what are training outcomes

Training Outcomes: Checking if objectives have been met

When we plan training, we spend a lot of time on the training objectives. Basically, these are what we want our trainees to know and be able to do at the end of their training. But what about what they actually know and can do? That is the training outcomes. How can we measure those accurately?

What are training outcomes?

A recent article in the Journal of Training Research uses Cedefop’s definition: training outcomes are ‘statements of what a learner knows, understands and is able to do after completion of learning’.

what are training outcomes

How are they different from training objectives?

Here’s an example.

Training objective: Trainees will be able to implement the footwear checks mandated by the new BRCGS Issue 8.

Background: The British Standards Institute (BSI) is an authoritative body which sets global regulations. You may be familiar with their ISO standards. BRCGSGlobal Food Standard Issue 8 is a set of regulations for food safety. 

One of the components of Issue 8 is a routine check of footwear for pathogenic bacteria. Shoes need to be kept clean. The soles need to be checked often with swabs to detect pathogens. It is required that shoes be mechanically cleaned on a regular basis. For example, employees walk through a hygiene sluice while wearing their work shoes to both clean and disinfect their footwear. 

Training outcomes: 

  1. Trainees have knowledge of the new standards. 
  2. Trainees put this knowledge into practice.

As you can see, training objectives are what we want our trainees to know and do at the end of their training. 

Measuring learning outcomes

In our example above, there are two training outcomes. One is educational or ‘in the brain’. The other is physical or ‘in the workplace’.

We can assess the physical outcome by actually watching our employees. How often do they swab the soles of their footwear? How often do they clean and disinfect via the hygiene sluice?

Yet, how do we measure the educational one? That is, how do we know what our employees know?

A learning management system (LMS) such as EdApp offers tools that accurately assess educational training outcomes.

Rapid Refresh

This EdApp tool allows you to create interactive quizzes to assess and reinforce learner knowledge. You can set up a testing schedule to deliver the quizzes at regular intervals. Current trainees as well as dormant ones (those who have already completed the training a while ago) can be evaluated. In this way, you can measure what your current trainees are internalizing as well as what your previous trainees remember. This tool comes with timely analytics to help understand learner and user group performance.

Training outcomes - Rapid Refresh

NOTE: You do not need content in your EdApp account to use this assessment tool.

Brain Boost

Using your course content, this feature enables spaced repetition. In other words, your trainees practice repeat learning over time. Based on the SM-2 learning algorithm, this adaptive, dynamic quiz helps your trainees to better retain information and increase their engagement. This tool asks questions to find out what a trainee remembers and what they do not.  The algorithm creates sessions tailored to each learner, targeting their knowledge gaps. So, trainees with higher scores (remember more) will be ‘boosted’ less frequently. Trainees with lower scores (struggling with retention) will be quizzed more often on the relevant areas or topics. 

Training outcomes - Brain Boost

Analytics

The EdApp Analytics package offers a variety of data categories. For our purposes, let’s examine the performance data set. This data set gives you an excellent idea of who knows what. 

First, there is information about each trainee. You can see their individual lesson scores, how often they attempted the lesson, their average score on a course, and (if you are using them) the number of stars they earned. You can also learn about the highest and lowest performing trainees to get a feeling for the range of learning and retention.

Training outcomes - Analytics

Next, there is the group level. Analytics will show you the highest and lowest performing courses and groups.

Lastly is the quiz performance data such as Rapid Refresh reports.

The value of learning outcomes

Educators and trainers tend to agree that assessment by learning outcome is a very good way to measure whether or not trainees have mastered the training objectives. However, there is not a lot of literature on exactly HOW we should do this assessment. That is, which tools can we use to accurately evaluate training outcomes? As we have seen, the features of an LMS such as EdApp can provide a reliable solution.

 

Outside sources

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14480220.2019.1644777

https://www.elpress.com/blog/personal-hygiene-requirements-for-the-new-brc-issue-8

https://www.bsigroup.com/en-ID/brc-global-standards/

https://www.techlearning.com/how-to/what-is-edapp-and-how-does-it-work-best-tips-and-tricks