September 15, 2014

Most of us use some form of testing at the end of every training initiative we offer. That testing occurs, often in paper form, at the end of a traditional lecture/reading course. Or, it can occur electronically after a trainee completes assigned media courses.

However, measuring such short term retention is relatively meaningless. Your goal is to increase longer term retention and better on-the-job performance.

The following are some suggestions you might use to get a more accurate picture of the longer term effects of your training initiatives:

On-the-Job Follow-Up:

The trainee and the appropriate supervisor are given a copy of the performance checklist for each completed lesson. The supervisor assigns the student to perform tasks on the checklist and evaluates that performance. Through discussion, the supervisor can then augment the training activities with site or equipment specific identification and information.

Shop/Laboratory Activity Integration:

Shortly after the completion of a lesson, a shop/lab activity is conducted allowing trainees to practice the activities covered in that lesson. For example, your trainees finish a lesson on laser alignment and then go into a shop to practice that activity. The shop/lab event can then be followed up with a hands-on performance test administered by the instructor.

Follow-Up Testing:

If you are truly interested in measuring longer term retention, you might well want to repeat the course’s post-test six to nine months after the initial completion of your training initiative.

These are just a few ideas to help you confirm that the training you are providing actually does successfully transition to the plant floor.

Without question, all of us need to look much more carefully at the efficacy of testing in the training environment. When you can defend your offerings with proof of longer term retention and better on-the-job performance, you can take genuine pride in the training regimen you offer!

More on Wednesday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning
www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Mondays & Wednesdays)