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3 Techniques for Conducting Level 3 Evaluations

Posted by Marsha Weisleder on 8/14/17 8:00 AM
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It’s time to get serious and discuss Level 3 Evaluations. Yup, no more excuses, and I’ve heard them all! Things like, “It’s out of our control” or “I don’t have time to do it.” By the way, anyone who says, “I don’t have time to do it,” is really saying, “I have something more important to do.”

So, what is a level 3 evaluation? I’ve heard it called the Application Level, Performance Level, or Behavior Level. At this level, we’re measuring the extent to which employees are using the new skills and knowledge back on the job. Keep in mind, this level is considered the most disruptive to the organization because we are looking for individual data. This also means it’s very labor and time intensive.


But do we really have to do it? Well, yes, if we want to determine the impact training has had on an individual’s job performance. Yes, if we’d like to show the value of our programs. Yes, if we’d like to prove our value. Yes, if we’d like to get the support of senior management. Are we convinced yet?


Next question. How do we do it? Some of the traditional instruments used at this level are surveys, interviews, observations, tests, and work samples. Again, I hear you saying, “I don’t have time to interview or survey everyone that attended the training.” Well, good news. You’ve got options!


In our Evaluation of Training workshop, we discuss alternative instruments that are available when you don’t have the time or resources to use traditional methods. At level 3, we have the option of using focus groups. Typically, we think of focus groups when doing market research. We bring in a group of people and ask their opinions about a product or service. By the way, back in the day I loved participating in paid focus groups. I could test new products, taste new snacks, share my opinions, AND get paid! Perfection, but let’s get back to evaluation.


The first focus group is called Plus-Minus-Delta. In this technique, participants are encouraged to offer their observations about the impact of training on their jobs. It focuses on three areas: what’s going well (plus), what’s going poorly (minus), and what should be done differently in the future (delta).


The second technique is called Carousel. In this method, flipcharts are posted around a room and participants, individually or in groups of two, take turns writing answers to questions or reactions to topics on each flipchart. After a certain amount of time, each group moves to the next flipchart, carousel-style.


The third technique is called Question Hat. Here, course objectives are written on pieces of paper and placed in a hat. Participants take one piece of paper and write how well they can perform the task and the barriers to application they’ve encountered. They then put all the pieces of paper back in the hat and draw again until everyone has seen every objective.


We can all agree that learning is generally a waste of time if people don’t use what they learn. Remember, our role is to deliver demonstrated value to our business partners. With any of these focus groups, you can collect data at level 3 and prove your value.


For more tips and strategies around evaluation, check out our Evaluation of Training workshop. Remember, no more excuses! Be sure to leave your comments below!


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Marsha has been a course leader with Langevin since 2000. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. She went on to attend Osgoode Hall Law School and practiced civil litigation for a few years. While working for a company as their in-house legal counsel, Marsha fell into a training position and never looked back! Each day, Marsha brings passion and excitement to her workshops, always encouraging her participants to find their own passion as well. Outside of the classroom, Marsha loves to spend time with her family, travel, and stay active. Of course her main obsession is Elvis! Some people might think she’s a little over-the-top about him, but doesn’t everyone have an Elvis shrine in their home? Maybe not…

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