What is evaluation?
Evaluation is the process of making judgments about the worth of
something. It provides information about achievement of training
objectives and provides data required to increase efficiency and
improve training standards
To provide a basis for sound decision making.
To obtain a measure of trainer achievement.
To gain professional reinforcement.
Accountability for effective training.
Every element of a training session builds upon the previous element
until the training is hopefully, a well orchestrated, synergistic
whole. Skillfully obtaining and interpreting evaluations from the
participants of workshops and training is the royal road to continual
improvement. (Ref. Dynamic Trainer by Laurie Kagan, Kagan Publishing
What's involved in an evaluation?
Evaluation takes into account the participants, the trainer, the
program, the environment, administration and resources. The evaluation
process could be broken up into the following three steps:
Elements of Evaluation Forms
- Preparing for the evaluation:
a. Deciding on who will assist in the evaluation.
b. Clarifying the objectives of the program/activity/policy to be evaluated.
c. Deciding on the technique to be used.
d. Designing the evaluation instrument.
- Data collection - conducting the evaluation.
- Data analysis and formulation of recommendations.
The first step in receiving helpful feedback on training is to distribute a well-designed evaluation
form. The following are important elements:
The details (Presentation date, topic, trainer name)
What the participant learned (content)
Comment on the instructor
An overall scoring mechanism (1-5, smiles or frowns, etc)
The language on the evaluation form should be positive and the
questions open ended. The evaluation process is a step in the
wrapping-up of the training, and it needs to avoid drudgery for the
Types of Evaluation
is basically summative, formative and process or combinations of all of these.
involves a summary of the success or
failure of a program after its completion. All participants at
workshops and training sessions conducted by Kagan Australia will be
requested to complete a summative evaluation form.
continues throughout the lifetime of a program. It focuses on program improvement through continual evaluation.
describes and records the process, or processes that
take place throughout the length of the program.
Evaluation of the Program
In evaluating the program the following questions could be used:
Evaluation of the Teaching
Do the program aims and objectives reflect the content of the course?
Is this program appropriate to the interests of the participants?
Does the course cater for participants of all abilities?
Are the appropriate resources available?
Do the trainers have sufficient skill, background knowledge and interest to present this course?
Are the allocations of time to the various components appropriate?
Is there adequate formative evaluation of the program?
This may be achieved by posing such questions as:
How will we analyse the information gathered?
- Are resources being used effectively to achieve the program’s objectives?
- Do the teaching strategies contribute to the achievement of the
program’s knowledge and understandings, and skills objectives?
- Do the activities develop the capacity in participants to apply what
has been learnt in the training to their own workplace?
Is the possession of specific pre-requisite skills being verified
before commencing each new section of the course?
Does ongoing assessment throughout the training indicate that the objectives are being achieved?
Does the approach by participants to course work indicate that their attitudes are supportive of the course?
Have trainers retained their enthusiasm for all aspects of the course?
Quantitative analysis of straightforward counts and percentages will be
applied to scores on evaluation forms. This will provide information
about the overall level of satisfaction with the courses we conduct.
Qualitative analysis of open ended questions can be treated in a quantitative or qualitative way.
The written statements may be categorized or coded (ie given a number)
and these numbers may then be given over to statistical analysis.
Alternatively the written responses can be treated by logical analysis.
Instead of being concerned merely with the numbers of people who
responded in certain ways, we can examine the responses to determine
the concepts which have emerged and then determine what links exist
In this way we can build a complete picture of what the respondents think about any particular
aspect of the course.
Whatever method is used we will be able to draw conclusions and make recommendations for program improvement.
Evaluating the Learning and Assessment Regardless of the experience
level and backgrounds the participants the trainer must consider the
participants instructional needs. The degree of mastery of skills by
course participants and the trainers teaching strategies need to be
Modes of assessment will vary according to the purpose for which they
are employed, but the continuing progress of participants within the
content of the course will always be the central focus.
Assessment can take a variety of forms. Some examples that are utilised within Kagan trainings are:
- Completion of worksheets
Kagan Australia will provide participants with an opportunity to
follow-up and expand their expertise and support them in the
implementation of the course content. The forms “Kagan Cooperative
Learning Follow-Up Action Plan” are provided to participants for this
purpose and as a means of self assessment.
In order to obtain honest and accurate information staff of Kagan
Australia are to assure the respondents to any surveys and evaluations
that the information they provide is confidential.
This assurance is to be taken seriously by all Kagan Australia staff.
If the evaluation form calls for individuals to be identified,
permission to release any information collected about those individuals
should be obtained. Similarly data collected from small groups of
people must be protected. The assurance that will be given is that “it
will not be possible to identify individuals in the reporting of the
There are advantages in keeping information confidential and in being
seen to do so. Apart from increasing the likelihood of obtaining honest
answers, it helps the evaluators to gain the cooperation and openness
of people, resulting in more complete and better quality data.