Literature Review; Training Evaluation

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I have focused my research for this literature review on the two topics which I will be looking at for my project; participant reaction to training and participant learning transfer to their personal (work/study) context.

In this literature review I will examine each topic briefly and explain the key issues I will then go on to talk about my research in relation to the key issues that I have identified


Two major debates dominate the area of Reaction evaluation measures, the first how useful are evaluation measures which measure trainee reaction to learning and the second that there are no comprehensive evaluation measures which define learning and present a tool which is easy for practitioners to measure reaction.

Evaluations which measure participant reaction to training are examining the participant’s view or reactions to the training process. Of the many types of evaluation measures available, most organisations carry out some form of reaction level evaluation. This type of evaluation provides a low cost easy to design and implement evaluation usually in the form of a questionnaire which is given to participants at the end of the course to complete.

The reaction questionnaire or ‘reactionnaire’ (Sloman 1995) is severely criticised because it has become the evaluation measure of choice. Bramley (1999) argues that this implies that it will on its own serve a number of evaluative purposes, which it of course cannot. Examples of the evaluative purposes that evaluation measures can potentially measure are the effects of organisational factors, individual factors or training related factors on training effectiveness. The major question in the literature then is what does trainee reaction when measured us...

... middle of paper ... the area of training evaluation and especially to my employer is how the reaction questionnaire can be developed to measure learning effectiveness more effectively and also highlight how much learning transfer has taken place for our participants.

According to Eseryel (2002) future research should be aimed at developing a comprehensive evaluation model which both identifies what learning is and how it should be measured and also that a unified theory of evaluation should be developed which integrates evaluation with training design.

Blanchard and Thacker suggest that increased collaboration between practitioners and academics will greatly increase the use of training evaluations in the training context; by working together the one will be able to show the other their point of view and they come to some agreement about what actually requires measurement.
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