Evaluation Of Training Effectiveness And Process To Learn

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Based on Alvarez et al. (2004), training effectiveness is the process of learn and review of a person, training program, and organizational trait that have a power to manipulate and interfere the training process whether before, during or after the training. Abdullah bin Lin and Mohd Yazam Sharif (2009) define effectiveness as a degree of an activity that implemented such as training program achieve its stated purpose, goal and it function. Whenever Fraser (1994) give the meaning of effectiveness as an evaluation or determination of which degree stated goals and the program achievement corresponding with each other. Erlendsson (2002) stated that effectiveness is the measurement of what we have done to determine whether we doing the right thing or not in the process of conducting the program or activity.

Level 4

ResultIt mean if we viewed from the perspective of training, the effectiveness of the training is measured from it outcome and result whereby the outcome and result will compared to the training objective. Generally, to determine the training effectiveness the organization will conduct an evaluation after the training to gather data and information about the training. The common evaluation model used by the organization is Kirkpatrick (1974) model of evaluation which is proposing fourth component of an effective training which is reaction, learning, behavior and result.

Level 3

Behavior

Level

Learning

Level 3

Reaction Organization

Result

Job Behavior

Learning

Result

Trainee

Reaction

(Kirkpatrick (1974) Model of Evaluation)

The fist levels of Kirkpatrick (1974) evaluation model suggest that at reaction level means to assess and determine the reaction of the participant toward the training. The participant reaction is measured whether they satisfy or not with the program. Determination of the participant reaction is being purposes to understand their perception which can be used to measure the quality of the program and identify whether the program relevant with their need and aim of the program.

Meanwhile, learning level is focus on measuring the learning process during the training, where the question such as "what was learned by the participant or what have material and content participant fail to learn" will be asked and answered. This type of question asked to measure and evaluates improvement in term of participant knowledge. Besides that, this level of evaluation also purposes to assess the total of amount and degree of learning has occurred in the training process (Kirkpatrick, 1974). Determination of the degree of learning occurred, help us to identify or decide whether the learning objective of the program achieved or not. Whenever, the training method or the way of knowledge and skill transferred or communicate to the participant should be related to the degree of learning occurred because every method has a different level of impact (Haslinda 2009). So that mean, from the data provided from the evaluation on this level is valuable to identify which method is good or effective, and which method is not.

Next is result level, whereby this level aim to answer the question such as "did the participant change their behavior based on what they have learned" (Baskin, 2001). Change of behavior likely as a result of use of new knowledge and skill acquire from the training by the participant. However, these change of behavior difficult to predict on when the participant will change in term of job behavior and as a result make it hard to evaluate this level (Haslinda, 2009).

The last level of Kirkpatrick model of evaluation is aim to measure the impact of training in influence the performance of the organization. It means the measurement is at organization level. The evaluation sees from the perspective of revenue or profit gain by the organization, productivity, sales and other. It can be conclude that Kirkpatrick (1974) evaluation model suggest that an effective training program will be able to influences the participant to give a positive reaction toward the program, make them learn and acquire the new skill and knowledge, change the participant in term of behavior and give an return on investment to the organization.

There are various factors that can influence training effectiveness. Salas and Cannon Bowers (2001) categorize these factors into three general categories which are:

What the participant bring to the training place.

Variables that encourage the participant to learn and involve in the training activities.

How the training can be prepared so as to maximize the learning experience.

Salas and Cannon Bowers (2001) have specified this factor into individual Characteristics, training method and instructional design and post-training conditions. Under the individual characteristic Salas and Cannon Bowers identified training motivation, cognitive ability, self-efficacy, and goal orientation as an individual factor that can influence training effectiveness. In addition, the past training research also support that trainee characteristic which is trainability factor and dispositional factor shown a significant impact on training effectiveness (Herold, 2002).

Whenever, variable under training method and instructional design precise on training approach and delivery. Finally the post-training conditions which is specified to training evaluation and transfer of training. This study will focus on the several variables which are training motivation, training content and training design suit to the background of the study and limitation of the study.

Besides that, variable under this study is based on the model of factors influence training effectiveness introduced by Quinones (1997). The model is shown below:

Transfer Outcomes

Maintenance

Generalization

Training Outcome

Reaction

Learning

Behavior

Result

Trainee Characteristic

Motivation to learn

Self-efficacy

Fairness perception

Contextual factor

Participation

Framing

Organizational climate

Training Design

Content

Delivery

Practice

(Quinones (1997) Contextual factors influence training effectiveness)

Training Motivation

Many study and literature research have been conducted on the factors that have a possibility in effecting and influence training effectiveness. As a result there are several study indicate that there is a relationship between the trainee motivation to learn and training effectiveness (Lee & Klein 2002). Nijman (2004) mention training motivation is the trainee conduct or action which is involve the desire to undertake, involve actively and highly committed to the training activities that was driven by the trainee objectives that will obtained by involve in the training. Ismail and colleague (2010), also make a conclusion that motivation as an individual direction, persistence and their amount of effort controlled by them in their move to achieving personal goal or objective. Meanwhile, from the psychological perspective motivation named and brings a meaning of the "variability in behavior not attributable to stable individual differences (e.g., cognitive ability) or strong situational coercion" (Quiñones, 1997). Noe (2008), suggest that motivation to learn is consist of motivation and learning as a different constituent of motivation.

