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Evaluating Training Programs

The Four Levels

Dr. Myron A. Eighmy

Based on the work of Dr. Donald L.
Kirkpatrick, University of Wisconsin -

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Upon completion of this presentation you will

be able to:
State why evaluation of programs is critical to you
and your organization.
Apply Kirkpatricks four levels of evaluation to
your programs.
Use guidelines for developing evaluations.
Implement various forms and approaches to

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Why Evaluate?

Determine the effectiveness of the program design

How the program was received by the participants
How learners fared on assessment of their learning
Determine what instructional strategies work
presentation mode
presentation methods.
learning activities
desired level of learning
Program improvement

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Why Evaluate?

Should the program be continued?

How do you justify your existence?
How do you determine the return on
investment for the program?
human capital
individual competence
social/economic benefit

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Four Levels of Evaluation

During program evaluation

Level One Reaction
Level Two Learning
Post program evaluation
Level Three Behavior
Level Four Results

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Reaction Level

A customer satisfaction measure

Were the participants pleased with
the program
Perception if they learned anything
Likelihood of applying the content
Effectiveness of particular strategies
Effectiveness of the packaging of
the course

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Examples of Level One

Your Opinion, Please

In a word, how would you describe this
Solicit feedback about the course. Can also
assess whether respondents transposed the
numeric scales.

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Example of Level One

Using a number, how would you describe this

program? (circle a number)

Terrible Average Outstanding

1 2 3 4 5

Intent: Provides quantitative feedback to determine

average responses (descriptive data). Watch scale

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Example of Level One

How much did you know about this subject before taking this
Nothing Some A lot
1 2 3 4 5

How much do you know about this subject after participating in

this workshop?
Nothing Some A lot
1 2 3 4 5

Intent - The question does not assess actual learning, it

assesses perceived learning.

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Example Level One

How likely are you to use some or all of the skills

taught in this workshop in your work/community/
Not Very
Likely Likely Likely
1 2 3 4 5
Intent determine learners perceived relevance of
the material. May correlate with the satisfaction
learners feel.

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Example of Level One

The best part of this program was

The one thing that could be improved most ..

Qualitative feedback on the course and help
prioritize work in a revision. Develop themes
on exercises, pace of course, etc.

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Guidelines for Evaluating Reaction

Decide what you want to find out.

Design a form that will quantify reactions.
Encourage written comments.
Get 100% immediate response.
Get honest responses.
If desirable, get delayed reactions.
Determine acceptable standards.
Measure future reactions against the standard.

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Learning Level

What did the participants learn in the

The extent to which participants change attitudes,
increase knowledge, and/or increase skill.
What exactly did the participant learn and not
Pretest Posttest

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Learning Level

Requires developing specific

learning objectives to be
Learning measures should be
objective and quantifiable.
Paper pencil tests, performance on
skills tests, simulations, role-plays,
case study, etc.

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Level Two Examples

Develop a written exam based on the desired

learning objectives.
Use the exam as a pretest
Provide participants with a worksheet/activity sheet
that will allow for tracking during the session.
Emphasize and repeat key learning points during the
Use the pretest exam as a posttest exam.
Compute the posttest-pretest gain on the exam.

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What makes a good test?

The only valid test questions emerge from

the objectives.
Consider writing main objectives and
supporting objectives.
Test questions usually test supporting
Ask more than one question on each

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Level Two Strategies

Consider using scenarios, case studies,

sample project evaluations, etc, rather than
test questions. Develop a rubric of desired
Develop between 3 and 10 questions or
scenarios for each main objective.

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Level Two Strategies

Provide instructor feedback during the

learning activities.
Requires the instructor to actively monitor
participants discussion, practice activities, and
engagement. Provide learners feedback.
Ask participants open ended questions
(congruent with the learning objectives) during
activities to test participant understanding.

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Which of the following should be considered when

evaluating at the Reaction Level? (more than one
answer possible)
___Evaluate only the lesson content
___Obtain both subjective and objective
___Get 100% response from participants
___Honest responses are important
___Only the course instructor should review results.

