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Evaluating Training Programs: Kirkpatrick's 4 Levels

Home Courses: Descriptions E-Learning SKIES Calendar Registration Resources: Quick Guides Program Information Trainer's Toolbox Training Sites Additional Resources Staff and News: Contact Information Newsletter The most widely used and popular model for the evaluation of training programs is known as "The Four Levels of Learning Evaluation." The model was defined in 1959 by Donald L. Kirkpatrick in a series of articles that appeared in the US Training and Development Journal. Kirkpatrick redefined the evaluation model with his 1998 book "Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels." The idea behind the model is for an organization to have meaningful evaluation of learning in the organization. The degree of difficulty increases as you move through the levels. However, the knowledge learned regarding the effectiveness of the training program more than compensates for this. The four levels of the model are:
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Level 1: Reaction Level 2: Learning Level 3: Behavior Level 4: Results

Level 1: Reaction Kirkpatrick refers to Level 1 as a measure of customer satisfaction. Most of the forms that people fill out at the end of a class or workshop are instruments for measuring Level 1. Here are 8 guidelines that Kirkpatrick recommends to get maximum benefit from reaction sheets: 1. Determine what you want to find out 2. Design a form that will quantify reactions 3. Encourage written comments and suggestions 4. Get a 100 percent immediate response 5. Get honest responses 6. Develop acceptable standards 7. Measure reactions against standards and take the appropriate action 8. Communicate reactions as appropriate. Level 2: Learning Kirkpatrick defines learning as the extent to which participants change attitudes, increase knowledge, and/or increase skill as a result of attending a program. So to measure learning we need to determine the

following: y y y What knowledge was learned What skills were developed or improved What attitudes were changed Here are guidelines for evaluating learning: 1. improved work quality. Use a control group if it is practical 2. Use a control group if that is practical 2. their subordinates and others who often observe their behavior. reduced turnover. four conditions are necessary: y y y y The person must have a desire to change The person must know what to do and how to do it The person must work in the right climate The person must be rewarded for changing Here are some guidelines for evaluating behavior: 1. Level 3: Behavior Level three can be defined as the extent to which a change in behavior has occurred because someone attended a training program. skills. This can include increased production. etc. Allow time for a change in behavior to take place 3. Use the results of the evaluation to take appropriate action. 3. Survey and/or interview one or more of the following: trainees. Use a paper and pencil test to measure knowledge and attitudes and use a performance test to measure skills. 5. Evaluate both before and after the program if that is practical 4. their immediate supervisors. Get a 100 percent response 6. In order for change in behavior to occur. Consider cost versus benefits Level 4: Results This involves measuring the final results that occurred because a person attended a training session. Evaluate knowledge. Level four can be difficult because you must determine what final results . Get a 100 percent response 4. Repeat the evaluation at appropriate times 7. and/or attitudes both before and after the program.

Use a control group if it is practical 2. More information is available through: y y y Kirkpatrick's 1998 book "Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels. that's not how we do it in this office. How many times have you heard." Chapter 9. Be satisfied with evidence if proof is not possible Summary This is a basic introduction to Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evaluation. It is important to determine whether the conditions set forth above in Level 3 have been met. Here are some guidelines for evaluating results: 1. The Division of Child Care and Early Learning is presently using the Kirkpatrick model to evaluate their training program. forget what you learned in training. If there are conditions in the office that prevent the trainee from using the knowledge that they have learned. Allow time for results to be achieved 3." The problem lies in the conditions that the employee is working in. " Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels" in the ASTD Handbook of Training Design and Delivery There are also a number of websites that offer information on the four levels. Consider cost versus benefit 6. Repeat the measurement at appropriate times 5. . Measure both before and after the program if it is practical 4. than the training can not be faulted for not "doing the job.occurred because of attendance and participation in a training program. You must also evaluate the conditions that the trainee is operating in." This is a clear example a a conditional problem with the operating environment. "Oh.