Can we rely on subjective measurements when evaluating learning and quality of training? No, according to Peopleway’s latest benchmark data we cannot. Our latest research shows zero correlation between learning and satisfaction in 86 % of all measured learning activities from 2000-2015.
We are currently analysing our latest benchmark results and figured we would leak a couple of noteworthy findings to keep you entertained whilst you wait for the actual benchmark report. After all, what is the value of big data if you do not make active use of it!
Today we are busting an old learning myth:
- A positive satisfaction score equals effective training and learning programmes.
Let us start with a bit of history. Satisfaction measurements are the most widespread evaluation strategy when it comes to evaluating training and learning activities. An astonishing 95 % of all training and learning activities are evaluated by the means of satisfaction measurements (cf. ATD 2000; Peopleway 2009; Bersin by Deloitte 2015). However, companies struggle when it comes to measuring the exact learning outcome. Measurements beyond the satisfaction level, are still largely based on employees’ self-assessment i.e. subjective measurements. Very few organizations actually conduct valid tests of the impact of learning. An unnerving trend, especially when taking into consideration our benchmark data. They prove that subjective measures as in the case of satisfaction measurements have a low reliability and validity when it comes to predicting learning outcome.
Peopleway’s benchmark data from 2015 support our original findings from 2009: There is zero correlation between satisfaction and learning in over 84 % of cases.
So back to our initial question: can we rely on subjective measurements when evaluating learning and quality of training? A short answer would be no, it seems that we cannot.
A more elaborate explanation sounds like this. Our consolidated benchmark data show zero correlation between learning and satisfaction in 86 % of all measured learning activities from 2000-2015 (Table 1). This confirms the findings of the original study conducted in 2009, which showed zero correlation in 84 % of all measured learning activities from 2000-2009 (Table 2).
Stay tuned for our next article on the correlation between satisfaction and learning. Here we will include our consolidated benchmark data on both learning and attitude and let you know whether including data on attitude has an effect on the correlation.
Bersin by Deloitte (2015).The State of Learning Measurement: Evaluating for impact. Retrieved November 20, 2015 from: http://www.bersin.com/Lib/Rs/ShowDocument.aspx?docid=18749
ATD (2000). Evaluating the Effectiveness and the Return on Investment of E-learning. What Works Online. 2nd quarter. Retrieved February 17, 2002 from: www.astd.org/virtual_community/research