Training of trainers – NFL and interactive methods in Youth work – ACHIEVE

Lesson 33 – Training evaluation – text

text lesson

Many things can be said and written in relation to the evaluation of the training results and the effect from the training programs. There are many publications on the topic related to the field of youth work and other educational activities. (You can see links to some of them here.)

We would like to underline the importance of evaluation of the training results and to stress on the fact that the evaluation process is inseparable part of the preparation process, the conduction and all activities that follow in a training. Setting evaluation methods begins at the level of setting aim and objective. During the process of formulation of the training objectives we already think of ways to measure their achievement. The evaluation methods are part of the conduction of the training program itself. They measure the results on emotional and cognitive level of the participants during the training and at its end. In the period of following action the sustainable consecutive results of the training can be measured – confirmed behaviors, realized projects, etc.

Here we will not go into details in the topic of evaluation of the training result. We will only mention one of the most popular models used in the training field:

Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Evaluation ModelKirkpatrick

Perhaps the best known evaluation methodology for judging learning processes is Donald Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Evaluation Model that was first published in a series of articles in 1959 in the Journal of American Society of Training Directors (now known as T+D Magazine). The series was later compiled and published as an article, Techniques for Evaluating Training Programs, in a book Kirkpatrick edited, Evaluating Training Programs (1975). However it was not until his 1994 book was published, Evaluating Training Programs, that the four levels became popular. Nowadays, his four levels remain a cornerstone in the learning industry.

While most people refer to the four criteria for evaluating learning processes as “levels,” Kirkpatrick never used that term, he normally called them “steps” (Craig, 1996). In addition, he did not call it a model, but used words such as “techniques for conducting the evaluation” (Craig, 1996, p294).

The four steps of evaluation consist of:

  • Step 1: Reaction– How well did the learners like the learning process?
  • Step 2: Learning– What did they learn? (the extent to which the learners gain knowledge and skills)
  • Step 3: Behavior– (What changes in job performance resulted from the learning process? (capability to perform the newly learned skills while on the job)
  • Step 4: Results– What are the tangible results of the learning process in terms of reduced cost, improved quality, increased production, efficiency, etc.?

Kirkpatrick’s concept is quite important as it makes an excellent planning, evaluating, and troubling-shooting tool, especially if we make some slight improvements as show below.

 

The training program “Training of Trainers” is an educational product that is currently missing in the partner countries – Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania. Due to the early stage of development of the youth sector and youth work in these countries the educational materials aimed at non-formal learning are still limited and insufficient. The lack of adequate educational framework for training of youth workers in the field of formal education leads to inefficient use of the capacity of professionals.

This course fills a gap in the youth sector, namely the need of methodologies for the preparation of trainers, who are able to train youth workers. This course will set the basis for the preparation of teams of trainers of youth workers. The course will serve the goal of development of youth work in the participating countries and other interested parties. A large number of youth workers can be trained according to the methodology at national and international level to use and promote non-formal learning as a tool to enhance the realization of young people in the labor market and increase their social cohesion.

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