Training motivation review from the past literature indicate that the individual motivation to learn can influence the training effectiveness from the aspect of individual preparation for the training, performance during undertaking the training and the transfer of the training content (Tannenbaum et al. 1992). This statement showing that training motivation is indirectly affecting the training performance and outcomes and point that trainee motivation drive and directing their conduct whether to effectively or ineffectively contribute to the training. Tannenbaum, Bowers and Mathieu (1995) also point out the same thought by agree with the role of training motivation influence learning directly and training performance indirectly. They consider if an individual feel and belief on their ability to learn the material in the training motivation to learn will be exist.

There are several factors both from the perspective of individual personality or characteristic and external factor that related to an individual motivation to learn. Mathieu et al. (1992) have determined and address this factor which is divided into two main factor which is called individual factor and situational factor. Under individual factor, Mathieu et al. (1992) refer to Noe (1986) realize that, an individual career planning likely have influence on their training motivation whereby their awareness on the potential benefit obtain from the training such as career advancement has drive them to learn during the training. Besides that, Mathieu et al. also highlighted job involvement as the factor in influencing an individual training motivation. They hypothesizes that individual who value their work outcomes recognize the important of training in helping them to increase their performance and as a result this type of people will commonly known as an individual that will perform well in the training.

It mean they will motivated to learn in the training to acquire skill and knowledge in order to improve their performance and finally the increase of job performance will lead to improvement of work outcomes. While, the situational factor is including the situation where an individual are voluntarily undertake the training without forced by other and the situation opposite with this condition. Mathieu et al. suggest that, individual who voluntarily follows the training significantly have high levels of training motivation.

In addition, the past studies also connect and relate motivation to learn with individual personality as the personality capable in shaping a difference in goal setting and cognitive construction of individual (Kanfer, 1991 as cited in Chuang et al. 2005). This explanation showing that personality of an individual also can affecting their own level of training motivation and become an important factor in influence the training outcome and performance (Colquitt et al. 2000). Other studies such as Ismail et al. (2007) conduct a research on the external factors that might influence training outcome and effectiveness where they examine the supervisor support on influencing trainee motivation to learn.

Their result indicate that supervisor support and communication positively make the trainee to be motivated in undertake training. This because, supervisor support likely encourage employee to feel and recognize the value of the training and finally direct their behavior to be enthusiastically participate and learn the content of the training. Conclusion made from the studies is supervisor communication affect transfer of competency and job performance through employee motivation to learn while motivation to learn function as a mediating role between supervisor communication and individual attitudes and conduct.

There are various motivations to learn theory have been introduced by researcher to explain and support the relationship between individual motivation and variable that independently capable in influencing level of an individual motivation to learn. Expectancy Theory introduced by Vroom (1964) suggests that individual will do their best in certain action if that action or behavior promises a valuable outcome to the performer of such action. The valuable outcomes mean that the desire and expected result want to obtain by an individual where it benefits the performer of such action. From this we can conclude that individual will be motivated and energized by the outcomes of any program or activity that benefit them and this make them perform a certain behavior lead to the achievement of that outcome ( Werner and De Simone 2006). This connection is shown in the following figure:

Should I exert effort?

Valence

How desirable or undesirable are these outcomes?

Instrumentality

Will I receive various outcomes if I reach my performance goal?

Expectancy

How likely is it that I will reach my performance goal?

(Werner and De Simone 2006)

From the view of training program, expectancy theory can be applicable to motivate the trainee by effectively communicate and outlines the value and importance that will received by the participant when undertake or follow the training (Ismail 2010). Besides, this theory also assume trainee who have high expectation on their effort used for the training will give them a valuable outcomes likely can increase the level of learning and finally resulted in mastery of training content (Colquitt et al. 2000). Learning and master of training content indicate the training program effectively reach it purpose to transfer skill and knowledge.

Training Design

Training design also another training characteristic that have been consider as among potential factor whether directly or indirectly effecting training outcomes and it performance (Burke, Hutchins, 2007). Quinones (1997), introduced a model of factor influence training effectiveness and in this model training design is including as the one of the factor influence training effectiveness. Burke and Hutchins (2007), categorize training design as a second group of construct that able to impact learning during the training process. Salas and Cannon, (2001) also mention, the training program in an organization will be fail to achieve its goal if the training program did not designed by considering organizational constrain and conflict.

