Monday, 24 October 2005

Certification and Evaluation

Dave Lee has a post questioning "why ask why: thinking about evaluation". He started with comment about certification and finished discussing the evaluation strategies.

When I first arrived in Australia, I was trying to find a job in high school as a Physics teacher. After all, I have over 15 years of High School Physics teaching experience, authored a couple of textbooks, with a Master degree and had been the head of Physics for the majority of that 15 years. I sent out dozens and dozens of application letters responding to jobs advertisements. I got not even ONE single interview.

On the other hand, I served as a Senior Computer Officer at the University of Hong Kong for the last year when I was still in Hong Kong. I had no formal computing qualification (yes, I have co-authored computer studies text book!) I learnt my skills through hobby.

Guess what? I was offered three jobs based on that one year of experience and without showing any certificate (yes, I did have employer recommendations).

So, what's the value of certification? That's a good question. It seems to me it is more related to demand.

Dave went on:

i've come to believe that the only reason for a learning organization to exist in a corporation is to effect behavior change in service of the corporate strategy.

I suppose Dave has answered his own question. Depending on management style of the organisation, most end of training survey serves the reporting need of the manager rather than providing any actual useful feedback to the trainer, nor really gauge the effectiveness of the training. OK, I am biased.

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