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How can Training evaluation help the design of training programs?

Good morning Phillip-

Thanks for asking this question. I apologize for the late response.

"How can Training evaluation help the design of training programs?" Let's ask this question, Have you done a good Training Needs Assessment that will give you results as to what the training needs to be? If you haven't done this then your evaluation won't help you because it will be like trying to do surgery in the dark. You'll know you have an issue but without light you won't be able to focus on the need.

Next we ask, what is the Training Evaluation looking at or measuring.   Remember that you can only critique what is being measured in other words your evaluation should look at and evaluate those things which you want to focus on. Is the Evaluation focused on the presenter, the curriculum, the learnings, the value of the class, or is it simply looking at and measuring satisfaction of the participants? A good evaluation is like a good survey which in the least amount of words focuses on the most valuable feedback required.

If your previous evaluations are done right, then you can start to design training's that are based on identified gaps along with areas that are "requested" as wants.

If you have previous evaluations that are more than satisfaction survey's then ask yourself, "What are these evaluations telling us?" Are they telling you that the presenters or the content were not good? Are they telling you that the content didn't go deep enough? What are they telling you?

I think when you look at your evaluations from these perspectives, you will then have information to start to develop your next training programs.

Now let's look at another aspect of this. Your training programs should have an evaluation designed for them that look for very specific measuring points of the training. Did the training achieve its targets? Did the training move the audience forward or just excite them for the day? Did the training challenge the audience or just give them a day away from the office?

For more info do some research on the Kirkpatrick Evaluation or the Four-Level Evaluation process.
1) Reaction
2) Learning
3) Behavior
4) Results

I hope these questions will point you in the direction of smarter evaluations and smarter training sessions.

Regards and best to you


Recommended Reading
Evaluating training programs - D.L. Kirkpatrick
Another look at evaluating training programs - D.L. Kirkpatrick
Evaluating the impact of training - S.B. Parry
Handbook of training evaluation and measurements - J.J. Phillips
Traning for impact: How to link training to business needs and measure the results - D.G. Robinson

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Evan Glassett


Greetings - I can answer questions in the areas of Talent Development, High Potential or HiPo Development, Leadership and Leadership Development, Coaching and facilitation.


I have worked for the last 16 yrs in the fields of training and development, coaching and leadership and talent development. I hold a B.S. in Speech Communication and a M.A. in Organization Development and Management with a focus in Leadership Coaching.



B.S. Speech Communications University of Utah M.A. OD&M Fielding Graduate University - Santa Barbara, CA

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Orange Business Services Saudi Electricity Company NASA Jet Propulsion Lab Ma'aden Saudi Mining Company Alghanim Industries

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