The Costs of Training
In the business of training and learning, effective performance assessment is a highly important area because if we can successfully identify the area of training needed by the learners, we can potentially lower the training costs involved by prescribing targeted training. In other words, the learning organizations will be able to gain a better return of investment on the training.
Nobody likes to receive training in an area s/he is already proficient in because this type of training/learning is not only boring, but also a waste of time and resources to the trainee and the company. Appropriate performance measurement help to narrow down the errors in assessment to ensure the findings are ‘as accurate as possible.’ The findings will allow the stakeholders (i.e., learners/trainees, teachers/trainers, and administrators) to make better decisions, such as who should receive training, what areas of training are needed, and how long the training should last.
After the training session, the next step is to evaluate whether the training is as good as it claims: Did the training lead to performance improvement? Is it effective in helping learners overcome the performance gap? Did the trainees change the way they work? What changes did they make and are the change as intended? (It is entirely possible to discover the change that occurred was completely unintended. In that case, a second round of training will be needed to (1) unlearn or correct the mistakes, and (2) repeat the correct training. This would essentially double the costs of training! It is unfortunately that many virtual-environment training providers choose not to address this issue. Instead, they choose to market their serious games or virtual environment training as naturally effective because it has been “designed beautifully.” There are so little validation of the training effectiveness in the commercial off-the-shelf training games that most so called evidence, are obtained through the flawed media comparison studies.
Assuming performance improvement has been conducted correctly, the final step would be to take the findings and use it to predict future training scenarios, calculate future training cost, identify expert learners faster… Such questions are all within the purview of performance prediction. The ability to predict future scenarios is a very powerful business tool because one can better calculate costs and plan for the future.
Identify Those Who are Likely to Succeed