Kirkpatrick Four Evaluation Levels

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In 1959 Donald Kirkpatrick defined an evaluation model for training programs that has become the best known methodology and the most widely used and popular model used today. The model, known as “The Four Levels of Learning Evaluation” was redefined in 1994 in his book titled "Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels." The idea behind the model is for an organization to have meaningful evaluation of learning in the organization. The four levels included in this specific model are reaction, learning, behavior and results. The first level, “reaction”; measures what how the trainees (the people being trained), reacted to the training. This particular level is only meant to measure the learner's perception or reaction of the course itself. This is an extremely important level to measure, as it helps to understand how well the training was received and what improvements may need to be made for the future. This step can also identify any important areas that might be missing from the original training. “Learning” is the second step in the model. During this step, it is determined how much the trainee’s knowledge actually increased after completing the training. A starting point for this measurement is comparing the results of the training to the specific learning objectives that were expected during the planning stages of the training. In order to validate that the learning objectives are being met, it is important to measure the knowledge that was acquired, the skills that were developed or enhanced, and if any attitudes have changed as a result of the training program. The third level is “behavior”. At this level, the evaluation takes place after the trainees return to their jobs. Since the goal of all training programs is to allow for a transfer of training to take place and be put to use on the job, this is a critical step in the process. The learning of new skills and knowledge is only useful if the trainees actually apply what they have learned to...
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