This phase is ongoing throughout the entire ISD process. That is, it is performed during the analysis, design, development, and implementation phases. It is also performed after the learners return to their jobs. Its purpose is to collect and document learner performance in a training course, as well as on the job. The goal is to fix problems and make the system better, not to lay blame.
The most exciting place in teaching is the gap between what the teacher teaches and what the student learns. This is where the unpredictable transformation takes place, the transformation that means that we are human beings, creating and dividing our world, and not objects, passive and defined.
Evaluations help to measure Reich’s gap by determining the value and effectiveness of a learning program. It uses assessment and validation tools to provide data for the evaluation. Assessment is the measurement of the practical results of the training in the work environment; while validation determines if the objectives of the training goal were met.
Five main purposes of evaluation:
1. Feedback – Linking learning outcomes to objectives and providing a form of quality control.
2. Control – Making links from training to organizational activities and to consider cost effectiveness.
3. Research – Determining the relationships between learning, training, and the transfer of training to the job.
4. Intervention – The results of the evaluation influence the context in which it is occurring.
5. Power games – Manipulating evaluative data for organizational politics.
Evaluations are normally divided into two broad categories: formative and summative.
Formative evaluation (also known as internal) is a method of judging the worth of a program while the program activities are forming (in progress). This part of the evaluation focuses on the process.
Thus, formative evaluations are basically done- on the fly. They permit the learner and the instructor to monitor how well the instructional objectives are being met. Its main purpose is to catch deficiencies so that the proper – intervention can take place. This allows the learner to master the required skills and knowledge.
Formative evaluation is also useful in analyzing learning materials, student earning and achievements, and teacher effectiveness…. Formative evaluation is primarily a building process which accumulates a series of components of new materials, skills, and problems into an ultimate meaningful whole.
The summative evaluation (also known as external) is a method of judging the worth of a program at the end of the program activities (summation). The focus is on the outcome.
If we refer to Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation, levels one and two (reactive and learning) are formative evaluations while levels three and four (performance and impact) are summative evaluations.
The reactive evaluation is a tool to help determine if the objectives can be reached, the learning evaluation is a tool to help reach the objectives, and the performance evaluation is a tool to see if the objectives have actually been met, while the impact evaluation is a tool to judge the value or worth of the objectives. Thus, there are four major break points.
The various instruments used to collect the data are questionnaires, surveys, interviews, observations, and testing. The model or methodology used to gather the data should be a specified step-by-step procedure. It should be carefully designed and executed to ensure the data is accurate and valid.
Questionnaires are the least expensive procedure for external evaluations and can be used to collect large samples of graduate information. They should be trialed before using to ensure the recipients of the questionnaire understand their operation the way the designer intended. When designing questionnaires, keep in mind the most important feature is the guidance given for its completion. All instructions should be clearly stated…let nothing be taken for granted.
Once a training deficiency has been noted, the ISD process is repeated to correct the deficiency. This does not mean that the entire training program is rebuilt — just the portions that had deficiencies or will be affected by the changes.