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Training Evaluation Designs Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 4th, 2019


This paper involves the use of training evaluation designs. Various training evaluation designs are used in evaluating learners in a given training. The paper is discussing the posttest design, the pretest-posttest design, time series design, and the four Solomon designs. In the introduction, the term evaluation is defined. What is looked at during choosing an evaluation design is also listed.

This is further elaborated by discussing how one can construct an evaluation form. Four types of training evaluation designs are discussed in this paper. These are posttest only design, pretest-posttest design, time series design, and Solomon four- group design. The characteristics of these designs are also stated. The advantages and disadvantages of these designs are also discussed where applicable.

The posttest only design is the simplest one. Also, we have realized that the pretest –posttest design was developed from the posttest only design. The Solomon four- group was an improvement of both the posttest only design and the pretest- posttest design. These four designs are also discussed from the cheapest to the most expensive. This has enabled the understanding of the posttest only design as the cheapest design.

The four group design is highly expensive. The reason why the Solomon four-group design is the most expensive is that it is complex and requires a lot of resources. It is evident that the pretest –posttest design is widely discussed than the other three training evaluation designs.

This design is discussed in two perspectives. They are the pretest-post with comparison and the pretest-posttest with the control group. This design is widely discussed since it is used widely in organizations.


Evaluation is the organized recognition of the advantages and importance of education. This is achieved through using a certain criteria against given standards. Evaluation process, in training, has the principal aim of ensuring that the learning process meets the stated objectives. Normally evaluation is conducted in four phases. These include; Analysis, Design, Development, and Implementation.

Issues to consider when selecting an evaluation design

There are several issues that can be thought of when selecting an evaluation design. These include evaluation that is complicated are expensive. Thus, they portray a strong sense of confidence. Secondly, evaluation designs that are complex require people who are specialized in research methods. This is because they are hard to implement. Interventions work differently in all settings and types of friends.

How to design training evaluation forms

To design training evaluation forms, one has to use open- ended questions. Moreover, one must use closed-ended questions. Closed ended questions have multiple questions. On the other hand, open- ended questions help assist the learners give a detailed answer, in spaces, provided. The evaluation forms should have the name of the evaluation instructor and the course before it is given to the learners.

There are two key factors that guide a trainer in making the choice of the design to use. These include cost and certainty. If the trainer is highly certain on the results of the program, it will be highly expensive (Wisher, 1999).

Types of evaluation designs

There are many designs that are used in evaluations. The training evaluation designs discussed are; post-test only design, pre-test and post-test design, pre-test and post test with comparison group design and pretest and post test with the control group design, time series design and the Solomon four group design.

Posttest only design

In this design, a post- test is given to the trainee after the intervention has been administered. This post-test could be a survey or even a questionnaire. This posttest only design has several characteristics. Participants and non participants of the program are not compared. This design is extremely easy and straightforward.

Pretest and Posttest design

This design was advanced from the posttest only design. The pretest and posttest design has a lot of information. This is because it gives the changes in the behavior and attitudes of the trainees in the program.

This design also provides evidence that the alterations were produced after the interventions. This design is not able to illustrate this. The reason is that the changes may have occurred due to the participants’ exposure to other interventions.

The pretest and posttest design is associated with two major problems. One it does improve the external validity. This means that it is difficult to judge the results brought about by the pre-test. This is because the two groups used are treated using different measures.

Pretest and posttest with comparison design

In training evaluations, using this design, the pretest and posttest are administered differently. They are given to two different groups. A group that participated in the program and another one that did not take place in the learning of the given the tests. This assists in determining whether the changes in behavior are brought about by the interventions.

Similarities detected in the two groups show that the changes detected are brought about by the interventions. These results are well defined if the two groups are of the same socioeconomic status, race, and education. In addition, this design has the following characteristics.

It is more expensive and complex. The design opens a chance for other explanations. This helps in identifying the differences between the intervention group and the control group (Preskill, 2005).

Pretest and Posttest with the control group design

In this design, individuals are assigned randomly to the intervention or the control group. Thus, all members have the same opportunity of becoming a member of the two groups. This design is the most expensive of the three. In this design, it is also certain that the changes noticed in the evaluation were brought by the interventions.

Time series design

Time series design is presented in four variations. These are; interrupted time series with follow-up, replicated time series, step-wise time series, and time series with reversal patterns. This design involves the use of interrupted time series experiments used in community research.

In this design, two communities are assessed repeatedly. The interventions are administered to each community at their own time. In this design, the community interventions and policies are normally refined after the study.

Solomon four group design

This design has two extra control groups. This makes the researcher know if the pretest contains an influence on the subjects. This design is hard to set up and analyze.

The statistics involved is also very complex. This design solves the problem of internal validity associated with the pretest-posttest design. The Solomon four designs are an improvement of the pretest- posttest two group designs and the post test only design (Okey, 1972).


The Solomon four group designs help in solving all the problems of internal and external validity experienced in other designs. A trainer using this design should have the requirements and the time to include the four control groups.

The statistics used is very complex. Therefore, if, the researcher is aware of the issues of external validity the Solomon four groups are not required. Also, most experiments are simple and could be solved using the pretest-posttest research designs.


Okey, J. R., & Ciesla, J. L. (1972). Designs for the evaluation of teacher training materials. Bloomington: National Center for the Development of Training Materials in Teacher Education, School of Education, Indiana University.

Preskill, H. S., & Eft, D. F. (2005). Building evaluation capacity: 72 activities for teaching and training. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Wisher, R. A. (1999). Training through distance learning: an assessment of research findings. Alexandria, Va.: U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences.

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