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Seeing the wood for the trees: workplace learning evaluation

Seeing the wood for the trees: workplace learning evaluation 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. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of European Industrial Training Emerald Publishing

Seeing the wood for the trees: workplace learning evaluation

Journal of European Industrial Training , Volume 35 (8): 10 – Sep 27, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0309-0590
DOI
10.1108/03090591111168357
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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

Journal of European Industrial TrainingEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 27, 2011

Keywords: Training evaluation; Learning theory; Workplace learning; Evaluation

References