Evaluation and eLearning

Zane L. BERGE, Debra PEAK
2006 The Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education  
In today's results-oriented, fast-moving business environment, it is critical for trainers to demonstrate the value of training to the organization: There is nothing inherently valuable about training. It is performance gains that training catalyzes that give it worth (Graber, 2000). This is why evaluations tied to business results are becoming commonplace. If you ask training professionals about measuring training, most will start talking about levels of evaluation, referring to Kirkpatrick's
more » ... andmark evaluation model developed in 1959. Kirkpatrick's levels of evaluation have been the industry standard for nearly half a century. However, many professionals now believe that elearning and a shift in emphasis toward performance improvement have changed the training business so that these levels are no longer completely relevant. The purpose of this paper is to discuss what similarities and differences exist between evaluating elearning and traditional classroom instruction, how Kirkpatrick's evaluation levels are currently conducted, why conducting Kirkpatrick's Level 4 evaluation is so difficult to do, why elearning evaluation has evolved to include return-on-investment (ROI) calculations, and whether other evaluation methods currently practiced are more relevant and useful.
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