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Kirkpatrick's 4 Levels of Evaluation

Every good training accomplishes targeted evaluative outcomes. At times this can sound scary! But actually, performing evaluations is a pertinent part of a trainers/instructor's job because how do you know the knowledge is being transferred if it is not evaluated? How would you know the true acquisition of new skills to those attending your training if you do not have a manner in which to assess them?

One thing that I love about evaluations is that the results make me a better trainer and instructor. Utilizing the levels of Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model is a fantastic way to get started.

Who is Kirkpatrick?

Donald Kirkpatrick was a Professor at the University of Wisconsin and the past president of the Association for Talent Development in the U.S. I am a member of ATD and he is reference often as the father of the four level model for training course evaluation. His work is highly regarded because evaluation can provide key data that allows trainers to make improvements that can assist organizations and employees in a multitude of ways.

Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Evaluation

Kirkpatrick's four levels are designed as a sequence of ways to evaluate training programs. The four levels of Kirkpatrick's evaluation model are as follows:

  1. Reaction - The degree to which participants find the training favorable, engaging and relevant to their jobs

  2. Learning - The degree to which participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, attitude, confidence and commitment based on their participation in the training

  3. Behavior - The degree to which participants apply what they learned during training when they are back on the job

  4. Results - The degree to which targeted outcomes occur as a result of the training and the support and accountability package

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