Chapter 4. Evaluation
What’s in This Chapter?
• A discussion of the importance of learning objectives when evaluating learning
• Mini-evaluations for longer workshops
• Evaluations for workshop completion
• Questions for evaluating business benefit
There are two components to measuring the success of a learning event—the effectiveness of the
workshop itself and the benefit to the business. It is possible to hold a highly popular workshop with
virtually no business benefit. On the other hand, it is less likely but still possible to hold a very
unpopular workshop with good business results.
The business reason or situation that caused the request for learning is key to the measurement of
effectiveness after the program has been completed. For this reason it is critical that you establish
the learning objectives with your sponsor before any design begins. The workshops included in this
book have learning objectives, but if you are customizing the material, you need to customize the
learning objectives as well.
Once the business reason is clear and the needs are understood, the learning objectives can be
created by clearly stating the audience and the behavior you will be able to observe during the
learning event. The objectives provide direction for course developer, facilitator, and learner. They
are the core around which the entire learning experience is built and they provide your contract with
Creating learning objectives can be time-consuming. To simplify the process, here is a pared-down
version of more academic approaches to creating objectives. In this section, you will learn how to
create good learning objectives by specifying the audience, behavior, condition, and degree.
• Audience (A): Who will be learning? To whom is this objective geared? (See the first step of The
Learner First Approach).
• Behavior (B): What will the learner be able to do differently and how? How will the facilitator
• Condition (C): What will the environment be where the learning is needed? (See the second
step of The Learner First Approach).
• Degree (D): What amount (degree) of performance is required by the business?
Here’s an example of why material tailored to a specific audience matters so much. Suppose you
have a need to learn project management skills. You are given the choice of attending either a five-
day public workshop with 100 other learners or a one-on-one session for a day with the informal
guru of project management at your company. Personality issues aside, most learners would pick
the guru if they felt they had a true need to learn. Why? There is no time in business today to sort
through a lot of information that is not relevant to your situation. Learners want
answered, not someone else’s. Trying to create a workshop for all people, as does a generic project
management class, runs the risk that the learning will be degraded for everyone.