5 Tips to Measure Online Training Effectiveness
“How effective the learning has been?”
Most training managers feel dumbstruck when they are asked this question.
Everyone knows employee training is crucial. But most ignore or do not take evaluation seriously. And this is where disconnect lies.
Imparting training is half the work. The other half – which is measuring training effectiveness is generally overlooked. This explains the gap between investment and return on employee trainings.
Evaluating training effectiveness and its impact on business is as important as delivering training.
So, no matter how long you have been using an LMS or eLearning platform, if you are not measuring learning, you are simply wasting resources of the organization.
Why and How to Measure Online Training Effectiveness?
Before I begin explaining ‘Whys’ and ‘Hows’, let me tell you why I used ‘learning’ instead of ‘training’ in my question, in the beginning.
The explanation is: the effectiveness of a ‘training’ campaign is measured in terms of the ‘learning’ of the attendees. Therefore, you need to measure the learning of your employees to measure the training effectiveness.
Also, this post deals with 3 aspects:
- The reasons why you should measure the effectiveness of your online training initiative
- How to measure learning effectiveness on the eLearning platform that you have been deploying
- What to look for in an LMS or eLearning platform, in case you aren’t using any currently but intend to in future
The idea is to understand how your online teaching software plays an integral role in delivering learning.
So, let’s begin with ‘why’.
Most of us wouldn’t like to believe that the outcome of training delivery is at sub-optimal level. And the whole exercise barely offers any value to employees and organizations.
But this is the truth. Let’s admit it.
Your L&D initiative has a direct impact on the bottom line of your business. Now, the question arises – how to scale up the training outcomes from sub-optimal to optimal?
Measuring the training effectiveness is the first step. It gives you an understanding of whether it was worth investing the time, effort and money into a particular initiative. Was it useful for employees?
However, it’s not that simple.
And it becomes much more difficult when it comes to evaluating online training initiative. If you are using an LMS, quickly ask yourself these questions:
|Does your LMS offer insights into learners’ progress?|
|Does it automate analytics data collection?|
|Can you get insights into trainers’ performance?|
|Can you find out what type of content works well?|
|Is it smart enough to identify learners who are struggling with the content?|
This gives you an idea whether your learning management system software can help measure training effectiveness or not.
If no, it’s time to look for a new platform.
After all, you’re not just looking to automate learning. You want to see real, measurable results. And it boils down to the training process, channels/platforms used for delivery and, collection and analysis of insights.
If answers to these questions are in affirmation, go ahead to find how to use it optimally to evaluate training and learning.
How to Measure Online Training Effectiveness?
- Evaluate Content/ Learning Material
The learning material forms the foundation of your training program. The way your content is being consumed gives insights into whether it:
- Addresses learners’ needs
- Is easily understood by the learners
- Is engaging learners
If you’re using WizIQ’s elearning platform, here’s what you can capture about user activity:
- Tools used
- Content viewed and read
- How many times the content is viewed
- Learners’ progress in the class or course
Basis these reports you can identify the usefulness of a particular piece of the learning material and, tweak, change or delete it.
So, when you click on ‘favorite content’, it shows most-preferred or most-consumed content.
What to do now? Add more of such content. Modify the less-preferred. Delete the least preferred.
What to Look for in an LMS: When considering LMS software for learning management in your organization, make sure you have added this feature to your requirements’ list.
- Track Learner Behavior
How to track learner behavior and engagement in an online course is a major recurring concern of L&D managers. In fact, instead of actually diving deep into the issue, it is explicitly assumed that there’s barely any room for improvement and, nothing concrete can be done about learner engagement.
This is not the case.
Capturing sophisticated data about user activity is very well possible. In fact, the data is automatically collected and can be mined at any time for any duration.
So, here’s what can be tracked:
- number of logins
- duration of online sessions
- learners’ progress in the class
- assignments submitted
- tests taken
- participation in discussions and forums
- documents downloaded
- videos watched
- frequency of watching videos and reading documents
WizIQ, when it comes to insights and analytics, offers a number of features that can help you enhance the overall engagement rate of learners.
You can literally micro-manage the learning of each user.
Based on these results, you can understand student behavior and follow-up with each learner individually.
But before you set your expectations really high, I want you to go through this disclaimer.
#Disclaimer: The stats and figures are representative of student engagement level for a particular course and particular duration. These alone do not provide a realistic view of the situation. However, combined with other set of data, or let’s say historical data, you can get fair insights into learner’s behavior and engagement.
What to Look for in an LMS: Not all learning management systems track all these aspects. So, while evaluating an LMS for your organization, identify what type of data it must capture for you.
In addition, don’t forget to overlook the most common factors responsible for user drop-out and disengagement. I’m listing these here for you:
- Difficulty in using LMS
- Unsuitability of learning material
- Lack of time
- Difficulty in understanding the content
- Learners’ unawareness about the direct impact of learning on their careers
- No human connection
- Lack of support
Suitability of learning material, difficulty level of content and making it appealing to different types of learners will take time to be addressed. Revamping of course material is a difficult task to do. But other problems can be quickly addressed. Here are few useful tips:
#Tip 1 Make sure to select an LMS that can be easily deployed. Here WizIQ offers an edge over the others. Because it has all the tools required for online training already embedded into it, the deployment is really easy.
#Tip 2 Break the content into small lessons. Make it easy to consume. Add visuals.
#Tip 3 Deliver live lecture. Record your lecture into videos for learners’ reference.
#Tip 4 Encourage users to ask questions via email or chat or during the live class. If their queries are taken seriously and solved, they feel motivated to ask more questions.
- Assess Online Instructors/Trainers Effectiveness
As an L&D manager, you are keen in analyzing the output. But majorly the focus is on learner performance. And you safely overlook the other aspect – trainer effectiveness.
Frankly, it’s a half-baked approach. Time and again you have been falling for the convenience trap. Discontinue the practice. Assessing trainer performance is equally important.
While you look into leaners’ engagement, get insights for individual trainer as well. Use ‘insights and analytics’ feature of your LMS. If you use WizIQ’s LMS, you’ll be able to track:
- Number and Title of courses run by an individual trainer
- Number of sessions delivered
- Number of student enroled
- Learners’ progress
When you click on the course title, you get insights into:
- Number of documents shared
- Number of videos shared
- Learners’ progress
- Documents viewed and videos watched by the learners
- Sessions attended by the learners
- Assignments and tests submitted by the learner
Learners’ progress and sessions attended are direct indicators of trainer effectiveness. A trainer is considered effective, if:
- The learners’ progress is high.
- Learners are frequently logging into their accounts, attending sessions, consuming content and raising queries.
- He/she is responding to learners’ queries as soon as possible.
If you’re considering an LMS, make sure that it is capable of capturing, sorting and organizing insights into learners’ progress and trainers’ effectiveness. WizIQ’s has an automated dashboard – collects data automatically. You just have to try different combinations to analyze it.
- Make ROI Calculations
If you look at LMS only as a tool to automate learning delivery, you are never going to turn it into an effective learning management system.
An LMS is an integral part of your overall learning and development strategy. And the features it has do make a difference in the delivery, consumption and measurement of learning.
Considering, selecting or using an LMS must be considered a strategic move. And assessing training effectiveness, in terms of finance, is crucial.
It makes sense to combine data – online-training-related and business – to analyze the impact of the whole exercise. You’ll not only have a greater control on your L&D initiative, also it will help evaluate the ROI.