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The usual practice in training is that once a course has been successfully running, it usually is just monitored for a short period of time to determine its effectiveness. Once this has been determined, the only monitoring left is the delivery of training that happens at varied intervals. There is almost never a reassessment of the course structure itself unless there is a need to do so. This just happens if the training content needs to be updated.

Although the quality of training delivery is monitored, many training managers fail to see that the training program needs to be evaluated on a periodical basis to ensure that the course itself maintains it efficiency. Once overlooked, the course may lose its effectiveness in ensuring that attendees learn the essential priniciples contained in it.

Define: The problem usually is that may courses which have been run for more than six months may lose some of it’s intended objectives due to factors like:

1. Facilitation: Trainers who always run this course may eventually grow tired of delivering the same course over and over again. This may cause a tendency for them to take short cuts in delivery and they may begin to overlook at the important points that need to be covered.

2. Course Physical Design: The presentation materials may grow to be drab and unappealing to attendees. Many attendees may have attended other courses prior to this one and may have seen more innovative approaches to training. Hand outs also need to be checked whether they inspire anyone to read them.

3. Training Activities: The questions here are these activities geared toward learning or just a waste of time? This has to be closely determined to avoid obstacles to time management of the course and to allow pertinent changes in training content and material.

4. Training Content: Is there too much information in the course which is not essential to learning objectives? The duration of the course also plays a large role here. Most attendees are working professionals who may have other duties which are left pending due to attendance of training. This may also be a factor wherein learning can be hindered as trainees’ thoughts may sway towards unfinished work rather than in training where all their focus should be.

A potential problem which could arise if this is not addressed quickly is that mean assessment scores may show a steady decline. This is a sure indicator that something is wrong with the course itself and not the attendees.

Measure: Having determined critical factors to quality, the only logical way to gather data for this by a trainee feedback form and the results of the assessment test to pass the course. It is recommended that this be done over a period of three months to determine if there are any gaps in training that need to be addressed as soon as possible. The trainee feedback form should contain the following parts:

1. Assessment of the Training Delivery.

2. Assesssment on the Presentation and Training Materials used.

3. Assessment on whether Training activities were pertinent to the course.

4. Assessment on the content and duration of the training course.

5. The usual Written Assessment given as a prerequisite for completing the course.

Analyze: The results for the feedback form should be collated and tabulated to reflect attendee opinion in statistical form. The results of this should also be gauged against written assessments to see any relationships to training quality and outcome. A low score on one premise with a marginal decrease on mean assessments scores signifies a minor problem which can be corrected with only slight changes. However, two or more low scores on two or more premises with a substantial decrease in mean scores points to a larger gap in training which needs to be addressed. It may involve redesigining the course based on the identified deficiencies.

Improve: Improvements are based on which premise shows weakness.

1. Training facilitation can only be addressed by more stringent certification requirements and maintenance by trainers. Most trainers would only undergo recertification after one year. Making this process shorter (ie six months) will prevent trainers from being complacent unless they want to lose the right to be competent to deliver that said course. Regular coaching by senior trainers is advisable to enable standardization of training delivery. Trainers may still be creative in some of their approaches but deviation from set training objectives must be put into check.

2. If course materials are uninspiring, they need to be redesigned. It is wrong to say that only children deserve well laid out materials. Professionals also need materials which relate to them and encourage them to make it references for future use. Dull presentation lay outs does have its psychological implications on learning motivation and must been in the right colors to evoke a good learning response from attendees.

3. If training activities are not effective, research has to be done on other options and activities to replace it. Like training materials, new activities should encourage attendees to grasp any messages or lessons to be learned by involving themselves in the activities. However, if trainees feel that courses are running for too long, omission of non-essential activities is an option to consider.

4. If training content is current, then some adjustment in sequencing can be made to make the information seem more relevant. A lot of technical information can be offered in smaller “bite size” pieces but eventually will connect during the middle of the course as not to lose vital content and principles. As mentioned earlier, omitting trivial activities can help shorten the duration of the course and ease attendees of the fact that it will help them finish tasks sooner than they think.

After changes have been implemented, a repeat analysis of all premises must be made along with comparison of written test results over another period of three months. If there is a marked improvement seen, then it would be safe to assume that all bases have been covered.

Control: Regular monitoring of written test scores and post training assessments/observations of a random sample of attendees may predict if there are potential gaps which will appear in the future. This also acts as an early warning for any impending decline in training quality which can then be verified with a repeat analysis. Senior trainers should be tasked to constantly monitor the quality and be prepared to do an analysis should any danger signs to possible quality decline appears.

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