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The Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model

  1. Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model How does it fit into corporate L&D?
  2. What is it? Originally outlined in 1959, the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model remains a popular method for analysing and evaluating the efficacy of training programs at different stages of the learning journey. It has seen updates since its inception to reflect a new world of work and way of learning.
  3. The 4 Levels
  4. Level 1: Reaction This level is about determining how learners responded to a training program. It’s considered the most superficial level as it focuses on metrics such as course completions, progress rates and satisfaction.
  5. Level 1: Reaction The new world model suggests that too many resources are devoted to this level of evaluation. It introduces behavioural indicators to consider the relevance of learning.
  6. Level 2: Learning This level is for looking more closely at what was or wasn’t learned. Evaluation is linked to defined objectives. The old school model notes there are 3 ways in which learning can take place: Attitudes change, knowledge increases or skill improves.
  7. Level 2: Learning The new world model adds confidence and commitment to the roster to help bridge the gap between learning and behaviour. It’s important to understand how confident people are with what they’ve learned to limit a ‘cycle of waste’.
  8. Level 3: Behaviour For behavioural change to occur there must be a culture that inspires a personal desire to change, training that reinforces what and how, managers who encourage skills application, and intrinsic or extrinsic rewards on offer.
  9. Level 3: Behaviour The new world model sees evaluation zoom in on the components of improved job performance including critical behaviours, required drivers and on-the-job learning.
  10. Level 4: Results These are impacts or outcomes that occurred because – and only because – an employee completed a training program and received subsequent reinforcement. Given behaviours are largely intangible, leading indicators and KPIs take charge here.
  11. Level 4: Results The new world model suggests misapplication occurs when taking too personal a view of results. Silos occur when results are segmented by teams or departments. This misalignment acts as a hurdle not only for training effectiveness, but true organisational effectiveness.
  12. Evaluating Training Programs
  13. Return on Investment In corporate L&D, a strong, well-informed ROI can open to the door for future L&D investments. Yet the difficulty in proving business impacts from specific programs stops many organisations from even trying. Comparing past and present is key. You need to have a focus from the beginning, which is why we start at results.
  14. Define the results you want (L4) Starting here means you aren’t working on assumptions, instead giving parameters to otherwise intangible metrics. This makes it easier to define value for executives and stakeholders as you’re developing training initiatives from business drivers. It also lets employees see a tangible link between training and their jobs.
  15. Determine performance indicators (L3) This is the pivotal level of evaluation since we’re linking training and business through behaviours. Ask questions like: • What is considered optimal performance for a job role? • What required drivers support learning application? • Who is responsible for post-training assessment?
  16. Evaluate learning delivery and support (L1&2) There’s research to suggest the most optimal use of the new world Kirkpatrick model combines Levels 1 & 2. Consider what modes of training are needed both at the learning and application stages and how those bounce off one another.
  17. You can learn more about this topic by checking out the full article: evaluation-model