Wednesday, November 22

Is Level 1/Smilesheets BAD for training?

It is commonly referred to as Kirkpatrick Level 1. Did the students enjoy the program?

1) Quality advocates say that such feedback is important. Buzz marketers would say that the students are your best advocates, so you want them to be happy. It keeps the instructor on their toes.

2) There are plenty of people including Kirkpatrick who say that the information is fairly worthless.

3) Also, I have seen many situations where training groups use it because it is the easiest metric. It lets them off the hook from doing other evaluations.

But I heard an argument yesterday from a 30 year veteran that had me thinking beyond the 2) and 3).

4) Does it put the students in the wrong mentality? Does it, as the instructor described yesterday, put the students in a mindset of learning back and saying, "OK, show my what you got? The lessons are your responsibility to teach, not mine to learn? Entertain me! Make it fun?" Does it position too much training as entertainment not training as responsibility to shareholders?

What do you think?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe that a level 1 is only useful if you have a level 2 and 3. It is very important to determine the initial impression of the participants at the time of the learning so you can make immediate changes to the program. If, for example, a significant number of the participants felt the instructor's pace was incorrect, that will be reflected in a level 1, and no place else. I feel is mostly useful for the instructor/facilitator and not as a quality feedback tool.

My 2 cents,

Ben

Mike Becvar said...

I think that it is an important measure, but it may be more meaningful of a tool when the positive feedback is ignored and the negative feedback is evaluated to see why someone was not satisfied with the training experience.

If all of the students give the training a high rating, it means they most likely enjoyed the experience, but it doesn't provide any measure on how well the student will incorporate the training into their personal skillset. It also doesn't mean that the training couldn't be improved.

When a student gives a training experience a low score, they are less likely to have learned the materials and will be less likely to incorporate the training into their life. Their feedback can be helpful to identify potential problems and make improvements. Sometimes, all it takes is setting better expectations for the student before the training begins.