Evaluating Reaction

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Evaluating for reaction is, without question, the easiest level of evaluation included within the Kirkpatrick model, as reaction is basically synonymous with customer satisfaction. When organizations evaluate for reaction, they aim to discover a client’s “gut reaction” to a training or technical assistance event.

Has a customer service agent ever asked you to remain on the phone in order to answer a quick survey and provide feedback about your call-in experience? This is an example of a level 1 survey. Training and technical assistance providers usually find it easiest to distribute level 1 surveys electronically, using an online survey tool, or in-person, using a simple hand-out or comment card.

Level 1 surveys will generally enquire into topics like the training venue, schedule, food or snack services, training materials such as handouts and audiovisual aids, and the facilitator.

Experienced training and technical assistance providers recognize that something as small as room temperature or infrequent breaks can have a large impact on participants’ abilities to learn and retain information. Regular review and analysis of level 1 survey results can help your organization to improve training and technical assistance opportunities by making them more convenient, comfortable, and relevant to the client.

Make the most out of your surveys.

The length and type of level 1 survey will often depend on the length and type of training or technical assistance delivered. Regardless as to the format of this survey, organizations should try to ensure that 100% of participants respond, that participants remain anonymous, and that results are quantifiable, yet allow for comments and written feedback. Download a sample level 1 training evaluation, here.

There are a number of web-based survey applications, including Zoomerang, SurveyMonkey, and SurveyGizmo, that organizations can use to create and distribute electronic surveys. Each survey application has different editions that allow you to analyze functionality and choose a plan and price point that works for your organization. If you are unable to financially invest in a survey tool, check out the free versions on Zoomerang and SurveyMonkey.

Both in-person and electronic surveys can also be used to evaluate technical assistance offerings. Whether technical assistance takes place over the phone, via email, or in person, organizations should be prepared to deploy a survey enquiring into whether the individual providing the technical assistance was helpful and whether the client’s questions were answered.

Develop performance measures and keep high standards.

Performance measures are the data points that support the achievement of a larger outcome or goal. At initial stages of evaluation, performance measures are usually easy to identify, as they relate directly to organizational outputs. When formulating performance measures, an organization should ask, “How do we know we’ve been successful?”

For example, your organization identifies fifty hours of training as one of your outputs. In order to assess whether you’ve successfully delivered this output, you might collect a series of performance measures including attendance rates, contact hours, and participant level 1 surveys that note opinions regarding the usefulness of the training.

Acceptable quality levels (AQLs) are the quantifiable standards that your organization has set for its own performance measures. For instance, your organization might say that, in order to be considered a successful training event, 100% of all registered participants must attend the training and 90% of training participants must agree that they would recommend the training to a coworker.

The development of AQLs should be a collaborative process, involving all those that play a role in implementing training or technical assistance events. After you have developed a level 1 survey tool and AQLs, you can begin to tabulate results and measure them against your organization’s standards of performance.

Click to open interactivity Be consistent.

Be consistent.

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