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Evaluating Learning, It’s Important! Kirkpatrick’s Model

Previously, we discussed the ADDIE model and the importance of each step when designing instruction. The last step, evaluation is equally important to the actually design and development of instruction.

Evaluation helps instructional designers determine the success of the instruction or determine the gaps in learning that must be overcome to improve future designs of the instruction.

Donald Kirkpatrick created a ‘four level’ model for training course evaluation in 1959 and gained popularity in the 70s.

Kirkpatrick PyramidKirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation are designed to evaluate training programs in a sequenced order. The model is typically displayed in a pyramid, in which the later levels are more difficult to assess and take a longer time to do so.

The four levels of Kirkpatrick’s Evaluation Model are:

Level One- Reaction
Level Two- Learning
Level Three- Behavior
Level Four- Results

Level One- Reaction is the basic level of evaluation in which the participants’ opinions and feelings about the training are measured. I typically hand out evaluation surveys at the end of each training to poll participants on how they liked the overall presentation and whether or not they are interested in using the technology in question.


Level Two- Learning is an increase in knowledge and/or skills as a result of the training. This training can be measured during the training in the form of a test. I have my colleagues walk through the instructional quick guides and complete the task at hand to demonstrate basic knowledge.


Level Three- Behavior is the transfer of knowledge and/or skills from the training to the job. This step is best evident 3-6 months after training and is observed while the trainee is performing the task. I have observed my colleagues as they attempt to achieve the tasks we discussed during training. Behavior skills are not yet achieved, as my trainees are not comfortable in performing the tasks without me standing by.


Level Four- Results the last level of evaluation occurs when results can be measured as a byproduct of the training program; such as, attendance and participation has a monetary or performance-based impact. Performance has positively been affected by trainings conducted on collaboration tools and best practices in email. Colleagues have stated that they spend less time emailing documents and working on shared resources since being trained on these tools.


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