Posted by Linda & Tery Tennant on 7/18/18 3:37 PM
When you learn useful information at an SGIA workshop, you want to ensure you are properly employing these strategies when you return to your shop. While you may walk away from a workshop having learned a lot, the retention of the ideas you have gathered is difficult if not properly evaluated or implemented in a timely manner.
There are certain thought processes that should be considered following attendance at an SGIA workshop so that attendees can take and utilize the most useful information gathered and successfully implement it in their own businesses.
One model that can be used to gauge the effectiveness of your learning experience is the Four Levels of Learning method, established by researcher Donald Kirkpatrick in the 1950s. This model walks through the different steps of the learning process — from feelings to effectiveness — so workshop attendees can fully evaluate the information they have gathered and its usefulness.
This part of the Four Levels of Learning is about measuring how people feel about the training. This step does not measure the knowledge gained, but rather how a person subjectively perceives their experience at the workshop, because a positive experience can impact resulting retention. This reaction can be gathered through surveying or questioning one’s thoughts and opinions.
The next step measures the increase in knowledge from attending the workshop through testing and recall. It gives employees and managers a look at how much information was retained by the attendee. While nothing has been implemented in the business at this point, measuring an increase in knowledge does provide a preliminary understanding of the effectiveness of the workshop.
Level Three — Behavior
This step marks when the knowledge gained is actually utilized by the employee. Ideas, skills and concepts are demonstrated on the job, and an employee can see what strategies and ideas they learned can be used in the context of their work.
This final step puts all of the pieces together and measures the impact of behavior on the business. Has your business seen an increase in productivity? Are you satisfying a higher number of customers? Is your production stagnant, and does it feel like the workshop experience did not deliver the desired results? The results stage of The Four Levels of Learning puts the entire experience into perspective as you measure how much your businesses gained.
When you apply certain principles and measure the gains after a workshop or any other educational venture, it makes the overall learning experience more effective and results in a greater impact. Determine what specific outcome you hope to achieve and establish measurements to ensure the results are achieved.
Read more in the SGIA Journal Graphic Edition January/February 2017.
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