Tools

Evaluating Learning

Author:
International Finance Corporation - World Bank Group
Source:
International Finance Corporation - World Bank Group
Contributor:
February 15, 2022
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

The overall purpose of Evaluating Learning is to determine the effectiveness of the learning and whether performance and business objectives were met.

INTRODUCTION

Evaluating Learning can take many forms, including surveys of learner reaction (sometimes called “smile sheets”), knowledge tests, skill demonstrations, comparisons of pre- and postlearning performance, and calculations of return on investment.

The overall purpose of Evaluating Learning is to determine the effectiveness of the learning and whether performance and business objectives were met. This is sometimes called “summative” evaluation. In the Designing Curricula and Designing Learning Experiences categories, we focused on what is sometimes called “formative” evaluation. We’ve called it “validation.”

Evaluating Learning is an ongoing process that starts with Assessing Performance Needs, and continues through Designing Curricula and Designing Learning Experiences, Facilitating Learning, and Supporting the Transfer of Learning.

A comprehensive evaluation of learning determines whether a learning solution has affected business results. Business results are usually evaluated six to 12 months after implementation of the learning experience.

In order to determine that the learning solution has affected business results, you must first assess the extent to which the learning has had an impact on performance outcomes. Changes in performance outcomes are usually evaluated a few weeks to several months after implementation of the learning experience.

To ensure that participants are adequately prepared to apply their learning outside the class, you must assess whether learners have acquired the requisite skills and knowledge. This should be assessed against specific learning objectives during implementation of the learning experience. To assess the participants’ reactions, you can have them evaluate their reactions during or immediately after implementation of the learning experience.

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