WoLLNET Newsletter 3, October 2009

Welcome to the third WoLLNET Newsletter!



What is the WoLLNET project?


The aim of the WoLLNET Project is 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 is jointly funded by the European Commission's Leonardo da Vinci Sub-Programme, the London Development Agency and the Learning and Skills Council London Region.  The project is due to complete in January 2010.


We hope that the project will help to make the business case for workplace literacy, language and numeracy training, and to promote the continuous improvement of training design and delivery.

To read more about the project click here



Trial 1 results


Eight organisations took part in Trial 1: DHL, London Borough (LB) Newham, LB Sutton, LB Wandsworth, Npower, Transport for London, a Care Home and a Further Education College.


Trial participants reported back that they really liked the Toolkit and were impressed by what it can do - especially the, automation of data collection, the question library, and the ability to track data and produce reports. They also appreciated the downloadable guides. 


They thought that on the whole the Toolkit was quick and easy to use, but it was also recognised that some practice is needed to use some of the more advanced functions of this powerful tool. Trial 1 participants made suggestions for improvements to the user interface and functionality of some sections of the Toolkit, and these were implemented over the summer in preparation for Trial 2.


When it came to evaluating improvements in job competencies and organisational performance that had resulted from learning and analysing 'Return on Expectation' and/or Return on Investment. it became clear that data collection and uploading needed to be carefully planned and resourced. It was recognised that in some cases employers needed additional support to do this. 


Toolkit Version 2 trialling underway


The Trial 2 Toolkit was signed off in late September and then made available to trial participants in the UK. The trial will continue until mid-November.  Trialling will also take place in Austria, Germany, Romania and Switzerland from mid-November through to December with the aim of testing out the newly created German and Romanian language versions. An update on the outcomes of Trial 2 will appear in the project's final Newsletter in January.




In our last newsletter we gave you a glimpse of the Home page, Level 4 - organisational performance and the ROI calculator.  Before too long we will be putting an online demo version in place but for now here are some screenshots of Level 2 and Level 3b data collection questions:


Level 2 - Data on Learning Outcomes


Level 2 involves evaluating how far learning programme participants have improved their knowledge and skills. The Toolkit enables you to measure this by processing data from pre and post-learning results of assessments, tests and/or qualifications and gather feedback on factors other than the learning programme which may have influenced these results.


Level 3b - Data on Job Behaviours and Competencies (Manager View)


Level 3b captures data from learners' managers on observed changes to job behaviours/competencies.  The Toolkit then calculates competency gains, which reflect how effective the learning programme has been in improving specific competencies.





The project has identified a number of areas where the Toolkit can support employers and providers to evaluate the impact of training, including:

  • automation and standardisation of training impact evaluation processes across an organisation
  • cutting costs of training impact evaluation by automating data collection and analysis processes
  • calculation and maximisation of the Return on Investment (ROI) and Return on Expectation (ROE) from training, and achieving value for money
  • alignment of learning programmes to key business goals
  • monitoring and improving the content and impact of learning programmes
  • identifying cost saving areas within training development and delivery
  • tracking learners' success in achieving leaning outcomes
  • measuring increases in employee performance due to training
  • measuring and driving up organisational performance
  • identification and support of learners who are underachieving and/or high performing
  • comparison of the effectiveness of learning programmes and setting of benchmarks for training impact.




Schweizerischer Verband für Weiterbildung SVEB (Swiss Federation for Adult Learning)

The Swiss Federation for Adult Learning is the umbrella organisation for general and vocational adult learning in Switzerland. It promotes cooperation among adult learning institutions, creates awareness of the importance of adult learning, and supports its members' activities. Members include private and state schools, associations, canton officials, employers, and individuals involved in adult learning.


1. Why does SVEB want to be involved in this project?

So far in Switzerland there exists no reliable data on the outcomes of workplace learning activities in the field of LLN. In order to promote workplace LLN programmes we need to be able to demonstrate the positive outcomes of the learning activities. In the WoLLNET project an application is being developed that will facilitate the collection of data and that can be used very flexibly.
2. What kind of activities have SVEB been involved in for this project?

We've given feedback during the development phase of the project, we've reviewed the specifications of the application, we've provided translations into German and we've contributed to the localisation process.

3. How would you like to see this Toolkit being used in the future in Switzerland?

We want Adult Education providers to use the Toolkit as an additional service to their work with companies. Moreover, we want to use the Toolkit as an evaluation tool in workplace LLN development projects.




Toolkit version 2.0 development and trialling


The Toolkit is currently being trialled at various UK organisations.  It is also being localised and translated into German and Romanian to meet the specific needs of partner countries.  Once this work has been carried out Toolkit version 2.0 will also be trialled in Austria, Germany, Romania and Switzerland. 




We plan to host workshops to demonstrate the Toolkit and share the findings from our trialling from November 2009 through to January 2010.  A report on evidence gained from trialling of the business benefits of workplace LLN training will be published on the project website:


Details of how to view the final versions of the Toolkit in English, German and Romanian will also be posted on this website from February 2010.

Further development

Earlyfeedback from stakeholders suggests that the Toolkit is a powerful and adaptable training evaluation tool which offers potential for:

  • use in the evaluation of any type of vocational training
  • customisation for particular organisations and sectors
  • adaptation for use within other European countries.


To find out more about potential future development of the Toolkit please contact Alison Noel -



Toolkit dissemination event  Monday 11th January 2010, 14.00 - 16.15, Oriel College, Oxford, UK

Applications are welcome to attend the Toolkit UK Dissemination Event.  The programme will cover:

  • Project outcomes and key lessons
  • The involvement of partner countries
  • A demonstration of the Toolkit
  • Case studies from national UK employers in use of the Toolkit
  • A discussion of the benefits and potential issues involved in measuring the impact of workplace learning.

For more information and a booking formplease see or email






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Post: Skills for Work Ltd, Adhara House, 37 Harefields, Oxford, OX2 8HG

Telephone / Fax: +44 (0)1865 512604


You may also be interested in...


The Workplace Learning and Skills Bulletin


Readers may be interested to know about this quarterly journal. It aims to help workplace learning providers in FE colleges, adult education and private training providers keep up to date in the field of workplace learning. It seeks to inform and involve union learners and employers; Train to Gain brokers and providers; and all organisations concerned with workplace learning, policy and research.


There is a sample issue of Workplace Learning and Skills Bulletin at: