Evaluation of digital learning programs, (when it happens!), often focuses on the technology or the process. Was the virtual classroom technology appropriate? Did you complete the eLearning? Did you download the infographic?
These types of questions don’t often provide satisfying results!
Instead of looking at technology and process, we should be evaluating results. Who cares if content is delivered in a traditional classroom or a virtual classroom, as long as the results align with the business need?
“Alignment” is certainly the key to success. The business has overarching goals, which our learning programs should consider when we define and design our learning programs. Learning objectives especially should speak to and align with those business goals.
But how do you get that accomplished? Here are some resources to help you to familiarize yourself with the concept:
- Aligning L&D to the Business Strategy (ATD). The author encourages us to be ‘strategic business partners’ by understanding the business, defining priorities, and aligning leadership with your plan.
- Aligning Learning to Business (eLearning Industry). This article shares the REASONS to align the business with learning, and provides data to support the WHY behind why we should do it.
- Aligning Learning with Strategy: Why it Matters and What It Means to You (Cognology). This piece also discusses the benefits of alignment, and is not as research oriented as the eLearning Industry article above. However, the benefits are written in a way that they can be easily communicated to your clients.
- How to Align Your Training with Your Business Objectives in 6 Easy Steps (eFront).Who doesn’t love six easy steps? Each step, of course, could be a post by itself! But, they to provide a roadmap for you to get started.
- Learning Analytics: How to Show Your Work is Making an Impact (InSync Training). Expert Scott Weersing walks through the fundamentals of learning analytics in this hour-long webinar replay. You'll walk away feeling like collecting, using, and analyzing data to improve training programs is a manageable (and must do!) process.
So, let’s accept it as a given that this alignment is critical. How does this fit with our evaluation strategy?
Your evaluation (and every step along the way), needs to focus on how the training intervention supports the business. Even the learner experience (did they like it?) needs to, somehow, help align the training with business outcomes.
Once you understand the strategy, you can design your evaluation strategy to ensure your program is making the grade!
Virtually There Online Magazine: Looking to learn more? It’s hard to keep track of all of the resources informing the modern classroom. We keep an eye out for trends and best practices by collecting links from magazines, industry experts, and social media and capturing them in our online magazine, Virtually There.