Thursday, August 11

Evaluation of Formal Learning Programs is a marketing activity

One should not evaluate a formal learning program to justify that the money and time were well spent. One should evaluate a formal learning program to get resources for the next program.

If there is a "level 6" evaluation of a training program, it is, "did it lead to growth of the training program/growth of the training group/promotion of the sponsor?" If not, all other metrics are irrelevant.

Of course lessons learned should make the next program (the X+1 program) better. But the driver of those improvements is to get an even better evaluation of X+1 than of X, so that selling the X+2 program is easier.

There are those who view marketing as selective truth telling at best and lying at worst. That is too bad, because ultimately marketing is evolving the premise for a sustainable vendor relationship. It involves as much listening as talking.

Credibility is hugely important, therefore. Honesty is a sine que non of any sustainable brand. But the culture of the group has to be growth through success, not just introspection. Evaluations should be done looking forward and outward, not backwards and inward.


Martin Schmalenbach said...

Interesting thought - and I sort of agree with it.

Yes, I agree that getting a better evaluation result for programme X+1 is important as it will make it easier to sell programme X+2. This is as true for internal as external providers.

However, I would challenge the need for this to be the focus. It is just ONE desired result - and I would contend that getting the best evaluation for X+1 is more readily and CREDIBLY acheived by ensuring that the KPIs for the key stakeholders are improved by a sufficient amount AND the delegates are giving the usual 4.5/5.0 scores on their Level 1 sheets.

A combination of results that are hard to argue with, and the general credibility all round surely must make the difference, and by focusing NOT on getting a great X+1 review but delivering and exceeding if possible customer requirements and expectations will demonstrate that your values are about helping the customer, NOT 'upping' your eval scores.

Best wishes

Martin Schmalenbach

slm said...

Interesting thoughts on the evaluation process. I will take it into account when developing my programs evaluation. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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