IU IST R561 Unit 1 Exercise

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Unit 1 Exercise

Jennifer Maddrell
Indiana University

R561: Evaluation and Change

Unit 1 Exercise

Professor Hubbard-Welsh

May 30, 2006

Context and Audience:

Big Insurance Group (BIG) holds frequent training seminars for underwriters. Considerable time and effort is placed on course creation and delivery. However, other than end of seminar trainee “satisfaction” surveys, no evaluation plan is in place to perform a comprehensive assessment of the worth and value of the training.

The training team leader has called a meeting with the training staff to discuss the importance of incorporating evaluation into BIG’s overall training process. The team is hesitant as past evaluation attempts have been cumbersome, time consuming and did not provide valuable information to the training staff, senior management or line managers.

Therefore, the training team leader is using this forum to highlight the importance of implementing an evaluation plan and to present evaluation alternatives for consideration. As the team is just in the early stages of selecting a standard evaluation tool for BIG, the leader will:

  1. highlight the importance of implementing an evaluation plan,
  2. address the features and limitations of the most widely cited evaluation tool, Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Evaluation Framework, and
  3. recommend implementation of Brinkerhoff and Dressler’s Success Case Evaluation Approach.

Recommendation:

While Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Evaluation Framework is a widely known evaluation tool, Pershing & Gilmore (2004) note that level 1 is completed far more frequently than levels 2 through 4. Yet, levels 2 through 4 are considered to be by Kirkpatrick (1998) the most important levels. Further, Pershing and Gilmore note that level 1 alone does not adequately reflect the learning, transfer and return to the organization.

Brinkerhoff & Dressler (2002) point out further limitations of Kirkpatrick’s framework based on the lack of emphasis on the training’s business impact within the entire performance system. They highlight that training is just one factor of many within the performance environment that impact performance success or failure. They note that other factors within the organization can facilitate or impede performance improvement, such as manager support, rewards and other incentives and that these factors must also be considered.

Brinkerhoff & Dressler propose a streamlined Success Case Evaluation Model that is recommended for use at BIG. As the training staff has not routinely performed evaluation as part of past underwriting training programs, the Success Case Evaluation Model provides a relatively streamlined and rapid evaluation and feedback process. It will also address the training program’s key business impact issues while contemplating the entire performance environment.