Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Human Resource Education and Workforce Development
James W. Trott, Jr
There is a lack of information on training evaluation. For those studies addressing the amount of evaluation that occurs and in which samples can be identified, the samples are non-random. There have been very few reports on the methods used for evaluation or the reasons why there is so little evaluation. This study used a random sample selected from members of the ASTD professional practice area titled, Technical and Skills Trainers. It can be argued that this is an informed sample involved in a training area that produces objective outcomes and should produce a favorable picture of training evaluation. Questions on the survey were based on Kirkpatrick's four Levels of evaluation and gathered information on amount of evaluation, methods used, reasons for not evaluating, organizational training practices, respondents thoughts about the value of evaluation, and demographics. A total of 146 surveys were returned for an overall response rate of 42%, a higher than normal response rate (20-30%) for this type of survey. Survey results supported the lack of training evaluation cited in other studies. This study found that technical training managers reported using each of Kirkpatrick's four Levels of evaluation in the following percentage of their courses: Level 1--72.74%, Level 2--47.05%, Level 3--33.73%, and Level 4--20.82%. Level 1 evaluation methods were not surveyed. The most commonly used methods at Level 2 were skill demonstrations and posttest with no pretest, at Level 3 observation and performance appraisals, and at Level 4 productivity estimates, productivity measures, and regulation compliance. The results of this study indicate that organizations seldom require training departments to evaluate, training departments do not have the knowledge and skills required to perform evaluations, and the cost of evaluations are seen to outweigh the benefits. The only significant correlation between a training manager's perception of the importance of a level of evaluation in demonstrating value to management and the frequency of reporting evaluation outcomes to managers was at Level 1. No significant correlations were found between any of the four Levels and dependency on evaluation for funding.
Twitchell, Skip, "Technical Training Program Evaluation: Present Practices in United States' Business and Industry." (1997). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 6552.