Often workers or community organizational members do not fully recognize, understand or value the importance and evaluation process. For the worker, s/he is concerned if evaluation results in improved job training, job satisfaction and retention. Community program and its organization members depend on grants and program support to solving community social issues or addressing specific problems. My position reviews key evaluation concepts and its importance to a company employee or community member or for social program issue success.
Finally, I have provided a video link showing an instructional system design evaluation video presentation on organizational training. The presenter references Donald Kirkpatrick model (about 5:30 into video). The video duration is 10 minutes. The video offers information for your self-learning. Viewing the video is not required to evaluate my blog.
Evaluation is a disciplined inquiry to determine the worthy of programs, products, procedures or objects. (Kifer, E. in G.F. Anglin, 1995, p. 35)
In companies, evaluation is valuable because it serves to save a business from wasting valuable resources, including time and labor, and the product produced assures an adequate and efficient financial return. For community organization, evaluation serves to determine if programs or selected intervention aspects are appropriate and effective. Adequate, appropriate, efficient and effective are terms associated with the process of evaluation. (Thompson, NJ & McClintock, HO (2000) p. 7)
Often business managers and workers believe that their work is producing desired results, but lack quantifiable evidence to demonstrate the organization or program success. Evaluation serves as that component evidence. Effective evaluation results in increased production, improved quality, decreased costs, reduced frequency of injuries, or protection of capital resources, and higher profits (Kirkpatrick, 1998, p. 23)
Community programs, interventions or strategies that produce successful results, facts and data are more likely to receive future funding or grant support. Those programs or interventions that are inappropriate and ineffective are less likely, and rightly so, to receive future financial or public support.
What Evaluation Supports:
A common belief is evaluation only demonstrates what is wrong; while this may be true, it also allows a business or community program manager to improve the situation. All evaluation produces four informational categories, first it informs a program is successfully working, second program improvement is required, third new informational data is required, and fourth information data indicates the program / intervention needs improvement. (Thompson, NJ, 2000, p. 10-11)
Kirkpatrick (1998) describes in general terms why business evaluation training is needed: to justify the existence of a training program ‘by showing how it contributes to the organizational objectives and goals”, to continue or discontinue program training, and gain information to improve future training. (Kirkpatrick, 1998, chapter 2, p. 16)
These justifications are applicable to educational instruction or community programs. As example, in a health care program that seeks to change tobacco use, evaluation does a particular intervention, educational activity or policy produce the desired outcome expected. Perceived business or corporation benefits may be measures of improvement in sales, productivity, quality, morale, personnel turnover, reduced injury mishaps, and profits. (Kirkpatrick, 1998, Chapter 2, p. 18)
Well-designed evaluation demonstrates what is working well and what needs improvement. The first step in evaluation requires identifying, selecting a competent evaluation trainer or teacher. Bratton (1995) suggests that evaluators possess the evaluation credentials that are performance oriented, as opposed to experience, education, or philosophy an individual may have accumulated.
Bratton (1995) believes competent evaluators should possess the skills necessary to conduct basic research, produce useful decision-making data related to broad or specific problems, communicate and interact effective with managers and users. For instructional design, the consult should have the skills to sequence performance objectives, specific instructional objectives, design materials and evaluate training, design, plan, and monitor instructional design system and projects. (p. 394)
Assessment is Crucial:
For instructional system designers, the primary evaluation assessment is to examine teaching, training and learning efforts as it relates to the organization, its workers or its membership. Evaluation begins with a needs assessment, according to Kirkpatrick (1998). Needs assessment may include asking participants what their needs are, asking supervisors to determine workers or members needs. Consulting with others familiar with specific job requirements, learning objectives or program outcomes or using an advisory committee are practical suggestions. (p. 2) Program assessment is essential because is formalizes and offers recommendations to decision makers regarding funding future worker training or support future program funding. Assessment assures that company or organization goals and mission is accomplished.
In summary, adequate, appropriate, efficient and effective evaluation must produce tangible and positive results. Program evaluation results communicate if a program or intervention strategy should be continued , modified or discontinued. Assessent begins the process of evalution.
Bratton, B., (1995) Professional Competencies and Certification in Instructional Technology. In G. J. Anglin (editor) Instructional Technology: Past Present and Future, 2nd edition, pp. 393-397, Libraries Unlimited, Westport, CT.
Kirkpatrick, D.L (1998). Chapter 1, 2, 3. In D.L. Kirkpatrick, (2nd Ed) Evaluating-training Programs: the four levels. Berret-Koehler Publishers: San Francisco.
Thompson, NJ, McClintock HO. Demonstrating your Programs Worth: A Primer On Evaluation For Programs To Prevent Unintentional Injury, Atlanta, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2nd printing March 2000.