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Developing Effective Learning Programs – Part II

A Client Story: Evaluating the Programs

Developing Effective Learning Programs - Part IIRead Part 1 of this client story for background information. Part 2 will focus on Abudi Consulting Group’s (ACG) one month evaluation project.

Evaluation of Current Offerings

ACG undertook an evaluation of current offerings – those programs developed and offered by the client and those programs offered via third party vendors. Each of the three vendors agreed to participate in the project by allowing for their materials to be evaluated against current professional development needs.

A total of 15 workshops were reviewed – mainly soft skills workshops (2 – 3 days in length), some technical offerings (2 days in length) and a few webinars that were mainly focused on learning about the business of the organization.  As part of the process of evaluating the workshops, the following was done:

  • Meeting with each vendor to get a review of their program from them directly (in addition to reviewing their materials)
  • Review of previously completed feedback forms from participants in the program
  • Review of overall programs and link to client’s competency model (where did program fit into the competency model)
  • The percentage of “lecture” to “activity” in the programs; how much practical, hands-on activities were involved and the link of those activities to what goes on back in the workplace
  • Types of interactivity included in the workshops (what was used to engage participants and help them apply learning back on the job)
  • Follow up, if any, done after each workshop to ensure application back on the job
  • Review of objectives with material covered in program and link objectives back to competency model utilized when workshop was first developed in-house or sourced from vendor
  • Last date of update for each workshop

The webinars were mainly 30 – 60 minutes in length and were non-interactive. There were primarily to share information about company processes and procedures.

One of the areas of concern to the client was how to shorten workshops to no more than a day in length so we kept that in mind during our review.

Small Group Meetings

Small group (no more than 5 – 8 people per group) were held – a combination of in person and conference calls. Each group consisted of a mix of individuals from a variety of departments/divisions and levels within the organization and was focused primarily on follow up to the engagement survey and also based on the feedback received from the workshops attended.

We also discussed the following with attendees of these meetings:

  • Personal learning goals
  • Learning goals based on performance feedback
  • Skills needed for their current role/responsibilities
  • Skills/knowledge they would like to obtain to continue to advance within company (this often aligned to personal learning goals but was another way of getting to the information)
  • How do they want to/like to learn – what is effective for them/enables for them to fit it in their schedule

As part of the overall project, we looked in detail at the current competency model (as the client noted they wanted it updated) as well as past performance reviews of key individuals within organization (high potentials.) We also met with executives to understand the long term strategic goals of the organization.

Stay tuned for Part 3 where we will cover the report back to the client along with recommendations back.

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