Training design is covering and containing of the process building and establishment of style or manner and sequence of the training program that involve developing learning objective and construct the training content (Chow et al 2009). Other than that, the past study also found that many design factor such as stimulus variability and condition of practice influence the learning outcomes as well training effectiveness (Bhatti and Kaur, 2009). In addition, the design of the program is highly require to be fit with trainee ability to learn the training content and applies the content outside the training to make sure the effectiveness of the training (Bhatti and Kaur 2009).

In order to design an effective training program such as in the part of instructional design, need assessment is compulsory to be done by the organization as it marks as a key of effectiveness to the training program (Holton et al., 2000 and Goldstein & Ford, 2002). Werner and De Simone (2006), suggest that to develop and design an effective training program several key activities involved in designing training program must be conducted and implemented. This key activity is such as follow:

Setting objective

Selecting the trainer and vendor

Developing a lesson plan

Selecting program methods and technique

Preparing material

Scheduling the program

Before and while on the process of designing training program, the designer must have precise information about the task or specific job that will be trained to identify and get the best learning objective and prepare a relevant content (Chow et al 2009). The information can be obtained by conducting a need analysis. Training need analysis divided into three parts of analysis which is organizational analysis, task analysis and person analysis (Werner and DeSimone, 2006). The analysis used to identify the need for training, skill and knowledge that will be deliver, and which person need to go for that training (Goldstein 1993). From the analysis, the organization will be able to specify the learning or training objectives and next design the training delivery process based on the learning objectives (Salas and Cannon, 2001).

Training Method

Researcher on the field of training and development also find that training method as among the most potential factor influence training effectiveness besides of trainee characteristic and other (Bennett 1995). Bennett (1995) stated that, different task, training situation, skill and different training content require a different method to be effectively delivered and learned during the training. So, it crucial for an organization to select a method to deliver the training content that requires a match between this variable to guarantee their training effectiveness.

Besides that, Arthur et al. (2003) also mention that despite of the various different type of training method, all the method is capable and in fact purposes to deliver and communicate specific skill, knowledge and task but, they suggest different training method can be selected in order to get the best within the method. Therefore, suitability between the training delivery method and the skill or task that will be trained can be determinant of the effectiveness of training (Wexley & Latham 2002).

As an example, Sankar & Sankar (2010) conduct a study by comparing the different method used for teacher training. The study was purposes to comparing the effectiveness of face-to-face and online training on teacher knowledge and confidence. Their finding indicate this different method both have their own advantage where the result of the online training show that it not effective enough in increasing teacher confidence but effectively allow the teacher gain and increase their knowledge. Meanwhile, confidence of the teacher in this study increased by face-to-face training and not by online training.

Furthermore, Sinniah (2008) in a different study investigate the relationship of different management training method with the effectiveness and frequency of use in Malaysia context. The study involves 200 employees working at different organization and different business sector. The questionnaire of the study consisted three main sections, starting with general training practice, followed by perceived effectiveness and use of seven training methods, and finally perceived effectiveness by matching various training methods with specific training objectives. Finding from this research shown that there is significant different between modern and conventional training methods in term of effectiveness.

This study has prove and demonstrate the potential of different training method in influence training effectiveness and showing the important of selecting training method that really suit with training goals, content and skill. Kalemci (2005) training is a situational process that is why no single method is right for every situation. Therefore, any organization need to seriously consider training method to avoid the situation where conflict among training method and training content happen until cause the training objective unachievable.

Noe and Schmitt (1986) conducted one of the first studies to explore the

influence of pretraining motivation. These researchers found that a composite

measure, including three distinct though related dimensions of motivation

(that is, effort-performance expectancies, performance-outcome expectancies,

and motivation to learn), was significantly related to learning and that learning

had a significant influence on a measure of job performance. These results

demonstrate the importance of pretraining motivation for training effectiveness

and have been replicated in subsequent research efforts (for example,

Baldwin, Magjuka, and Loher, 1991; Mathieu, Tannenbaum, and Salas, 1992;

Tannenbaum, Mathieu, Salas, and Cannon-Bowers, 1991). If motivation is important for acquiring fundamental levels of knowledge,

then it can also be argued that an individual's willingness to make an effort is

an important antecedent for gaining higher levels of understanding and cognition.

The Influence of Individual Characteristics and the Work

Environment on Varying Levels of Training Outcomes… J. Bruce Tracey, Timothy R. Hinkin, Scott Tannenbaum,

John E. Mathieu 2001

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