Evaluating for Learning

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Kirkpatrick’s second level of evaluation measures whether or not the participant learned anything from the training or technical assistance event. Tests for learning are developed to measure gains in knowledge, skills, or attitude. Level 2 evaluations can vary in length and type, depending on the event being evaluated. After a training event, for instance, it might be appropriate to distribute level 2s in the form of a written test, while after providing technical assistance, your organization might find it more appropriate to collect from clients a written plan that documents the issues discussed and the client’s plan for action. Regardless as to what sort of gain you are testing for and how you are planning to measure it, level 2 evaluations play an invaluable role in linking your organization’s actions to the success of your clients. Without level 2 evaluations, it is impossible for an organization to prove that their work has resulted in positive behavioral changes and overall improvements in clients’ efficiency or effectiveness.

Document level 2 gains with pre- and post-tests.

In order to prove that your clients have gained new knowledge, skills, or attitudes as a result of your training or technical assistance, your organization will need to be able to quantify those gains using performance measures. Pre-tests or pre-event surveys can help to capture your client’s beginning understanding or knowledge in the training and technical assistance subject area.

Just like with level 1 surveys, level 2 pre- and post-tests should be developed in a consistent manner, so that you can easily compare the two and identify the impact of your training or technical assistance.

Pre-tests or surveys can also be very informative, as they help identify a client’s strengths and weaknesses and highlight areas that your staff should focus on in more detail, or spend less time on, depending on the client’s skill level and knowledge.

Click to open interactivity Surveys are subjective.

Surveys are subjective.

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Develop level 2 evaluations that are relevant to the learning content.

Depending on the objectives of your training or technical assistance event, you may find it useful to use a variety of methods to evaluate clients’ learning. Learning evaluations will vary depending on whether the TTA event is designed to increase participants’ knowledge, improve their skills, or change their attitudes.

Level 2 evaluations can include written or electronic tests or surveys, presentations, essays, or small projects. For longer or more dynamic training events, a combination of these elements might be more appropriate.

Click to open interactivity Make the most of your level 2 evaluations.

Make the most of your level 2 evaluations.

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