Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Evaluation

We are using ISD From the Ground Up by Chuck Hodell in my Training Design & Development class right now and I am extremely pleased with this book. It is apparent that the author himself applies solid ISD principles because it is laid out with the audience in mind.

While I have been involved with training and development for several years, I find myself being reminded of things I was once taught but needed a refresher on and I have learned a few new things I wasn’t aware of since taking my last ISD class.

The author makes an interesting point about Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Evaluation. He notes the following:

Level 1 - between 72 to 89 percent of organizations use Level 1 (reaction)

Level 2 - between 29 to 32 percent of organizations use Level 2 (learning)

Level 3 - between 11 to 12 percent of organizations use Level 3 (behavior)

Level 4 - between 0 to 3 percent of organizations use Level 4 (results)

I started thinking about previous organizations I have worked with and how it was rare that we ever went beyond a level 1 analysis as sanctioned by the organization. The only times I can recall ever going beyond level 1 were when I had the time to conduct an analysis on my own and collect the data for myself so I could better design the training I was responsible for within my area of responsibility.

Were the students appreciative of my going above and beyond to engage them and follow-up to see how well the training was working for them after the class? Of course they were and word got around that my classes were the ones to attend because I stayed in touch with the needs of my students and adjusted the course content accordingly. Management's response was positive too but there were no requirements in place for others to follow my lead.

Level 2 and higher evaluations take work, lots of it, and require a skill to get to the nuts and bolts of what really works but I still maintain that it is time well spent not to mention the return on investment back into the organization.

Thanks for reading,

Kevin Love, MBA
Training and Development Professional
Dallas / Fort Worth Area
Google Voice: 817-778-8540
Personal Email:

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