A new conceptual framework for the evaluation of L&D programmes

DProf thesis

Thackeray, R. 2017. A new conceptual framework for the evaluation of L&D programmes. DProf thesis Middlesex University Institute for Work Based Learning
TypeDProf thesis
TitleA new conceptual framework for the evaluation of L&D programmes
AuthorsThackeray, R.

The evaluation of learning and development programmes is one of the most important processes for the L&D function as it determines functional credibility by the creation of value from the L&D budget.
The Kirkpatrick (1954) framework has primacy in the world of evaluation along with a small number of other frameworks, e.g. Phillips (1999), Holton (2000) Brinkerhoff (2003). However, despite its acknowledged ineffectiveness, efforts to replace the framework have been unsuccessful, becoming the prevailing paradigm for evaluation which could be an increasing risk for L&D itself in proving legitimacy and credibility.
A review of wider literature reveals new opportunities to synthesise different theoretical positions to build a new framework that could add value to practice, particularly by using Decision Theory, Hubbard (2007), Forecasting, Armstrong (2001) and ‘Intention’ Anscombe (1959). This study adds to the literature by highlighting opportunities from that synthesis for further research and for practice.
The researcher is a specialist and experienced evaluator of L&D programmes and functions with access to a wide range of practitioners and organisations willing to help with research.
This research investigates attitudes and current practice in evaluation and, using new technologies and the synthesis of ideas and methods, to posit a new evaluation framework. This framework builds an evaluation strategy using forecasting methods with the Central Limit Theorum as the key drivers in its evaluation ‘mix’ to generate highly accurate outputs. The framework has a subset of Quadrants that generate the evaluation outcomes and one specific Quadrant is the subject of this research, assessed using a Case Study approach to be shown to have potential impact for L&D.
The findings from the research show that this new framework can deliver evaluation outputs with targeted levels of accuracy for a fraction of the cost, time and resource required by the traditional summative methods, currently used as part of the existing evaluation paradigm.
Whether this approach can rival the prevailing paradigm will be for practitioners to decide and is outside the scope of this research but it is suggested that it could offer a real choice for L&D evaluators.

Research GroupWork and Learning Research Centre
Department nameInstitute for Work Based Learning
Institution nameMiddlesex University
Publication dates
Print23 Oct 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited23 Oct 2017
Accepted24 Sep 2017
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
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