measuring for effectiveness
measuring for effectiveness

Measuring for Effectiveness

(MEH-zure-een fur EEfek-tiv-nuss)

liquid elements


What does Measuring for Effectiveness Mean?

Measuring for effectiveness (or training evaluation) is a learning program strategy in which the efficacy of a program is measured using qualitative and/or quantitative means.

Other Common Names

Other common names for measuring for effectiveness include:

  • Training evaluation

Key Properties

With measuring for effectiveness, you are gauging the impact of a learning against the intended outcomes. Some of the primary properties of this element include:

  • A baseline has been established
  • One or more measurement instruments are used
  • Outside factors are controlled for (to the fullest extent possible)
  • Answers the question: Would people have been better off if this training program didn’t exist?
training evaluation

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Elements That Bond with Measuring for Effectiveness

smile sheetsSmile Sheets

While good post-training evaluations don’t guarantee learning happened, poor post-training evaluations often indicate that learning probably didn’t happen. There’s only so much useful information (when it comes to measuring training effectiveness) that can be gleaned from smile sheets, but they do offer one data point by providing insight into your learners’ reactions to the learning Experience.


You can examine participants’ increase in knowledge or skills using the activities that take place during a learning experience and/or following a learning experience through post-testing or on-the-job observation. Again, no single measurement instrument will give you all the information you need to know, but having multiple data points allows you to put together a story about the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of your learning experience.

levels of evaluationLevels of Evaluation

Working your way up the four levels of evaluation, you can collect data points that paint a clearer picture of your program’s effectiveness by gauging learner reaction, knowledge, transfer to the job, and on-the-job results.

instructional designInstructional Design

You can’t wait to plan measurement until after your boss says: “You know that training program you launched three months ago? Do we know if it was effective at all?” If you’re going to try to measure the effectiveness then you’ll want to bake that measurement into the original program design, beginning with assessing for the needs you’re going to fill and determining the program’s learning objectives.

role playRole Play

While role play and simulation activities are done in the relative safety and security of the training environment, observing changes in participant behavior and knowledge during these activities can offer preliminary information as to whether you can reasonably expect to see real world results.


Every single suggested element to bond with measuring for effectiveness has provided a way to collect data. Data—both qualitative and quantitative—offers insight into the impact and effectiveness of a training program. Some programs such as teambuilding may not need many data points while other programs such as executive coaching or sales training may require a variety of data points and a longer period to gauge effectiveness.

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