Explore Training Outcomes for Effective Learning Evaluation [Step 7]


When it comes to learning evaluation, researching the successful and unsuccessful elements of a learning program is key to improving future efforts. Find out more, as we explain the last step in our "super method" for evaluating learning.

Learning Evaluation, Explore Outcomes

Dig deeper into the success stories or lessons to be learnt by using more qualitative research methods—such as Brinkerhoff's Success Case Method, which suggests:

  • identifying the program’s most significant successes and setbacks,
  • researching the reasons for these outcomes, and then
  • documenting the stories.

You may not want to dig into every learning program, but it’s worthwhile for the first few programs implementing this model as well as for larger programs. 

Recommended Reading: Brinkerhoff's Success Case Method

Step 7 Objectives

  • Document several of the program's most and least successful stories.
  • Identify even better stories that promote the program's success.
  • Gain a better understanding of how to improve future programs. 

Making It Happen 

  • Identify particularly successful and unsuccessful cases.
  • Interview those involved and document their stories.
  • Promote and market the successes.

Recommended Reading: An Intro to the Art of L&D Data Storytelling

Watershed’s 7 Steps of Learning Evaluation

Evaluation of learning is a vital part of creating and maintaining successful learning programs, but it’s often overlooked. Evaluation must be made at all stages of the journey—from learning resources to delivery and application in the workplace to the business goal, which must be aligned with your organization’s strategic objectives.

Recommended Reading: Aligning L&D with Business Goals

Remember, evaluation metrics will vary depending on your organization’s attitude to learning. Your evaluation data should provide insights to improve your learning strategy, and you can get even deeper insights by further research into your programs' most significant successes and setbacks.

Remember, you don't have to limit yourself to one training evaluation model. That's why we created our own "super method" for learning evaluation, and you can do the same to meet your organization's unique needs.

Dig into your learning program.

Download this worksheet to start exploring the most successful and unsuccessful elements of your learning program. 
Use this worksheet to explore learning evaluation outcomes.

eBook: Essentials of Learning Evaluation

Continue exploring and download our complimentary eBook, Essentials of Learning Evaluation, which covers several established evaluation models and their usefulness to L&D departments as well as emerging technologies that can help support evaluation.

[Editor's Note: This blog post was originally posted on June 17, 2016, and has been updated for comprehensiveness.]

Andrew Downes

About The Author

As one of the authors of xAPI, Andrew Downes has years of expertise in data-driven learning design. With a background in instructional design and development, he’s well versed in creating learning experiences and platforms in corporate and academic environments.