The Four Levels of Kirkpatrick's Evaluation Model

Designing Digitally


Kirkpatrick Model

It is important to be able to measure the effectiveness of any training. No one wants to spend time or money on a training that does not have a good Return-on-Investment (RoI). Kirkpatrick's Four-Level Training Evaluation Model is an excellent model to help analyze the impact of training on the organization.  

Donald Kirkpatrick, Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, first published the Four-Level Training Evaluation Model in 1959. It has since been updated.


Four levels of evaluation

Below are the four levels decoded by our team at Designing DIgitally, Inc. Many organizations prefer measuring their training across all the four levels. Others may just consider one or two of them. Either way, here is the information for you to learn more about the model, and hopefully it helps you on your journey to train employees at your organization!

Level 1: Reaction

The first level measures how the learners react to the training. The reaction is important because it helps to understand how well the audience received the training. It also identifies gaps that can be improved in the future. Reactions can be measured through typical employee satisfaction surveys, or  by asking the learners for verbal feedback directly. The mode of collecting data is not too significant. But, analyzing the data and making changes to implement the feedback is of utmost importance. 

Level 2: Learning

At level 2, the increase in knowledge as a result of the training is measured. The learning objectives will be the starting point for measurement.  It is important to identify the parameter that needs to be evaluated. It could be changes in skills or knowledge. A fair comparison can be drawn when the areas are measured before and after the training. A good way to do this is to use verbal or written assessments, both at the beginning of the training session and at the end. Measuring level 2 is important to gauge what the learners are learning and where improvement is possible. 

Level 3: Behavior

This level evaluates the change in behavior based on the training, basically how the learners are applying the concepts they learned. A good way to measure this is through observation and individual interviews. It is important to keep in mind that behavior change will occur only when the conditions are met. For example, a boss may not want his employees to implement new ideas on the job. Or maybe, the employees are not appreciated or rewarded for their positive behavioral changes. As a result, they do not care about implementing new ideas. In that case, the training cannot be called effective if there is lack of managerial support for the training. 

Level 4: Results

At this level, the impact on the organization is evaluated. This measurement is critical for determining the ROI for the company’s investment in the training.  Some outcomes that can be considered to be a positive effect of the training are – increased production and sales, higher employee morale, higher customer satisfaction, or reduced turnover. 

Analyzing each level helps to gain a clear understanding of the effectiveness of the training, as well as identify shortcomings for future improvements to the training. Measuring for all levels can be time-consuming, but it is the only means to quantify the return on investment. The first step is to weigh the pros and cons, and then move forward with a plan of action for the design, implementation, and assessment. 

4 Levels, Got It! So What Now?

At Designing Digitally, Inc., our training is designed to enhance the productivity of your employees and in turn benefit overall operations of the organization. We enjoy using the Kirkpatrick model to create engaging, educational, and entertaining learning experiences. Contact us to learn more about how we can use the Kirkpatrick model to develop your online learning.