My father, Don Kirkpatrick, invented the four levels of
evaluationreaction, learning, behavior, and resultsmore than 50
years ago. As a testament to their influence, they are still widely
used today. Unfortunately, three myths about them keep some
organizations from using them effectively.
The myths and other misunderstandings have limited the power of the
four levels to maximize and demonstrate training effectiveness. The
best way to proceed with debunking these myths is to review the
four levels in relation to todays business and training needs.
The original work on the four levels suggested there were three
reasons to evaluate. That was what my father wrote in his 1993 book
Evaluating Training Programs. Recently, I discussed new
applications for the four levels with my father, and we came up
with three new reasons to evaluate for a total of six.
Gathering comprehensive data and information to create a chain of
evidence is the best way to demonstrate training value to
stakeholders. As training professionals, we need to read our jury,
know what kind of data and information we will need to convince
them of our case, prepare it, and present it effectively.