ORCID Identifier(s)

ORCID 0009-0001-6885-0285

Graduation Semester and Year

Spring 2024



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Maria Adamuti-Trache

Second Advisor

Meredith Billings

Third Advisor

Catherine Elisabeth Robert


ABC (pseudonym) developed the Design Quality Checklist (DQC), so the organization could adopt a set of quality standards for workplace training courses to improve student experience of training. However, the organization cannot determine if the instructional quality criteria that comprise the DQC were developed using rigorous, evidence-based methods for instrument construction unless there is some alignment between the DQC tool and the student experience ratings of workplace training. This study aims to examine the relationship between student experience outcomes in professional development training courses and the DQC instrument used to evaluate them, as to validate the usefulness of the DQC assessment tool.

The study employed descriptive and multivariate statistical analyses. First, by using dimensionality reduction techniques, the analysis revealed five factors relating to the DQC instrument (Context and Motivation, Demonstration and Application, Insight from Germane Cognitive Load, Course Objectives, and Delivery Methods) and two factors relating to student experience measures (Student Learning and Course Organization). Study findings show that DQC Insight from Germane Cognitive Load factor had statistically significant effects across both student experience outcomes, indicating a decrease in student experience when DQC standards require trainees to engage in metacognition during learning. In addition, ABC courses with high scores for the DQC Demonstration and Application scale were successful at improving the student experience with course organization. Course characteristics were included as control variables in the analysis. Findings show that courses with a mean class size of 50 or more trainees produced lower scores for both student experience outcomes. Courses that were offered twice or more times produced lower scores for both student experience outcomes.

This study contributes to the existing literature of workplace training by suggesting a broader perspective of the training evaluation methods used by employers that should align with student experiences in professional development training courses. The study demonstrated the DQC instrument used to evaluate training has been only partially related to student outcomes, so a more nuanced alignment of training objectives, learning design and assessment methods would help achieve successful training. This study illustrates the need for additional research focused on identifying training design elements that encourage durable learning and do not negatively affect student experiences.


Attitudinal learning measures, Instructional design, Persuasion, Student experience, Scale evaluation


Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Leadership

Available for download on Wednesday, May 07, 2025