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Interview with Will Thalheimer, PhD

Thalheimer (1)What motivated you to write this book? I've worried about my own smile sheets (aka response forms, reaction forms, level 1's) for years! I know they're not completely worthless because I got useful feedback when I was a mediocre leadership trainer-feedback that helped me get better. But I've also seen the research (two meta-analyses covering over 150 scientific studies) showing that smile sheets are NOT correlated with learning results-that is, smile sheets don't tell us anything about learning! I also saw clients-chief learning officers and other learning executives-completely paralyzed by their organizations' smile-sheet results. They knew their training was largely ineffective, but they couldn't get any impetus for change because the smile-sheet results seemed fine.   So I asked myself, should we throw out our smile sheets or is it possible to improve them? I concluded that organizations would use smile sheets anyway, so we had to try to improve them. I wrote the book after figuring out how smile sheets could be improved.
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Dare to Compare

Training Magazine and Wilson Learning Worldwide recently completed a survey of 544 learning practitioners, surveying how well the respondents felt the L+D department was achieving its objectives, what modes of training delivery they felt were worthwhile, and whether they were considered a strategic partner of the business or not. The summary categorized L+D organizations as "Strategic," "Emerging," or "Lagging". Here are some of the interesting results:
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Which Type of Employee Training is Most Effective?

External academic or leadership development programs, experiential learning (such as games, exercises, simulation, role-play, case studies, etc.) and traditional classroom-based instructor-led training were cited as the most effective approaches for developing global leaders. Source: 6th annual Global Leadership Development Survey conducted by Training, AMA, and i4cp...

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