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Evaluate-using-ROIBy Jack Phillips, PhD, and Patti Phillips, PhD

Before training evaluation begins, program objectives must be developed. Program objectives are linked to the needs assessment. Let's look at how objectives can be developed within the context of the five-level ROI framework. Setting clear objectives at each level is important because success with training objectives helps answer basic questions regarding program effectiveness.

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Trainers and vocational education practitioners recognize that the additional measurement and evaluation is needed. However, regardless of the motivation to pursue evaluation, they struggle with how to address the issue. They often ask, "Does it really provide the benefits to make it a routine, useful tool?" "Is it feasible within our resources?" "Do we have the capability of implementing a comprehensive evaluation process?" The answers to these questions often lead to a debate and controversy. Controversy stems for misunderstandings about the additional evaluation can and cannot do and how it can or should be implemented in the organizations. The following is a list of myths, including the appropriate clarifications:

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The complete story of a training program success or failure

Patricia and Jack Phillips, from ROI Institute, included return on investment (ROI) as the fifth level of the traditional Kirkpatrick evaluation levels. According to this new ROI methodology for training and education practitioners, the new evaluation framework includes five levels of data:

    • Level 1 Reaction, Satisfaction, and Planned Action—Data representing participants' reactions to the program and their planned actions is collected and analyzed. Reactions may include participants' views of the course content, facilitation, and learning environment. This category of data also includes data often used to predict application of acquired knowledge and skills, including relevance, importance, amount of new information, and participants' willingness to recommend the program to others.

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