You’ve worked hard to put together a great, impactful training. You’ve got everything set up and you’re ready to go!
Now, how will you know if all your hard work is paying off? Sure, you can always administer the ubiquitous feedback quiz afterward, and that’s a good practice, but it’s not enough. It can also be problematic in two ways:
- Employee responses may not be completely honest.
- Learning that your employees weren’t engaged in the training after the fact isn’t overly helpful. To an extent, the damage is already done, although it can certainly give you information that you can use in the future.
Let’s take a look at how you can, and why you should, know whether your employees are really engaged in training.
Analytics are Key
With in-person training, facilitators have the ability to “read the room.” They can see whether attendees are hanging on every word or surreptitiously using their phones. In a virtual setting, the opportunity for direct observation are limited, so you have to rely on other methods, namely data analytics. Imagine the possibilities If you can get engagement, learning behavior and learning results in real time. This type of detail is only available through the Jigsaw Interactive’s virtual learning solution.
The Kirkpatrick Model
The four-tiered Kirkpatrick Model of training evaluation is a popular method to evaluate training engagement and effectiveness. The first three tiers refer to signs of employee engagement before and during training, and the last tier describes how you can tell whether they were engaged once it’s all over.
You can gauge your employees’ reaction, in terms of their enthusiasm for the opportunity, by measuring the number of people who sign up and also the rapidity of their engagement (edyoucated.org). In other words, did they sign up as soon as they saw the offer, or did they wait until the very last minute because they knew it was mandatory?
Engaged learners are invested in their own learning, so if your participants demonstrate a solid understanding and ask questions, it’s a good indication that the training program is valuable. Hands-on activities, project-based learning, multiple levels of assessments get the best results. When you can immediately see individual and group results, you can determine where you want the learners to go next. For example, if project-based learning is gaining a tremendous amount of individual and group action, you should plan to utilize it for other trainings.
In the Kirkpatrick Model, “behavior” refers to whether employees’ behavior changes after training as a result of what they learned (eLearning Industry). In terms of measuring engagement in real time, the term works well because the type of engagement quickly identifies a learner’s behavior. Data analytics are the new business superpower. With data analytics you can see how often users engage with all levels and types of learning tools. Understanding these analytics provides value to all levels of the organization. From instructional designers to trainers to department managers and L&D executives understanding the various training/learning analytics is key to the success of the employee, the department and the company.
“Committed learners do not learn only because they are forced to do so […] they do so because they enjoy the process and the results” (Shift eLearning). The reason it’s so important to measure engagement is because it’s the primary indicator of training value and outcomes.