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Evaluation Tip 1: Organizing Your Thinking About Evaluation

One way to think about evaluation is to use a model that provides concrete definitions of what can be learned from them. Kirkpatrick's four-level framework is one example that can be used.  This framework consists of four levels that progress in difficulty from 1 (the easiest to conduct) to 4 (the hardest).  When choosing the levels to include in your assessment, start by identifying the questions your evaluation needs to address.


KIRKPATRICK'S FOUR-LEVEL EVALUATION SCHEME

Level Measurement focus Questions addressed
1 - Reaction Trainees' perceptions What did trainees think of this training?
2 - Learning Knowledge/skills gained Was there an increase in knowledge or skill level?
3 - Behavior Worksite implementation Is new knowledge/skill being used on the job?
4 - Results Impact on organization What effect did the training have on the organization?

Examples:

Level 1: One way to assess trainee reactions and attitudes is to use a questionnaire.

Level 2:Written or performance tests can assess change in knowledge/skills.

Level 3: Post-training testing or observations can assess use of skills on the job.

Level 4: Quantifiable measures are often used when assessing organizational impact.

Key Points to Remember:

Different aspects of training can be evaluated.

Remember to direct your evaluation to specific questions.

Reference:  Kirkpatrick, D. 2001. The four-level evaluation process. Ch. 12 in What Smart Trainers Know: The Secrets of Success from the World's Foremost Experts, L.L. Ukens, ed. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, pp. 122-132.

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