TRIDENTS AND CROSSES
FOUR ELEMENTS AND FOUR HAND SHAPES IN WESTERN PALMISTRY
FOUR FINGERS PALMISTRY
FOUR LEVELS LEARNING EVALUATION
Kirkpatrick's four levels are designed as a sequence of ways to evaluate training programs. Many practitioners believe that as you proceed through each of the levels, the evaluation becomes more difficult and requires more time. Clomedia.com Editor suggests "it is best to look at the levels as a categorization scheme (i.e., their original purpose) in order to guide your staff in what levels to apply to the evaluation task". In practice, then, it is common for trainers to get stuck in Levels 1 and 2 and never proceed to Levels 3 and 4, where the most useful data exist. Today, Kirkpatrick-certified facilitators stress "starting with the end in mind," essentially beginning with Level 4 and moving backward in order to better establish the desired outcome before ever planning the training program. When done strategically, reaching these levels does not have to be any more expensive or time consuming, but will still help to ensure on-the-job performance of learned behaviors and skills.
The four levels of Kirkpatrick's evaluation model are as follows:
Reaction - what participants thought and felt about the training (satisfaction; "smile sheets")
Learning - the resulting increase in knowledge and/or skills, and change in attitudes. This evaluation occurs during the training in the form of either a knowledge demonstration or test.
Behavior - transfer of knowledge, skills, and/or attitudes from classroom to the job (change in job behavior due to training program). This evaluation occurs 3–6 months post training while the trainee is performing the job. Evaluation usually occurs through observation.
Results - the final results that occurred because of attendance and participation in a training program (can be monetary, performance-based, etc.)
Several authors have suggested an addition of a fifth level of evaluation. JJ Phillips has argued for the addition of a Return on Investment (ROI) level, which is essentially about comparing the fourth level of the standard model to the overall costs of training. Roger Kaufman has argued that ROI is essentially a Level 4 type of evaluation because it is still internal to the organization and that a fifth level of evaluation should focus on the impact of the organization on external clients and society.