In the case of organizational development, any performance failures by employees has the potential to reflect poorly on everyone in the organization. If your online training doesn’t deliver measurable results, how can an organization truly knows if it has met its learning goals. Thankfully, the mechanism used to deliver the training has very useful information that you can use to measure employee performance.
Where to look
Any online training solutions that are delivered are most likely done so through training management software like an LMS (learning management system). It collects data on employee performance that could help guide you resolving any problems. The four key data points that it collects are:
Score (Course and Module)
Let’s have a look at each to see what it can tell us.
Simply put, completions tells us whether or not the employee completed the course that they enrolled in. If completion rates are great, fantastic! If completion rates are very low, this is often indicative of problems with the course itself. In which case you will need to answer the following questions:
“Is the course appropriate for the audience?” and
“Is it engaging to the target audience?”
The first question is a little easier to answer. For instance, you wouldn’t deliver high-task training to employees in the field with superfluous multimedia and irrelevant graphics. Likewise you would deliver high-touch soft skills training as a simple series of questions. As a result, the most important question asked should be, “Will this result in actual performance improvements?”
The second question is a little more difficult to quantify as it can change if the trainees vary in age range and background. However, it shouldn’t be ignored as it directly affects completion rates, scores, and knowledge retention. Without which, the training is ineffective and the investment wasted.
One of the key indicators of online training performance is the score that they receive upon the completion of the module or course. It seem like a pretty good indicator on first glance. However, there might be false positives that could skew the data. If the instructional design behind a course fails, then a course might not be challenging enough. This could be indicated by an inordinate amount of high scores. Likewise, too many low scores may indicate that the course is too difficult.
Either of these instances point to problems with the instructional design and a failure to create material that connects with the audience. Again, connection is key because without it you are left with trainees who are tuned out. Not only can this be a performance issue, it can be a safety issue too.
If you find that employees are quickly moving through online training well before the allotted time then it could be either:
The allotted time needs to be adjusted
The material itself is too easy
If the scores fall within the range that indicate that it is challenging enough, then a quick adjustment to the allotted time is all that’s needed. If the scores are skewing high in conjunction with quick completion time, then the course or module need to be more challenging.
Low enrollments indicate one of two things:
Technical problems with the enrollment process
The importance of the training not clearly indicated
Technical problems are easier to solve because they’re subjective; it either works or it doesn’t and can be deferred to the responsible party to fix.
If the importance of a course (especially compliance training) isn’t clearly communicated, then this could reflect in low enrollments.
Wrapping It Up
With training performance becoming an increased focus, you need to be able to look at the data available to help guide any revisions to your strategy. By reading between the lines, you can make these revisions and help improve knowledge retention, completion rates, and improve performance.