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Online Training: The Value of Capturing Trainee Reactions

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Journal of Workplace Learning Volume 20, Number 1, ISSN 1366-5626


Purpose: Despite years of advice from researchers that trainee reactions provide training evaluation information that is of very limited use, trainee reactions remain the most commonly used measure of training effectiveness. Because the technology that supports online training facilitates the collection of trainee reaction information during and after training, organizations will likely expand their use of trainee reactions in training evaluation. Thus, the need to understand the utility of trainee reactions in online training is significant. The purpose of this study is to propose a model of trainee reactions based upon the theory of reasoned action and the technology acceptance model. Design/methodology/approach: The model was tested using students participating in online training courses provided by a large landscaping company based in the USA. Findings: Analyses provided partial support for the model. Findings include a negative relationship between computer anxiety and pre-training motivation, a positive main effect on perceived effort for both pre-training motivation and trainee reactions, and a positive relationship between trainee reactions and intent to take future online courses. Research limitations/implications: The generalizability of the results of this study is limited due to the use of student subjects. Also, a small sample size limited the ability to test the full model using path analytic testing. Originality/value: These results provide meaningful guidance both for researchers and for practitioners responsible for the design and implementation of online training courses. (Contains 1 figure and 3 tables.)


Long, L.K., DuBois, C.Z. & Faley, R.H. (2008). Online Training: The Value of Capturing Trainee Reactions. Journal of Workplace Learning, 20(1), 21-37. Retrieved February 6, 2023 from .

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