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Training Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation Kelly Arthur Richard Gage-Little Dale Munson. Evaluation Strategies for Instructional Designers. Lost Keys. Where should we be searching for the keys to good evaluation results?. Beginning to see the light….

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training kirkpatrick s four levels of evaluation kelly arthur richard gage little dale munson

Training Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of EvaluationKelly ArthurRichard Gage-LittleDale Munson

Evaluation Strategies for Instructional Designers

beginning to see the light
Beginning to see the light…

2000 ASTD State of the Industry Report















Kirkpatrick’s four levels

billions wasted
Billions Wasted

About $5.6 billion to $16.8 billion is wasted

annually on ineffective training programs that

focus on so-called soft skills, based on estimates

from a Rutgers University study. USA Today

higher standard of accountability
Higher Standard of Accountability
  • In the “new economy”, training and development initiatives are being held to a higher level of financial accountability.
  • Every dollar spent on training should produce measurable business results – increases in key business metrics.
results of evaluation survey
Results of Evaluation Survey

How important do you think evaluations are in the instructional design process?

  • “Very important, otherwise you don’t know if your training met your objectives”
  • “Evaluations are integral, but often overlooked”
  • “Crucial, they’re the only way to know if we are reaching our goals”
  • “Without evaluations, we have no clue what what the core of the problem is”
results of evaluation survey8
Results of Evaluation Survey

Have you completed an evaluation and how did you feel about it?

  • “I never found them very useful to me personally”
  • “…felt they were a waste of my time”
  • “…dreading it”
  • “…seems ineffective since the next class is presented the same way”
  • “A little annoyed if I was busy”
what is evaluation
What is Evaluation?

Evaluationhelps document whether a program is accomplishing its goals or not. It identifies program weaknesses and strengths and the areas of the program that need revision.

  • Asking questions
  • Collecting answers
  • Making decisions based on those answers

What is Assessment?

Assessment is the systematic gathering of information about “things” that are to be evaluated.

  • Examples: Behaviors, attitudes, performance
  • Identifies needs or gaps
  • Determines whether or not instruction or training is needed

Two Types of Evaluation

Formative Evaluation

  • Occurs during development phase
  • Focuses on process
  • Used to help instructional designers improve the quality of instruction

Summative Evaluation

  • Occurs near, at, or after the end of a project
  • Focus is on the effectiveness
  • Used to help instructional designers validate their training
five evaluation models
Five Evaluation Models
  • Hierarchy of Evaluation (Kirkpatrick)
  • Objectives Approach (Tyler)
  • Goal-Free (Scriven)
  • CIPP (Stufflebeam)
  • Naturalistic (Guba)
who is donald kirkpatrick
Who is Donald Kirkpatrick?
  • Professor at University of Wisconsin
  • Initial articles published in 1959-1960
    • American Society of Training Directors, ASTD
  • Most widely recognized and used model in the training industry
phases of evaluation in training
Phases of Evaluation in Training






During training event

After training

In the workplace




1. Reaction

3. Behavior

Kirkpatrick’s four levels

2. Learning

4. Results

hierarchy of evaluation
Hierarchy of Evaluation
  • Four Levels of Evaluation
    • Level 1 – Reaction (participant satisfaction)
    • Level 2 – Learning (knowledge, mastery)
    • Level 3 – Behavior (transference of skills)
    • Level 4 – Results (community impact)
    • Fifth level was recently “added” for return on investment (ROI) but this was not in Kirkpatrick’s original model.
level one evaluation
Measures reaction

Checks participants response to:

Session or course

Trainer’s presentation style or content

Quality of training materials

Example: Questionnaires or surveys

Level One Evaluation
example at sun
Example at Sun
  • How satisfied were you with the instructor’s technical expertise?
  • How satisfied were you with the labs/and or exercises provided?
  • How satisfied were you with the accuracy of the course materials?
level two evaluation
Level Two Evaluation
  • Measures learning
  • Checks participants response to:
    • Knowledge and factual information
    • Skills
    • Attitudes
    • Interpretation of information
  • Example: Pre and Post-Testing
Measures behavior

Checks participants ability to:

Carry out tasks more effectively after the course

Provide better care to clients

Be more knowledgeable/skillful in job performance

Examples: Pre and post tests, surveys and interviews, self-assessments

Establishes a baseline of skills/knowledge

Level Three Evaluation


Level Four Evaluation

  • Measures results
  • Provides information about:
    • Bottom line final results
    • Impact on the organization
  • Cost vs. Benefit
  • Example: Reports
    • Proof vs. Evidence
example at sun21
Example at Sun
  • Service call reduction – external customers
  • Reduction in the amount of time spent per service call – internal support engineers
pre test answers
Pre-Test Answers
  • Reaction: Survey, questionnaires
  • Learning: Case studies, tests and quizzes
  • Behavior: Pre and post tests, interviews, self-assessments
  • Results: Reports
  • Formative evaluation
  • Summative evaluation
in class activity25
In-Class Activity
  • Your boss, Mr. Grinch, has decided to downsize his company, Hateful Things. The training program that you’ve been conducting on “How to ruin Christmas” is currently under review. You’ve been asked to justify and qualify why this training and your job are important to his company. How will you do this?
remember the keys to evaluation
Remember The “Keys” To Evaluation









  • Kirkpatrick, Donald. “Another Look at Evaluating Training Programs.” ASTD, Alexandria, VA. 1998.
  • Kirkpatrick, Donald. “Evaluating Training Programs.” Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, CA. 1998.