Too many instructional designers are producing content without tracking its performance. Why spend the time to make detailed and elaborate training if there’s no way to tell if it’s working? Well, that’s where the Kirkpatrick Model of Training Evaluation comes in. The Kirkpatrick Model provides 4 levels to track the success of your training program.
Level 1: Reaction
The first criteria to track with your training or education program is the reaction of the learners. The goal of the reaction level is to find out if the learners enjoyed their experience and if it was relevant towards their goal or objective. Some techniques to track this are by using surveys and interviews.
Level 2: Learning
After getting the reaction from your learners, you’ll want to track their learning. Or more blatantly, what they’ve learned and not learned. Tests, quizzes, and assessments can be used to track how well the program worked. If possible, using a test before you teach method gives the best view on how well the module worked in teaching new concepts.
Level 3: Behavior
Ultimately, the goal of training is to have the content want was being taught to be transferred to real scenarios and on the job. From a purely educational standpoint, this if often regarded as the most important level for success. It often involves getting the managers onboard with the training as the most common way to judge success is through observations and interviews at work.
Level 4: Results
If level 3 was the most important to effect behavioral change, then level 4 is the most important for business. In the end, training is all about improving targeted business metrics and tracking the ROI for the company. Different metrics can be tracked, from revenue to customer reviews. Depending on the target, data driven results are the most important part of training.