Use Four Levels to Evaluate Training and eLearning

Evaluating Training and eLearning
January 5, 2017

The best way is to evaluate training is to keep in mind the following four levels of evaluation.

Evaluating Training and eLearning

Evaluation of eLearning content and training materials has always been a concern for business managers. No matter what the mode of training might be, managers are often confused as to how best measure the effectiveness of the eLearning content.

To tackle this, the best way is to evaluate training is to keep in mind the following four levels of evaluation.

  • Reaction – what the learners thought and felt about the eLearning content
  • Learning – the resulting increase in knowledge or capability
  • Behaviour – extent of behaviour and capability improvement and application
  • Results – the effects on the business or environment resulting from the learner’s performance


The first tier measures the reaction of the student to the learning or training content. It measures how well the user responded to the different pieces of content, scenarios and interactions presented.

This is important as it gives you a gauge to measure the immediate response and reaction. Some characteristics of this tier include measuring the level of participation, the experience, the perceived value of time spent in learning and relevancy of the content.

The evaluation tools used for this are typically “happy sheets”, feedback forms, questioners, online evaluation forms and surveys. This makes this level very pertinent as it is very simple to obtain and the feedback is inexpensive and immediate.

Get help with your online course development >>

Evaluate Training: Learning

This tier measures the increase in knowledge, skills or abilities directly due to the training imparted.

The main concern is whether the learners learnt what was meant to be taught to them and whether they accumulated the envisioned skills and knowledge. It’s vital to measure this, because knowing what your trainees are learning and what they aren’t will help you improve future training.

The evaluation tools used for this include assessments and tests, interviews and observations. This can be quite effectively and inexpensively done using an eLearning platform such as Udutu.


This tier is concerned with the application of training and how it changes the behavior of the learner. However, one must realize that application of knowledge only occurs if the circumstances are favorable for implementation to begin with.

For example, training employees in leadership and then giving them no opportunity to do so will lead in no change in behavior even though learning itself has taken place.

The evaluation tools used for this tier are longitudinal surveys, interviews & observations, 360-degree feedback and assessments designed across Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

One needs a well-defined measurement system as well as cooperation from the line managers and trainees to correctly evaluate this tier as quantifying change in behavior is much more difficult than reaction and learning.


The last tier is concerned with the bottom line and the effects on the business due to training. Measurements include KPIs such as values, timescales, percentages, wastage, turnover rates and other quantifiable business metrics.

This tier tackles the question as to how exactly has training produced results? Training managers are traditionally concerned with this most of the time as they are looking for quantifiable metrics that can be reduced to dollar values to justify training costs and come up with ROI numbers.

As most of these KPIs are usually already in place, the evaluation tools are mainly the “linkers” and “correlators” between training and performance that are established before training through discussion and consultations.

For example, if an employee produced 10 widgets per month before training and 12 after, then the ROI assuming training costs at $100 and profit per widget at $200 isROI (percentage) = ((Monetary benefits – Training Costs)/Training Costs) x 100(($200 X 2) – $100) / $100) x 100 = 300%

The caveat here is of course establishing clear correlation and accountability, i.e. ceteris paribus (all other things were constant and training had a direct correlation with the results)

Questions About How to Evaluate Training? Contact Udutu for Answers!

Udutu’s free course authoring software lends itself to teams who must collaborate to create training, or to groups who are scattered and to Subject Matter Experts who don’t have the time or inclination to become technologists.

As always, if you have any questions about course authoring and creating effective elearning content, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Udutu.

Pin It on Pinterest