Can You Create Measurable Training?

Giving a solid explanationCan you create measurable training? Yes. In fact, you want measurable training especially if you need to know training ROI. Measurable training and ROI go hand in hand.

So what is measurable training?

Measurable training is standardized training that is repeatable. You can measure the impact of this training on your employees and organization.

How do you create measurable training?

Training design is the key. Using the Measurable Instructional Design™ model provides a practical solution. MID measures how learners learn and apply training. It also measures how learning changes an organization.

Measurable Training Requires a Mind Shift

As instructional designers we need to shift our thinking. We must design training that addresses business indicators. We call these indicators key performance metrics (KPMs.) Those are the numbers our stakeholders use to know when there is a training need. Positive changes in those numbers show training program success.

Once trainers are aware of the business requirements, they can more easily connect the objectives, instructional methods, and evaluations to meet those requirements. Ensuring precision of objectives and the connections between the five steps of the Measurable Instructional Design™ (MID) process creates measurable training. This design standard will guarantee your ability to measure training programs to show the impact to an individual, a job, and ultimately to an organization.

Proper Training Design Creates Measurable Training

Training increases knowledge and skills. Training design must enable knowledge and skill gain.

When we know that effective training design is our end product, then measurement becomes much easier. Why? Training should result in new knowledge or skill gains. As training professionals, we know how to measure these gains. Knowledge gain is measured with a knowledge test, and skill gain is observed through behavior change. When you use the right instructional design model, then the ability to measure training impact is practically assured.

Measurable Instructional Design™

eParamus uses the five-part Measurable Instructional Design™ (MID) model, which includes:

  • Key Performance Metric (KPM)
  • Job Requirements
  • Training Objectives
  • Instructional Strategies
  • Mastery Test

This figure shows how each component links.
Using the Measurable Instruction Design model, you can easily create measurable training.This process is described fully in our white paper, Create Measurable Training. You can download the white paper here.

Measurable Training: Where in the Process to Measure

You must know what points to measure to determine success. In 1959, Donald Kirkpatrick noted four levels of training impact:

  • Level 1 Reaction: What does the student think and feel about the training?
  • Level 2 Learning: How much did the knowledge and skill of the student increase?
  • Level 3 Job Change: Did the student’s behavior on the job change due to the training?
  • Level 4 Results: Did the organization change due to the training?

Jack Phillips expanded on Kirkpatrick’s model. He said, “The process isn’t complete until the results have been converted to monetary values and compared with the cost of the program.” In other words, Phillips created a fifth level, which can be stated like this:

  • Level 5 ROI: Did the training result in monetary benefit to the company? Did the cost of training result in monetary benefit that exceeded that cost?

To measure results at each level of impact, you must design a program that identifies learning in the classroom, the application of learning on the job, and the results of that application on the organization. This design measures Kirkpatrick’s levels 2 to 4. To measure the financial component and compute ROI, you will need to convert level 4 (changes to the organization) into financial terms.

By designing with the end in mind, you create steps in the process that represent each area that you want to measure. The MID model was specifically created for this purpose. Each step considers the intended point of impact. Each step is linked to the next, weaving measurement and evaluation into the entire process. The MID model supports the measurement of Kirkpatrick Levels 2 to 4.

How Measurable Instructional Design™ Impacts Training Evaluation

Measurable Instructional Design™ enables training professionals to clearly show how their training leads to behavior changes that changes an organization. Measurable Instructional Design™ also allows training professionals to achieve predictable results.

Most importantly, the MID model allows training professionals to truly see their impact on an organization. If we understand the influence that design has on results, we learn what training can (and cannot) do. Once we know how we make an impact, we can focus on delivering training that will improve business results using measurable data.

This is only a brief synopsis of more detailed information you can find in the white paper, Create Measurable Training. Download the white paper here for the finer details of this topic.

What do you think? How do you create measurable training now? What training design process do you have in place? Tell us in the comments.