Purpose – This paper seeks to argue that workplace learning evaluation theory and practice is still an emergent field and that this creates a number of challenges for practitioners and researchers alike. Design/methodology/approach – This is a descriptive paper based on a critical review of existing approaches and the research literature. Findings – While programme evaluation has a long history, workplace learning evaluation is yet to establish itself as a distinct field. This has a number of consequences including the lack of a single or settled view on how workplace learning should be evaluated or what specific aspects of learning should be investigated. Practical implications – The need to demonstrate a return on investment in organisational learning is as pressing as ever. To become more effective training evaluation methods need to be grounded in a theory. This article aims to provide an informed perspective on the current state of workplace evaluation along with insights into how evaluation can be placed on firmer theoretical foundations in order to produce robust findings in a practitioner friendly way. Originality/value – This paper provides original insights into the development of workplace evaluation approaches and the challenges the field faces.
Journal of European Industrial Training – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 27, 2011
Keywords: Training evaluation; Learning theory; Workplace learning; Evaluation