We are HUGE fans of the Kirkpatrick Model here at Sage Media. When we are brought onto any project the first element we want to discuss is Level 3 & 4 expectations designing training with the end in mind so that we can work backwards from the goal.
Wendy Kirkpatrick, President of Kirkpatrick Partners, breaks down this process in a way that is extremely easy to understand. To gain a better understanding of how to implement this process in your own training, I highly recommend her and Jim Kirkpatrick’s book “Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Training Evaluation.”
Training evaluation: simple to learn, a lifetime to master.
Wendy Kirkpatrick: One of the challenges that people have with training evaluation is the traditional Kirkpatrick Model that so many people learned, goes in order from one through four. In reality, when you operationalize a model, you want to use the four levels in reverse. You start with considering your level four results. What are we actually trying to accomplish in the end?
Once you’re clear on where you’re trying to go and what you’re trying to accomplish, you think about your level three behavior. What do people need to do to help you to accomplish those results. Then, and only then, should you think about level two learning. What do people need to actually know, practice, and be ready to perform on the job? And then that puts level one reaction at its level of importance, which is just make sure that learning experience is good enough that people come away with what they needed to be able to perform well.