Assessment Sessions. If your training programs are used to assess employee performance, for legal reasons you must keep accurate testing records. Convert performance to numbers, and chart both reliability and validity, as we described earlier.
Informal assessment sessions, however, can also be effective forms of evaluation. Here are some common types:
In-basket exercise. Each participant is given an envelope of materials that are imagined to be from his or her in-basket that morning. Each participant must deal with all of the items during a limited time. Some tasks are hard, some impossible, some frivolouseven fun. You then evaluate them in terms of creativity, use of time, correct procedures followed, and so on.
Presentations. These are particularly effective for training sales representatives, platform speakers, or anyone who regularly makes presentations. Videotape the talks if possible, so trainees can see themselves; few critiques are as powerful as your own when you see yourself as others see you. In addition, give the participants time to prepare. Provide specific instructions for what you want them to do. Evaluate immediately, and praise as well as critique their presentations.
Role playing. As mentioned earlier, role-playing is excellent for improving communication. Role playing as a practice session has already been discussed. For an assessment session, make sure that the assignment demands participants use the material youve taught. If the role-play wanders off the subject, interrupt it and make the participants replay it, then discuss the difference. If you are comfortable doing so, you can role play with them, but dont be too hard on them. The purpose is not to show them how hard it is to do it your way, but rather that doing it the correct way works.