Training Industry Magazine - Winter 2014 - (Page 44)

BY JOHN R. MATTOX, II, PH.D. & MICHELE A. GRAHAM M.S. THE LANGUAGE OF MEASUREMENT: WHEN TO ASSESS, EVALUATE AND TEST Imagine for a moment that you are in a meeting, but you can't contribute because you are not comfortable with the language. Or, maybe you are the only person in the room who is not fluent in Japanese. And, maybe you are the only one who doesn't know the jargon of private equity. Or, it's because you don't know the acronyms in a flurry of text messages among your substantially younger colleagues. Whatever the situation, if there's a language barrier in play, you're probably feeling some frustration. That same frustration is sometimes felt among learning and development (L&D) professionals when dealing with the language of measurement. There are common measurement methods that help learning professionals evaluate the effectiveness of development programs while providing insights for continuous improvement. This information helps create a common language about measurement. The key measurement methods that every L&D professional should know about include assessments, evaluations and tests. In a digital world, these methods usually involve electronic tools deployed via a web browser, but paper instruments are still widely used. While the 44 web-hosted format for each of the three methods tends to be similar, the purpose of each method, the type of data collected and the insights they provide tend to differ. Figure 1 on page 46 summarizes the purposes and differences among measurement methods. WHY USE EACH Every garden tool has a specific use and so does every measurement method. Needs assessments, competency assessments and personality inventories are useful for identifying individual knowledge, skill and trait gaps. Moreover, when results are aggregated across respondents, gaps can be defined at a group or organizational level. L&D professionals use this information when designing courses to close gaps or to determine whether a training intervention is necessary. Evaluations are used to evaluate the effectiveness of training and provide information for continuous improvement. These are very useful when identifying which aspects of training are working well or not so well - such as the instructors, courseware, content and technology tools. If questions about content are included on the evaluations, learners can provide insights about what topics are relevant. continued on pg. 46

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - Winter 2014

Tracking Trends
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Meeting Today's Learning Consumers Where They Are
Facilitating Change
How Smart Leaders Squash Employee Entitlement
The Reskilling of Design
Responsive Design and Learning Solutions
Women, Leadership and Emotional Intelligence
Key Trends for 2014: Shifting to Business-Centric Learning
The Promise of Badges for Learning and Development
The Business Leader's Bottom Line: Aligning Learning with Organizational Needs
Raising the Bar: The Impact of Sales Training on Effective Customer Engagement
The Language of Measurement: When to Assess, Evalutate and Test
Casebook: Combined Insurance: Ensuring Efficient Sales Training via Mobile Learning
The Challenge of Workplace Re-entry After Training
The Learning Shift: From Event to Process
What's Online
Company News

Training Industry Magazine - Winter 2014