Kirk Patrick Model

Kirk Patrick Model

Learn about the Kirkpatrick Model for evaluating training programs in organizations. Discover its benefits and how it can help improve learning outcomes.

What is Kirk Patrick Model?

The Kirkpatrick Model is a widely used model for evaluating training and learning programs in organizations. It was developed by Donald Kirkpatrick in the 1950s and has since been modified and adapted by various authors and practitioners.

The Kirkpatric Model can be used with any training style, formal or informal. The latest version of the model, the “New World Kirkpatrick Model,” emphasizes making training relevant to employees’ everyday jobs.

It is globally recognized as one of the most effective tools for analyzing the efficacy of organizational training.

Levels of the Kirkpatrick Model

The Kirkpatrick Model assesses each training method and rates it against four levels of evaluation: reaction, learning, behavior, and results.

Level 1: Reaction

The reaction is the first level criterion that measures how engaging and relevant learners found the training to be. This level is usually measured with an after-training survey consisting of questions focusing on the learner’s takeaway.

Level 2: Learning

Level 2 measures whether or not learners acquired the intended knowledge, skill, attitude, and confidence through the training. Learners are assessed before and after the training to analyze learning outcomes.

Level 3: Behavior

The next step is to discover whether participants applied the learnings to their day-to-day jobs. It also examines how favorable the organization’s culture is for the desired change in behavior.

Level 4: Results

The final level analyzes the results that can be closely linked to the training. It uses key performance indicators to gauge the outcome of the learning process against pre-set goals. The outcome can be increased productivity, sales, fewer workplace accidents, more satisfied customers, etc.

Factors to Consider Before Implementing the Kirkpatrick Model

Before implementing the Kirkpatrick Model, it is essential to define what the desired change is. Then, learners should be given enough time to inculcate the learnings and changes in their daily jobs. Rushing into evaluations will not provide reliable data.

The success of the process relies on unbiased assessment. While it's ok to interview participants, their feedback should be paired with keen observation for utmost effectiveness.

Benefits of the Kirkpatrick Model

The Kirkpatrick Model has several benefits that make it valuable to trainers and participants alike:

  • The model is simple, flexible, and adaptable across industries and applications.
  • It provides a clear structure and process for evaluating training effectiveness.
  • It can be used to evaluate traditional classroom training as well as e-learning.
  • It provides managers with valuable insights into the efficacy of training programs and their impact on business outcomes.
  • The model helps analyze the relationship between each level to better understand training results.

Limitations of the Kirkpatrick Model

The basic structure of the Kirkpatrick Model was devised more than 60 years ago. The way training is conducted has changed radically over the years, and despite the many updates, the model may not always be suitable for evaluating new learning methods.

Besides, the model can be time-consuming, resource intensive, and expensive to implement. So it may not be practical for organizations that do not have a dedicated L&D. It is also difficult to link business outcomes to particular training.  

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Terms Related to Kirkpatrick Model

1. e-Learning: e-Learning is a learning method that uses electronic media to deliver learning and training. It provides the flexibility of learning from anywhere and anytime, provided you have access to the internet.

2. L&D: L&D stands for Learning and Development. It is a function within an organization that focuses on the continuous professional development of its employees.

3. ROI: ROI is a metric used to calculate the profit or return of an investment versus the investment cost. Investors use this metric to evaluate the performance of their investments.

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