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Match the following to the choices below

___ Reaction Level
___ Learning Level
A. Changes in performance at work
B. Participant satisfaction
C. Organizational Improvement
D. What the participant learned in class

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Scenario Example

An instructor would like to know the

effectiveness of the course design and how
much a participant has learned in a seminar.
The instructor would like to achieve at least
Level Two evaluation.
What techniques could the instructor use to
achieve level two evaluation?
Should the instructor also consider doing a level
one evaluation? Why or why not?

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Rubric for Scenario Question

Directions to instructor: Use the following topic checklist to determine

the completeness of the participants response:

___ Learner demonstrated an accurate understanding of what level two

is: learning level.
___ Learner provided at least two specific examples: pretest -posttest,
performance rubrics, scenarios, case studies, hands-on practice.
___ Learner demonstrated an accurate understanding of what level one
evaluation is: reaction level.
___The learner provided at least three specific examples of why level
one is valuable: assess satisfaction, learning activities, course
packaging, learning strategies, likelihood of applying learning.

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Behavior Level

How the training affects performance.

The extent to which change in behavior
Was the learning transferred from the
classroom to the real world.
Transfer Transfer - Transfer

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Conditions Necessary to Change

The person must:

have a desire to change.
know what to do and how to do it.
work in the right climate.
be rewarded for changing.

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Types of Climates

Preventing forbidden to use the learning.

Discouraging changes in current way of
doing things is not desired.
Neutral learning is ignored.
Encouraging receptive to applying new
Requiring change in behavior is

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Guidelines for Evaluating Behavior

Measure on a before/after basis

Allow time for behavior change (adaptation) to take
Survey or interview one or more who are in the best
position to see change.
The participant/learner
The supervisor/mentor
Subordinates or peers
Others familiar with the participants actions.

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Guidelines for Evaluating Behavior

Get 100% response or a sample?

Depends on size of group. The more the better.
Repeat at appropriate times
Remember that other factors can influence
behavior over time.
Use a control group if practical
Consider cost vs. benefits of the evaluation

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Level Three Examples

Survey or Interview
Participant and/or others
Performance benchmarks
Before and after
Control group
Evidence or Portfolio

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Survey or Patterned Interview
1. Explain purpose of the survey/interview.
2. Review program objectives and content.
3. Ask the program participant to what extent performance was improved as a result
of the program. __ Large extent __ Some extent __ Not at all
If Large extent or Some extent, ask to please explain.
4. If Not at all, indicate why not:
___ Program content wasnt practical
___ No opportunity to use what I learned
___ My supervisor prevented or discouraged me to change
___ Other higher priorities
___ Other reason (please explain)
5. Ask, In the future, to what extent do you plan to change your behavior?
___ Large extent ___ Some extent ___ Not at all
Ask to please explain:

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Evidence and Portfolio

Thank you for participating. I am very interested in how the

evaluation skills you have learned are used in your work. .

Please send me a copy of at least one of the following:

a level three evaluation that you have designed.
a copy of level two evaluations that use more than one method of
evaluating participant learning.
a copy of a level one evaluation that you have modified and tell me how
it influenced program improvement.
(indicate if you would like my critique on any of the evaluations)
If I do not hear from you before January 30, I will give you a call no
pressure just love to learn what you are doing.

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Results Level

Impact of education and training on the

organization or community.
The final results that occurred as a result of
The ROI for training.

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Examples of Level Four

How did the training save costs

Did work output increase
Was there a change in the quality of work
Did the social condition improve
Did the individual create an impact on the
Is there evidence that the organization or
community has changed.
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Guidelines for Evaluating Results

Measure before and after

Allow time for change to take place
Repeat at appropriate times
Use a control group if practical
Consider cost vs. benefits of doing Level Four
Remember, other factors can affect results
Be satisfied with Evidence if Proof is not possible.

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