The purpose of this paper is to examine the efficacy of the pretest-posttest design in terms of separating, in observed results, the effects of training from the effects of other variables. In other words, the paper explores the value of the pretest-posttest design in pinpointing the significance of training.
In his discussion of evaluative research, Vecchio (1991) notes that many companies and industries have designed training programs for both new and old employees. Commonly, the purposes of these programs include: increasing employee knowledge of job-tasks, improving job performance, and so forth.
However, Vecchio (1991) notes that companies need a way to evaluate whether their training programs have met the objectives set for them. One method of evaluation used by many companies is the pretest-posttest design (Vecchio, 1991).
In terms of the ability to pinpoint the significance or success of training, the pretest-posttest design can be utilized by companies; however, it is important to note that the pretest-posttest is associated with various levels of precision depending upon the nature of the design. In other words, the ability of the design to pinpoint the significance of training can vary depending upon the experimental controls put into place with respect to its use.
The lowest level of precision, according to Campbell and Campbell (1969), is the level were a single group of employees is given a test prior to training, then given training and, afterward, the same test is readministered. If there is an increase in performance, the amount of increase would be attributed to training. The magnitude of the increase would reflect the degree to which training had elevated or improved performance.
This single group pretest-posttest design is said to be at a low level of precision in terms of pinpointing the significance of training because the design does not provide for a number of extraneous factors, any...