WoLLNET Newsletter 4, February 2010
Welcome to the fourth WoLLNET Newsletter!
What is the WoLLNET project?
The aim of the WoLLNET Project has been to research, trial and develop a web-based, user-friendly ‘Training Impact Evaluation Toolkit’ to enable employers, providers and unions to evaluate the impact of workplace literacy, language and numeracy training programmes on learning, and individual and organisational performance.
The project was jointly funded by the European Commission's Leonardo da Vinci Sub-Programme, the London Development Agency and the Learning and Skills Council London Region.
We hope that the project will help to make the business case for workplace literacy, language and numeracy training, and promote the continuous improvement of training design and delivery.
The software product that has been developed during the project can also be used to evaluate any kind of learning/training activity.
‘WoLLNET’ becomes TrainingEvaluationPro
Now that the Training Impact Evaluation Toolkit is well and truly up and running and very nearly ready for its entrance into the public realm it was felt that it needed to be given a name. So, after consultation with stakeholders we chose TrainingEvaluationPro.
We felt that this describes exactly what the product does, ie enables users to take a professional approach to training impact evaluation. The name is also ‘search engine friendly’ in that it should be able to rank highly for people searching for the phrase ‘training evaluation’, which according to Google is the most commonly searched for phrase in this area.
The website has now been moved from the test server to a live server at www.trainingevaluationpro.com. Please note, however, that it is not possible to access the website without a login. Paid for and free trial logins will become available in the Spring. We will email all newsletter subscribers to inform them when these become available.
In order to be able to make TrainingEvaluationPro widely available and to allow for further research and development a licence fee will be payable.
German and Romanian language versions now live
After a long period of software development and the completion of Trial 1 in the UK, at the end of last year we were finally in a position to create German and Romanian language versions of the website. This process involved using both a professional translation agency and also the translation skills of project partners in Austria, Germany, Romania, and Switzerland.
In total over 55,000 words of training evaluation guidance materials and website text were translated into each language. The detailed task of unifying the professional and partner translations so that they ‘sing with one voice’ is still underway but is expected to be completed shortly.
Trial 2 complete
The second phase of trialling, which involved trial participants in Austria, Germany, Romania and the UK, has now been completed. A wide range of organisations participated in the trial, including local authorities, training provider networks, HR consultants, a university, and companies within the freight logistics, event management, food manufacture, food handling, commercial cleaning, transport and utilities sectors.
Trial 2 allowed us to test the broader application of the Toolkit in evaluating the impact of all types of vocational training in addition to literacy, language and numeracy training. Examples of the ‘broader’ training evaluated included sales skills, food manufacture NVQs, social care training, and foundation management programmes.
Feedback from the trialling was generally very positive. Participants particularly liked the evaluation guidance materials, video help files, ready-made ‘Click and Go’ surveys, the question library, email deployment options, and the automatic data analysis and reporting. There was unanimity that the software ‘does what it sets out to do’, and participants found the tools could be equally applied to any kind of training.
However, the Trial 1 findings that organisations need support to plan the evaluation process and build evaluation teams, that it can be hard for them to resource data collection, and that users need to practice using the website were all confirmed by Trial 2. In line with this, plans are in place to ensure that organisations will be able to access the advice and support they will need to carry out effective impact evaluations when the website becomes publicly available.
Trial participants also identified a small number of areas where the user interface could be further improved and these will also be addressed before the website goes live.
A report on evidence gained from the trialling of the business benefits of workplace LLN training will be published on the project website shortly: www.wollnet.org.
Project ‘close’ event held at Oriel College, Oxford
Despite the bitterly cold weather and snow and ice on the ground the final project dissemination event at Oriel College, Oxford on January 11th went ahead as planned and with a surprisingly full lecture theatre. The surroundings were magnificent, with the snow-covered quadrangles of the college providing a medieval backdrop.
The event was an opportunity for the project to showcase its work over the last two years. It began with an overview of and background to the project, and this was then followed by a demonstration of the TrainingEvaluationPro website. A summary of feedback from the product trials then followed this along with case studies from Romania and London Borough of Sutton. The event finished off with a general discussion of the challenges and benefits of training impact evaluation.
Delegates’ feedback on the event was very positive overall, and the project team felt that it was a fitting way to bring some of the formal aspects of the project to a close, and to acknowledge the tremendous support that has been provided by partners, steering group members and funders.
KEY FEATURES of TrainingEvaluationPro
A promotional website for TrainingEvaluationPro including a demonstration video of the tool will be available soon. In the meantime you may find the following list of the principal features of the Tool useful in helping you get an overview of what the software can do:
CREATING AND MANAGING EVALUATIONS
§ based on the updated, industry standard, Kirkpatrick 4 Level evaluation model
§ ability to capture both qualitative and quantitative data
§ ability to calculate Return on Expectation/Return on Investment
§ automated data collection, analysis and reporting
§ pre-selected ‘Click and Go’ surveys to help you get started
§ collect data via online surveys, interviews, focus groups or desk research
§ print surveys and upload data via manual data entry function
§ comprehensive question library
§ copy existing surveys and questions or create your own
§ 15 standard survey question types to choose from
§ 3 advanced question types to capture impact data on:
o learning outcomes
o job behaviours/competencies
o organisational performance
§ fully customisable evaluations, including ability to create organisation-specific competencies/job behaviours and performance indicators
§ set start and end dates for the evaluation
§ ability to save and return to surveys to complete at a later date
§ track responses and send follow ups and reminders
§ easily create and manage contact lists
§ real time reports
§ individual and multi-survey reporting
§ special reports on
o learning outcomes
o job behaviours/competencies
o organisational performance
§ smart Return on Investment reporting, taking account of other influencing factors
§ choose report formats, including pie charts and bar graphs
§ ability to filter reports
§ share reports instantly via email
§ export data as Excel/CSV, XML and SPSS
§ multiple levels of data security
§ 3 levels of Firewall
§ encrypted SSL data transfer
§ password protected access
§ includes comprehensive, downloadable guide to training impact evaluation
§ online help videos
§ full technical support
· fully hosted service including upgrades and maintenance.
Further technical development and sustainability
As has already been mentioned, TrainingEvaluationPro is now being prepared to be made available for the English, German and Romanian language marketplaces. The main areas of technical development are:
· creating a promotional website, including an online product demonstration
· ensuring the software is optimised for all the main web browsers
· improving the layout of reports
· improving the layout of printed surveys
· creating a licensing and sign up process.
Licence prices are still to be finalised but will be announced before the website is launched. Free licences with limitations on use will be available.
A summary of evidence gained from trialling of the business benefits of workplace LLN training will be published on the project website shortly: www.wollnet.org.
For further information about the project please contact Alison Noel – firstname.lastname@example.org
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