An investigation of the outcomes of short-term diversity training
Rouse, Donald Elliott
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Businesses of all types, along with public agencies have, invested millions of dollars into diversity training, with most of them doing short-term training. While the proliferation of diversity training has been phenomenal, negligible research has been conducted to evaluate its impact. Evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of diversity training is necessary so that strengths and weaknesses can be identified and improvements made. In order to investigate the outcomes of diversity training I developed three measures corresponding to the first three levels of Kirkpatrick’s training evaluation scheme: (a) the level of satisfaction with the training, (b) the amount of learning that has occurred, and (c) the resulting change in behavior on the job. Numerous review panels vigorously evaluated each measure before and after a pilot study. Upon completion of the actual study, the data was subjected to variety statistical analyses, to include item and measure means, standard deviations, correlations and ANOVA. On all three measures the participants exhibited positive findings, with the most dramatic finding being that overwhelming majority indicated that they were more sensitive to other people’s differences after the training. The second finding is that the three measures are not correlated. Finally, personal characteristics affected the participants’ satisfaction with the training and organizational factors affected the participations’ satisfaction with the training and the amount of learning that occurred. This study contributes to the fields of adult education and diversity education, and provides a model for the evaluation of diversity training.