In this week�s Collaboration, you engage with your colleagues in a further exploration of the evaluation
models. This enables you to think about the politics and stakeholder positions that prevent effective
evaluation and to consider how organisations might move beyond the simple reactions/happy-sheet
approach to evaluating learning.
To prepare for this Collaboration:
�Review the Required Learning Resources that I sent by email.
�Reflect on the range of models of evaluation.
�Think about how to practically apply evaluation theory into practice, particularly to examine more novel
ways of evaluating learning such as those suggested by Anderson (2010) in this week�s reading.
Organizations invest in training and talent development to improve employee
performance and help the organization to achieve its strategic goals. As such, it is very
paramount to evaluate the significance of each learning activity towards improving the work
performance, proving the value of learning intervention, and ensuring that the resources allocated
are effectively utilized. Regarding learning and development, evaluation is conceptualized as the
measurement of the summative value of a learning program.
One of the mostly used evaluation models is the ‘chain reaction’ model developed 50
years back (As cited Anderson 2010). The theoretical foundation of the chain reaction model is
based on the principle of measurement of learner’s reactions to their experience during the
learning process. The model encompasses five stages modeled in a chain sequence. That is
training results in a measurable reaction that is evident in the form of learning outcomes that is
exhibited in job behavior and changes in the organization (Anderson, 2010). According to
Anderson (2010), this evaluation model is limited to the assessment of reactions to learning
outcomes which is valuable in validating the actual program but it creates a distance between the
learner and the outcome of learning.
Another evaluation model is CIRO framework conceptualized in the 1970s by Warr,
Bird, and Rackham and later developed by Harrison in 2000 (As Cited Anderson, 2010). The
CIRO framework concedes Kirkpatrick’s reactions and learning outcomes in the evaluation
process. However, the framework institutes that the perspective and learning inputs should be
evaluated. The CIRO framework shortcoming is that the model integrates organization
performance and individual learning in a detached way. That is they acknowledge the
contribution of learning to organization performance as an ‘act of faith.’
To ensure that these theoretical models are applicable in today’s business world, it is
important to look at the objective of each learning process. The six-stage evaluation model can
be helpful as it is all inclusive of each and every part of the Human Resource Development
process. The six-stage evaluation model encompasses of six stages that can be used to evaluate a
According to Wilson (2014), it is important to set the goals of each learning program by
exploring challenges or opportunities within the organization that needs to be addressed. Then a
learning program is developed that is capable of educating and imparting skills that work best in
addressing the issues noted in the first stage. In the third stage of the evaluation process, the
organization should implement the learning program, look out and address the challenges that
may arise during the learning process. After the learning process, the participants can exit the
program and begin using the learned skills hence benefiting the organization. The six stage
model is effective in analyzing the Human Resource Development program in terms of training
by showing whether and how the program is of benefit to the organization.
The organization should also institute procedures that can help in tracking program
failures that may arise in one or more of the six stages due to flawed logic. This tracking
procedure is observed using checklists, feedback and record analysis (Moon, 2013). The
outcomes can be evaluated using organizational audits, record analysis, performance evaluation,
observation and cost-benefits analysis.
In conclusion, evaluation of learning outcomes should not only focus on the assessment
of learning outcomes and benefits of the learning process in attaining the organizational
objective. But also the impact of the learning program to the learner. Therefore, it is imperative
to choose an evaluation model that addresses the learning objectives and its alignment with the
organization strategy (Gold et al., 2013). On the same note, the evaluation model should address
the impact of the learning process to the trainee in terms of motivation and job satisfaction.
Wilson, J. P. (2014). International human resource development: Learning, education and
training for individuals and organisations. Development and Learning in
Moon, J. A. (2013). Reflection in learning and professional development: Theory and practice.
Gold, J., Holden, R., Iles, P., Stewart, J., & Beardwell, J. (2013). The Future of Human Resource
Development. Human Resource Development: Theory and Practice, 413.
Anderson, L. (2010). ‘“Talking the talk”’ – a discursive approach to evaluating management
development’, Human Resource Development International, 13 (3), pp.285-298.