Learning Measurement 3 — Many Reasons to Measure

Learning is a Many Splendid Thing

In the eLearning Guild Report, I outlined 18 separate reasons we might want to measure learning:

To Support the Learners in Learning and Performance

1. To encourage learners to study.
2. To give learners feedback on their learning progress.
3. To help learners better understand the concepts being taught by giving them tests of understanding and follow-up feedback.
4. To provide learners with additional retrieval practice (to support long-term retrieval).
5. To give successful assessment-takers a sense of accomplishment, a sense of being special, and/or a feeling of being in a privileged group.
6. To increase the likelihood that the learning is implemented later.

To Support Certification, Credentialing, or Compliance

7. To assign learners with grades or give them a passing score.
8. To enable learners to earn credentials.
9. To document legal or regulatory compliance.

To Provide Learning Professionals (i.e., instructors/developers) with Information

10. To provide instructors with feedback on learning.
11. To provide instructional designers/developers with feedback.
12. To diagnose future learning needs.

To Provide Additional Information

13. To provide learners’ managers  with feedback and information.
14. To provide other organizational stakeholders with information.
15. To examine the organizational impacts of learning.
16. To compare one learning intervention to an alternative one.
17. To calculate return-on-investment of the learning program.
18. To collect data to sell or market the learning program.


The report details many problems this can cause, but to briefly explain this now, the basic problem is that we often (a) confuse one goal for another, (b) use an assessment design that is ill-suited for meeting the goal or goals we want to assess, or (c) limit our outcomes because we don’t realize what is possible.

The eLearning Guild Report

The eLearning Guild report, “Measuring Success,” is FREE to Guild members and to those who complete the research survey, even if not a member. 

Disclaimer: I led the surveying and content efforts on the research report and was paid a small stipend for contributing my time, however, I will receive nothing from sales of the report. I recommend the report because it offers unique and valuable information, including wisdom from such stars as Allison Rossett (the Allison Rossett), Sharon Shrock, Bill Coscarelli, (both of Criterion-Referenced Testing fame) James Ong (at Stettler Henke where he leads in efforts of measuring learning results through comprehensive simulations), Roy Pollock (Chief Learning Officer at Fort Hill Company, which is providing innovative software and industry-leading ideas to support training transfer), Maggie Martinez (CEO of The Training Place, specializing in learning assessment and design), Brent Schenkler (a learning-technology guru at the eLearning Guild), and the incomparable Steve Wexler (The eLearning Guild’s Research Director, research-database wizard, publishing magnate, and tireless calico cat herder).

How to Get the Reports

   1. eLearning Guild Measuring Success (Free to Most Guild Members)

  • If Member (Member+ or Premium): Just Click Here
  • If Associate Member, Take measurement survey, then access report.
  • If Non-member, Become associate member, take measurement survey, then access report.

    2. My Report, Measuring Learning Results: Click through to My Catalog

The Series Continues Tomorrow…