Are you curious about how to measure the effectiveness of training programs?
Organizations usually want to know that the time and resources invested in training lead to improved performance. However, the challenge lies in evaluating the impact of training in a systematic way and the Kirkpatrick model can be helpful. You are missing out on something significant if you are unaware of it.
But don’t worry!
In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey through the Kirkpatrick Model of Training Evaluation—an insightful framework designed to address the effectiveness of training programs. We’ll break down the model into four simple levels, explaining each step clearly and easily.
Let’s explore the power of the Kirkpatrick Model together!
What is the Kirkpatrick Model?
The Kirkpatrick model, also called Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Training Evaluation, is a fundamental model for assessing the effectiveness of training programs within an organization.
This model holds global recognition as one of the most potent approaches for evaluating training outcomes.
The model consists of 4 levels: Reaction, learning, behavior, and results. These levels give us a complete measure of how training is making a difference. It can be used to check formal and informal learning, fitting with different training approaches.
The Kirkpatrick Model has existed since the 1950s when a person named Donald Kirkpatrick first made it. It has changed three times since then. In 2016 they updated it again and called it the New World Kirkpatrick Model. This new version reminded everyone how important it is for training to match what people do in their everyday work.
Four Levels of the Kirkpatrick Model
Level 1: Reaction
The initial level focuses on the learners. It checks if the training is connected to their job, if they are interested, and if they think it’s helpful.
This part has three aspects:
- Satisfaction: Is the learner pleased with what they learned in their training?
- Engagement: How much did the learner participate and join in the learning?
- Relevance: How much information can learners use in their work?
A survey is usually done after the training is finished to check the reaction. This survey is sometimes called a ‘smile sheet,’ it asks learners to share how they felt about the training and give their thoughts.
The survey could ask about:
- Program objectives: What the training was meant to do.
- Course materials: The materials used in the course.
- Content Relevance: If the things learned were useful in real life.
- Facilitator knowledge: How well the person teaching knew the subject.
Tips for Applying Level 1: Reaction
- Online Questionnaire: Try using an online form for the survey. It’s easy to fill out and submit.
- Time for Feedback: Keep some time at the end of the training for learners to complete the survey.
- Written Responses: Include space for learners to write their thoughts instead of just choosing from options.
- Listen Closely: Listen to what learners say during the training, not just in the survey.
- Focus on Takeaways: Design questions about what learners have learned from the training.
- Learn from the Past: Use what you’ve learned from previous surveys to develop good questions.
- Early Heads-up: Tell learners at the start that they’ll be doing this survey. It helps them think and answer better.
- Honesty Matters: Emphasize that honest feedback is what you want. You’re not looking for nice answers but real opinions!
Level 2: Learning
In this stage, we dive into what learners have learned from the training. It’s not just about whether they liked it, but whether they gained new knowledge and skills and even changed their attitude, confidence, and commitment. It helps us see if the training made a difference.
One important thing here is to check before and after the training. It is called pre- and post-learning assessment. It helps us understand how much learners have improved because of the training.
Here are some tips for Level 2:
- Before and After Tests: Give a little test or ask questions before and after the training to see how much learners have learned.
- Look at Attitude and Confidence: Check if learners feel more confident about what they learned.
- Feedback Matters: Listen to what learners say about their new skills and knowledge.
- Practical Skills: See if learners can use what they learned in real situations.
In short, Level 2 tells if the training helped learners learn new things and improve their skills and confidence. It’s like checking the progress they made.
Level 3: Behavior
At this level, we’re interested in seeing if the training has influenced how learners act in real situations. It’s like checking if they’ve put what they learned into practice. It is very important because learning is most valuable when it leads to positive changes in behavior.
To understand this, we observe what learners do after the training. Are they using the new skills on the job? Are they applying the knowledge they gained? It helps us know if the training is making a real impact.
Tips for Applying Level 3: Behavior
- Choose the Right Time: Wait about 3 to 6 months after training to see behavior change. If you check too early, the results might not be accurate.
- A mix of Watching and Talking: Watch what learners do and talk to them to see if they’ve changed their behavior.
- Start Small: Begin with subtle ways of checking behavior change. As changes become more noticeable, you can use clearer methods like interviews or surveys.
- Know What You Want: Clearly understand what changes you want to see. What skills should learners be using? How can they show they’ve learned these skills?
- Degree of Change: Consider how much things have changed and how often the new skills are used. Is this change going to last?
- Blend with Normal Ways: It’s better when evaluations are part of regular management and training practices. It makes them more effective.
Level 4: Results
This level is all about checking if you got the results you wanted from the training.. It also looks at how the people in the organization supported and took responsibility for these results.
Every organization and training is different so the results will vary. You can monitor these results using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measurements. For example, these show whether the sales went up, if there are fewer work-related problems, or if investments are making more money.
This level also looks at leading indicators. These are early signs showing if things are moving in the right direction to get the desired results. They help you see if the changes we made are working well.
Tips for Implementing Level 4: Results
- Set Clear Measurement Goals: Decide what you’ll measure from the beginning and let everyone know. Clarity is essential.
- Use Control Groups if Possible: If you can, compare a group that got the training with a group that didn’t. It lets you see if the training helped.
- Take Your Time: Take your time with the final check. Give people enough time to use their new skills and show results.
- Observations Matter: Observe and ensure the people observing understand what changes you want to see.
- Combine Feedback and Observations: It’s good to ask people for their thoughts and watch their actions. It gives a better picture.
Benefits of Using the Kirkpatrick Model
Using the Kirkpatrick Model offers several advantages
- Global Recognition and Effectiveness: The Kirkpatrick Model is known and respected worldwide. It’s a powerful way to see the effectiveness of training. People trust it because it’s proven to be useful.
- Adjusting Learning Based on Results: With this model, you can change how training is done after checking the results. If something’s not working, you can fix it. It helps make training even better over time.
- Strengthening Training and Getting Better Business Results: Training becomes stronger when you use this model. It means people learn more and can use what they learn in their jobs. When this happens, businesses do better. They might sell more, save money, or do work with better quality.
Unlock Training Success
In evaluating training, the Kirkpatrick Model stands as a guiding light. It helps us understand if training is making learners happy, learning new things, using these skills, and if the organization is doing better. This model is more than just popular; it’s proven effective globally.
Using it, we can ensure that training is more than just a routine – it’s a valuable investment that boosts individual growth and business success.
So, as we explore training’s impact, let’s remember the Kirkpatrick Model’s four levels and harness their power for a brighter learning future.