DECODING KIRKPATRICK’S FOUR-LEVEL TRAINING EVALUATION MODEL
When training is conducted, the trainers and the team want to assess the effectiveness of the training session. They judge whether they absorbed the information accurately and whether they are putting it into practice. In addition, they assess whether their organizations are benefiting from the application of the concepts learned during the training process. Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Training Evaluation Model enables training teams and trainers to objectively analyze the effectiveness of the sessions they conduct. It is also useful for organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of the training sessions they have outsourced for their employees.
This will allow them to assess the learning to gauge the next step of training. This also helps in judging whether the outsourced training team is the right choice for the organization.
Donald Kirkpatrick developed the first version of the Kirkpatrick’s Evaluation Model in 1953 and updated it multiple times to arrive at the Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Training Evaluation Model in 2016. The four levels included in this model are Reaction, Learning, Behavior, and Results.
Kirkpatrick’s 4 Levels
- It is important to gauge the interest and Reaction of the audience in the training session in order to decide how valuable it was to them. The trainer must note their interest, their engagement, and contributions in order to do so. This helps in keeping the session updated. It also consistently improves its effectiveness by noting the topics that were redundant and discussion points that might be useful.
- The Learning level evaluates what the trainees have learned and what they have not, how the learning gives them tools to perform tasks differently, how confident they are that they can apply what they have learned and how motivated they are to apply the learning at the workplace. The Learning component is measured once before the training session and once after the completion of the session in order the measure the difference in knowledge, skill, and competency levels.
- The third level, Behavior, evaluate how well the learning is taking place. It can assess where the trainees may need help in case further training takes place in the same area of learning. When there is a low level of application of learning, it does not mean the ineffectiveness of the training program.
- Behavior changes only when conditions are favorable. Hence, the environment at the workplace must be favorable to make changes in the process and effectively apply the learning. The fourth level, Results, deals with measuring the results that the training program has given the organization. It involves measuring the ROI for the organization, and benefits to the employees and the organization. It is this level that consumes the most amount of time. This is because these variables must be mapped to the training. Then, we measure these variables as accurately as possible to gauge their relationship to the effectiveness of the training solely.
Why Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Training Evaluation Model?
Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Training Evaluation Model enables trainers and organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of a training program from the learning to the application at the workplace. It helps them in improving the sessions and identifying the learning gaps in their organization. In addition, they are able to invest efforts into changing the organization’s culture.
This helps to accommodate the application of the new knowledge skills and competencies. Most modern organizations map the results and chose the training sessions based on the required outcome.