IQ or Intelligent Quotient
What is Kirkpatrick Model?
The Kirkpatrick Model is the most used method to evaluate the effectiveness of a training program. Donald Kirkpatrick first published this model back in 1959. The purpose of the Kirkpatrick Model was to assist the managers for efficient and systematic means to calculate the outcomes for the company and the employees. It got four levels to evaluate the effectiveness and because of its simple application and effective outcomes, it became widely accepted structure. Donald Kirkpatrick later updated it in 1975 and in 1993 he published his work titled “Evaluating Training Programs”.
The four level of evaluation are: Reaction, Learning, Impact and Results.
It further developed by Donald and his son James and then later by James and his wife, Wendy Kayser Kirkpatrick. In 2016, James and Wendy revised the original model and termed it as “New World Kirkpatrick Model” in their book – “Four Levels of Training Evaluation”.
These four levels are described as follows:
1. Reaction – It analyses the engagement of the learners. It determines the level of satisfaction learners feel about the training program. How have they contributed? How have they responded? What did learner think about the training? These questions will help to analyse this level 1 – Reaction.
2. Learning – This level determines the knowledge, skills, and values developed by the learners from the program. Learning level evaluates what the learners think they will be able to execute the likely shift. The confidence and drive to perform is all measured under this level. Considering if the learners truly understood the program and acquired skills out of it is the main aim of this level.
3. Impact – This level measure the level by which the training has influenced the behaviour of the learner and measure the level how they apply this knowledge in the given workplace. It is the degree to which learners apply what they learned during training when they are back on the job. This is quite powerful level and truly decides the success of the training program in long term aspect. It involves a process to obtain both quantitative and qualitative feedback from participants later they have left the training program – at times weeks or months after. It also needs promise from all stakeholders – training provider, training admin and learner – to ensure enough data is gathered and that the data is high quality.
4. Results – Results level analyses the functional results that determine a good return on investment and can be attached to the training program. This level 4 is the most time taking costly method to evaluate the overall results from all possible angles. The greatest and most important aspect is to look for the outcome that closely linked to the training and will work effectively in the long term. This level is specifically designed to measure the impact the training program created for the organisation in terms of Return of Investment (ROI).
Modern application of the Kirkpatrick Model
These four levels are the basics of Kirkpatrick Model, but the key is applying the model in correct way. Modern trainers often utilize the Kirkpatrick Model backwards by first analysing the results they want to see and then developing the training that could likely to deliver it to them. This approach is getting popular as it directly emphasises on the results at first and then check the Impact, Learning and Reaction in a downward way of the model.
Overview of the Kirkpatrick Model
There are certain strengths and weaknesses associated with all types of evaluation methods and Kirkpatrick model is not an exception. Some find it not so relevant in some characteristics, yet many find it simple and easy to evaluate.
Most of the time this model works fine and provides the best possible outcomes. Its highly popular but again its success depends on the execution in the right direction.
There are some limitations with this model as the basic structure is around 60 years old and its not at all completely applicable in current organisational and training structure. The training term is now learning and development (L&D)
The non-formal workplace training is more popular now compared to old formal, personalised training and Kirkpatrick model is not essentially appropriate to this new approach of learning.
One another limitation is the time consumption with level 3 & 4 of Kirkpatrick model and authenticity of data for level 1 & 2.
Overall Kirkpatrick model is fantastic for evaluating training in a systematic way and an internationally recognised tool for evaluating the results of educational training programs.
the results they want to see and then developing the training that could likely to deliver it to them. This approach is getting popular as it directly emphasises on the results at first and then check the Impact, Learning and Reaction in a downward way of the model.
- Shutterstock.com for first upward model image
- Michael B. Cahapay (2021), Kirkpatrick Model: Its Limitations as Used in Higher Education Evaluation
- Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Training Evaluation, Book by James D. Kirkpatrick and Wendy Kayser Kirkpatrick
Trainer and Assessor at Milestones International College, Trainer and Assessor at Wattle College, Writer, Blogger and a Mother.
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