examination of the value of a learning programme, Human Resource Developers (HDRs) estimate how much the agenda has met the objectives and compare the benefit achieved to the resources used for the learning process. There are several models and theories involved in formulating Human Resource Development programmes evaluations. In this paper, the focus will be towards analysing the theories, definitions and application of the practices of evaluation in organizational set ups using examples. Learning, on the other hand, can be defined as the permanent change in behaviour as a result of an educative process. Learning programmes in organizations are usually conducted majorly with an intention of improving the output of the stakeholders who benefit from the process (University of Liverpool Management School, 2015).

Evaluation is usually done in organizations for several purposes. Easterby-Smith (1994) supposes that there are four reasons for performing assessments. One of the reasons is to prove the relevance and value of interventions by use of cost-benefit analysis. Another reason is to facilitate learning by involving the process of the programme and its results in estimating that learning has happened. Evaluation may also be done to a learning procedure to better it by analysing the strengths and weaknesses. This ensures maximum gain from a learning programme to the involved organization. In some cases, agencies may also evaluate a learning plan to acquire control of its workers and concerned stakeholders. For example, a government may design a learning protocol with the aim of controlling the stakeholders’ resultant behaviour.

There are several models of evaluation proposed for learning in organizations. One of these is the chain reaction model proposed by Kirkpatrick in 1967. The model supposes that there are four steps of evaluation to a learning process. This model theoretically assumes that training causes a reaction which causes learning. The resultant learning influences changes in individuals’ traits that, therefore, beget organizational change. This type of evaluation has a problem when it comes to measuring the learning achieved. For instance, measuring the knowledge from training without an apparent objective. It would be hard to test the level of change on aspects such as the attitude of employees. Therefore, the model is considered rather superficial and inapplicable on its own in an actual organization.  More applicable and helpful evaluation models have been proposed.

One of the more appropriate models for organizational learning programmes is the six stages model. To apply the six stage model, the evaluator incorporates the evaluation in the entire HDR process.  The assessment begins with the goals making, it continues all through the subsequent stages of learning like designing of the program, implementation of the program, immediate results, intermediate results and finally the long-term outcomes of the learning process. This model ensures that the process only continues if it is beneficial in terms of cost-benefit analysis. In this process, analysis of the learning process depends on the process itself rather than the results. An example is a case where training is done to improve the attitudes of workers towards the implementation of a policy. The training can be evaluated from the goal setting process to establish whether it is worthwhile before implementing the training. This is because training may be done with the assumption that all training are fruitful, and yet the cost of conducting the training outweighs the benefits (Anderson 2010).

Organizations can know whether training has been successful be observing the changes that come from the learning or by evaluating each stage of the learning process. The hardness of establishing nonquantifiable effect can be solved by observing changes in discursive practices such as the language used by attendees as part of the six stage evaluation module (Brinkerhoff 1988). It would be more beneficial for organizations to include the analysis of this change in discursive behaviour to improve evaluation strategies in place and, therefore, know whether there is benefit from training programmes in HRD.

Reference list

CIPD (2014) Evaluating learning and development [Online]


Lisa Anderson (2010). Human Resource Development International: ‘Talking the talk’ – a discursive approach to evaluating management development. Taylor and Francis Group. 285–298

Robert O. Brinkerhoff (1988). Training and Development Journal: An Integrated Evaluation Model for HRD.

University of Liverpool Management School (2015).  Key Concept  Overview: Evaluating Learning and Development. Laureate Education, Inc

We can write this or a similar paper for you! Simply fill the order form!

Unlike most other websites we deliver what we promise;

  • Our Support Staff are online 24/7
  • Our Writers are available 24/7
  • Most Urgent order is delivered with 6 Hrs
  • 100% Original Assignment Plagiarism report can be sent to you upon request.

GET 15 % DISCOUNT TODAY use the discount code PAPER15 at the order form.

Type of paper Academic level Subject area
Number of pages Paper urgency Cost per page: