How To Evaluate a Training Program
Kirkpatrick’s 4 Levels of Evaluation for Training Programs
When developing a training program, it’s important to follow the 5 phases of the ADDIE model, which includes Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation. For more information on the ADDIE model, click here.
The final phase of the ADDIE model, Evaluation, is to measure the effectiveness of the training program.
In 1975, Donald Kirkpatrick, who was known for creating the training evaluation model, first presented a four-level model of evaluation that has become a classic in the industry:
Level I: Reaction – How did the student feel and what did they think about the training?
Level II: Learning – How much did the student learn?
Level III: Behavior – What is the extent of behavior and capability improvement and implementation/application?
Level IV: Results – What impact on the business did the training have as a result of the learner’s performance?
By using Kirkpatrick’s 4 levels of evaluation, you can effectively determine if training goals were met.
How to Evaluate using the Kirkpatrick Model for Summative Evaluation
Reaction – Distribute an evaluation or feedback form. This is often called a “smilesheet” and can be administered in either paper format or online format. This type of evaluation is usually inexpensive and used by most organizations. Be sure to distribute evaluations immediately after training ends. You can include questions to evaluate the instructor, material covered, training materials and audio visual equipment.
Learning – To assess the amount of learning, consider using pre-tests and post-tests. The tests attempts to determine how students have advanced with regards to skills, knowledge and attitude. Pre-tests should be administered before the class begins, and post-tests would be given at the completion of the training class. You can administer pre-tests and post-tests on paper or online. You can include multiple choice/fill-in the blank type questions, and/or may include work-related hands-on exercises for the learner to complete online.
Behavior – To determine the extent of behavior and capability improvement, consider observing learners for an extended period of time after training is completed. This can be measured via post training interviews, monitoring progress and meeting with managers of the learners to determine if the training has allowed the learner to excel in his/her job.
Results – To determine the business impact of the training program, measure key performance indicators including return on investment, staff turnover, employee retention, quality ratings and other types of quantifiable aspects of the performance of the organization.
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© 2010 Amelia Griggs
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