Is your corporate eLearning hitting the target or missing the mark? The only way to answer this question is through an in-depth online training analysis. In this article, we’ll highlight the 8 top online training evaluation techniques.
8 Methods For Online Training Evaluation
Online training evaluation is crucial for corporate eLearning. It helps to ensure that every employee is getting the resources they need and that your organization is getting the best return on its investment. It can also give you the opportunity to identify online training pain points and streamline your eLearning course design. But do you determine what works and what needs to be reworked?
Here are the 8 most effective methods to evaluate your online training program:
1. Online Forums And Discussions
Online forums have the “fly on the wall” effect. You can see what your employees really think about the online training by monitoring their discussions. There is also the option to hold an online discussion for the sole purpose of gathering feedback.
Give them a list of topics, questions, and materials in advance, so they can prepare. Then invite them to share their honest opinions and thoughts on how to improve your corporate eLearning program. Just make sure that you set some ground rules in advance. Otherwise, their conversation may veer off-topic and you won’t get the input you need to succeed.
2. Online Training Simulations And Branching Scenarios
If you’re working with a global team, on-the-job observations aren’t an option. However, you can still monitor your employees’ performance via online training simulations and branching scenarios. This gives you the opportunity to identify knowledge and skill gaps so that you can fine tune your training and development plan.
Your LMS analytics can tell you how long it takes to complete the activity and their core competencies. As such, you have the ability to customize your online training courses to further improve your ROI.
3. Online Focus Groups
Choose a select group of employees and invite them to participate in online training pilot test. Hold a focus group after the fact to get their feedback and recommendations. For best results, compile a list of questions beforehand that center on your training pain points.
As an example, you suspect there may be an issue with the POS tutorial. Ask your employees what they thought of the online training activity. Did it truly mimic real world challenges? Was there anything missing? Focus groups give you the power to step into the shoes of your employees and see what’s really on their mind. In other words, you evaluate your course from a firsthand perspective.
4. Online Surveys And Questionnaires
Online surveys, questionnaires, and polls give you measurable data that is easy to chart and analyze. All of the responses are recorded in the system. As such, you’re able to quickly compile the information, identify trends, and pinpoint areas for improvement.
The secret to successful surveys is asking the right questions. Focus on your learning objectives and desired outcomes to uncover training gaps that hinder employee development. Keep your inquiries brief and succinct so thaat employees can complete the survey quickly and get back to work.
5. One-On-One Interviews
Certain employees may be reluctant to share their thoughts and ideas in a public forum. In this case, you can conduct one-on-one interviews using video conferencing tools. Schedule the interview well in advance and provide participants with a list of questions or discussion topics. Invite them to access the online training materials and take notes on their experience.
To get the most accurate results, interview a good mix of employees and gather enough data. For example, speak to a few people from every department or position. Later, you’ll have the opportunity to analyze your findings and look for a common thread.
6. Quantitative Assessments
Quantitative assessments, such as multiple choice and true-false questions, provide measurable data. You can gauge how much your employees know and what they still need to master. Conduct pre-assessments before the online training course and then a final exam upon completion. This allows you to track their progress and performance improvements.
Another benefit of quantitative assessments is that they focus your evaluation efforts. For example, a high percentage of your staff has similar gaps at the end of the online training course. This is a tell-tale sign that there may be a problem with specific activities or modules.
Webinars are more interactive than surveys and online forums, but they do take time and careful planning. To start, you must find the right video conferencing platform, create a general outline, send the e-vites, and find the right host.
That being said, you can collect an abundance of valuable data from the event. You have the chance to ask your employees directly and then see where the conversation leads. The online discussion happens organically, which offers rare insight into your employees’ opinions, thoughts, and concerns.
8. Company Stats
Virtually every company statistic relates back to online training, from customer satisfaction ratings to profit margins. Research your income sheets, customer surveys, and other reports, to identify strengths and weaknesses.
Then determine how they tie into your online training program. For example, low sales figures might indicate that your sales staff lacks essential skills. As a result, you may need to incorporate more branching scenarios and online training simulations that focus on communication, negotiation, and customer service skills.
LMS metrics are also a great evaluation tool. In fact, you should consider a Learning Management System with custom reports, which help you focus on specific online training challenges.
These evaluation methods can help you measure your online training effectiveness and continually improve your online corporate training strategy. Also, remember that in-depth training analysis is an ongoing process.
Your company’s needs are constantly changing and thus, you must ensure that your employees have the tools and resources they require to fulfill their responsibilities. Effective online training is the key to unlocking their true potential.
Want to go more in depth on how to assess the effectiveness of your eLearning deliverable? Read the article eLearning Course Evaluation: The Ultimate Guide For eLearning Professionals to discover why eLearning course evaluation is important, when to do it and, most importantly, how.