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21. Evaluation

Levels of evaluation

Level 1 – Reaction

  • What did the participants think of the training?
    • Feedback forms – content of course, level, delivery skills of trainers, outcomes for the participants
    • Measure how people feel at the end of a course – emotional response.
      • Enjoyment = higher marks
      • Challenging or dull = lower marks
    • Distributed at the end of course and people may not feel like filling in a form
    • People don’t know what else could or should have been included in the course.
    • Participants haven’t had much time to reflect before giving their feedback.


  • Numbers/scale/smiley faces to rate experience
  • Words to classify training
  • Scale of agreement
  • Open questions

How to get a response?

  • Allow enough time.
  • Don’t give it to them at the very end, instead give it just a bit before the end.
  • Value the comments and feedback and how you’ll use it
  • Give more opportunities to give feedback throughout the course

Level 2 – Learning

How well have people learned what they were meant to learn? Look at the objectives of the course and see if these were met (Remember that the objectives should be specific and measureable)

Measuring what people have learned

  • Tests – written, on-line
  • Practical demonstrations
  • Case studies
  • Simulations or role plays
  • Self-assessment
  • Questionnaires
  • Interviews
  • On the job observation
  • Feedback forms

Level 3 – Behaviour

This level determines to what extent the learning has been transferred back to the workplace. Important level – shows if people are applying what they have learned. But they need to be able to apply the learning immediately they get back to their workplace.

Methods for assessing

  • Interviews with participants and colleagues
  • Focus group discussions
  • Observation or supervision
  • Questionnaires
  • Feedback forms from colleagues and clients
  • Outputs from workplace

Level 4 – Results

Measuring the impact of the training – cost benefit. Return to the objectives to the measurable impact (return on investment)

  • Increased laboratory samples
  • Better targeted treatments
  • Reduced staff turnover
  • Saving time
  • Higher quality of work outputs
  • Less waste

When to use these levels of evaluation?

  • Depends on who needs to see the results and why you are evaluating
  • Think about the evaluation from the beginning of the course – when you are writing the objectives