Objection #12: How Will You Measure That It Is Working?

by Kevin Jones on June 17, 2008

When anyone throws up Objection #12 you know that they don’t quite ‘get it’ yet.  And that is OK.  Your job is to help them get it.  Some times we hear “Right now we know when people have learned.  We have them take tests.  They fill out evaluations.  We can see in the LMS that they have taken a course.  How will we measure this learning?”

Answer: It is true that you will not be able to see who has taken which courses or that they have passed a test or that they really liked a class (Level 1 evals – which is what most organizations do anyway).  We cannot measure something new using the old methods.  We can, however, measure using other methods not native to training or learning.  The methods used are web analytics.

  • When millions of people search on Google, what are they trying to do?  They are trying to learn.  You can measure the number of times employees perform a search.  They want to learn something from every search.
  • Then, look at what they are searching for.  That will give you a great insight.
  • What information are they sharing?
  • What are they commenting on?
  • How many wiki pages were created?
  • What were they created for?
  • How many blog postings were created?
  • When was the last time someone logged in? (if logging in is part of the process)
  • How many forum questions were asked?
  • How many answers were given?
  • What are the most viewed pages?
  • Define ‘active’ and measure how many people are active.
  • How many people have become active in the last _______?
  • You can analyze not only where people are going, but how they get there, how long they stay and what they do when they are there.

This may seem odd for some.  But we also need to remember that much of what they learn we cannot account for.  It happens, but we have no way to measure it.  Although this does not verify the transfer of knowledge or skills, it is a pretty good indication.  It is a new way of measuring learning.

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