What is the relationship among Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation? Would you argue for examining all four levels, even if your boss suggested you should look only at the last one (results) and, that if it improved, you would know that training had an impact? Provide at least one example (e.g., tool, device, etc.) that would be used to gather evaluation data at each level.
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Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation are; Reaction, Learning, behavior and the result of the evaluation.
Reaction- this level is more appealing to employees that are participating in the training. Instructors want the trainee to be able to learn all they can, as the trainee will react to every training program. In that reaction, the understanding that the trainee has is assessed and which of the topics that need improvement will be outlined.
I would measure by; asking the trainees what they thought about the class, the classroom environment, strengths and weaknesses, was the learning style effective.
Learning- the degree in which trainees can obtain knowledge, skill or attitudes(KSA’s). This degree is based on the trainees participation. Starting with objectives, passing good information to trainees will get them farther. Conducting a survey will collect the data needed to add more lessons.
I would measure by; Assessing trainees knowledge before and after training to see if they have retained some or all the information given. I would also conduct a one on one interview to see if they can apply or understood what was given.
Behavior- Can be assed by training on the job. Trainees will be evaluated for knowledge and to see if the training has changed the target behavior. If the behavior of the trainee hasn’t changed, it doesn’t mean they haven’t learned anything.
I would measure by; Observing student behavior, do the trainees feel that their behavior has changed somewhat, can they take everything they have learned and teach it someone else?
Results of Evaluation- This is the degree of the outcome of objectives that happens as a result of intended training. The analyzation of the outcome is at this point because we find out if the training was good for the employee or the company. A possible outcome could be that if the training objectives were to reduce complaints, then the result could be a decrease in complaints.
I would measure by; Increased productivity due to an increase in moral, less employees leaving(employee retention), pleased customer base/ customer service satisfaction.
The best tool that would incorporate all four levels would be “Training Needs Analysis” because it covers the difference between what the jobs needs and the trainees knowledge. Using it will find the strengths and weaknesses. Kirkpatrick, D.L. (2006) state that,” so many variables can be changing in fast-changing organizations that analysis at level 4 can be limited in usefulness”.
Blanchard, P. N., & Thacker, J. W. (2013). Effective training: Systems, strategies, and practices (5th ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Kirkpatrick, D. L. (2006, August). Seven keys to unlock the four levels of evaluation. Performance Improvement, 45(7), 5-8. Retrieved from the ProQuest database.
Blanchard and Thacker (2013), list Kirkpatrick’s four training outcomes and the factors that influence them as including reactions, learning, job behaviors, and organizational results. According to Kirkpatrick (2006), the four levels include reaction, learning, behavior, and results.
Kirkpatrick also discusses seven keys to implement the four levels which can include analyze your resources, involve your managers, start at the beginning and proceed as resources are available, evaluate reaction, evaluate learning, evaluate behavior, and evaluate results (2006).
If my boss told me to only consider the last level, results, I would discuss the benefits to considering all levels due to so many factors being at play that can influence the results. For example, consider an employee’s previous experiences in training, which can be factored in under the reaction and learning levels. If the employee had previous experiences that were poor, their personal attitudes can affect other trainees’ behaviors and attitudes which effects the learning process and the ability to transfer of learning. Results can also be skewed. For example, consider the company that wants results based upon 30 day supervisor evaluations after the trainees’ returns from training. If the company isn’t factoring in a combination of supervisor opinions, employee opinions, and statistical data, then the results can have flaws or be invalid.
Tools and devices that can be used for the reaction level can involve surveys after each module of training, or at the end of training. This can indicate the employee’s perceptions of the training which is a good predictor of the ability to apply the training upon return to the workplace. For the learning level, tools and devices that can be considered can include quizzes at the end of each module to assess learning retention. For behavior, trainers could use supervisor assessments from when the trainees return to their workplace to see if the employees are doing what they are supposed to, when, and how. Finally, for evaluating results, statistical data should be used to verify validity, rather than using opinions to justify if the training was successful.
Blanchard, P., Thacker, J. (2013). Effective Training. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson
Kirkpatrick, D.L. (2006, August). Seven keys to unlock the four levels of evaluation. Performance Improvement, 45(7), 5-8. Retrieved from ProQuest database.