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2007 Fall Extension Conference

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Evaluating Training Programs
The Four Levels
Dr. Myron A. Eighmy
Based on the work of Dr. Donald L.
Kirkpatrick, University of Wisconsin -
Madison
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Objectives
 Upon completion of this presentation you will
be able to:
– State why evaluation of programs is critical to you
and your organization.
– Apply Kirkpatrick‟s four levels of evaluation to
your programs.
– Use guidelines for developing evaluations.
– Implement various forms and approaches to
evaluation
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Why Evaluate?
 Determine the effectiveness of the program design
How the program was received by the participants
How learners fared on assessment of their learning
Determine what instructional strategies work
presentation mode
presentation methods.
learning activities
desired level of learning
 Program improvement
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Why Evaluate?
 Should the program be continued?
 How do you justify your existence?
 How do you determine the return on
investment for the program?
human capital
individual competence
social/economic benefit

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Four Levels of Evaluation
Kirkpatrick
 During program evaluation
– Level One Reaction
– Level Two Learning
 Post program evaluation
– Level Three Behavior
– Level Four Results
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Reaction Level
 A customer satisfaction measure
– Were the participants pleased with
the program
– Perception if they learned anything
– Likelihood of applying the content
– Effectiveness of particular strategies
– Effectiveness of the packaging of
the course
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Examples of Level One
 Your Opinion, Please
In a word, how would you describe this
workshop?
 Intent
– Solicit feedback about the course. Can also
assess whether respondents transposed the
numeric scales.
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Example of Level One
 Using a number, how would you describe this
program? (circle a number)

Terrible Average Outstanding
1 2 3 4 5

 Intent: Provides quantitative feedback to determine
average responses (descriptive data). Watch scale
sets!
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Example of Level One
 How much did you know about this subject before taking this
workshop?
Nothing Some A lot
1 2 3 4 5

 How much do you know about this subject after participating in
this workshop?
Nothing Some A lot
1 2 3 4 5

 Intent - The question does not assess actual learning, it
assesses perceived learning.
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Example Level One
 How likely are you to use some or all of the skills
taught in this workshop in your work/community/
family?
Not Very
Likely Likely Likely
1 2 3 4 5
 Intent – determine learners perceived relevance of
the material. May correlate with the satisfaction
learners feel.
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Example of Level One
 The best part of this program was…
 The one thing that could be improved most ..

 Intent
Qualitative feedback on the course and help
prioritize work in a revision. Develop themes
on exercises, pace of course, etc.
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Guidelines for Evaluating Reaction
 Decide what you want to find out.
 Design a form that will quantify reactions.
 Encourage written comments.
 Get 100% immediate response.
 Get honest responses.
 If desirable, get delayed reactions.
 Determine acceptable standards.
 Measure future reactions against the standard.
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Learning Level
 What did the participants learn in the
program?
– The extent to which participants change attitudes,
increase knowledge, and/or increase skill.
– What exactly did the participant learn and not
learn?
– Pretest Posttest
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Learning Level
 Requires developing specific
learning objectives to be
evaluated.
 Learning measures should be
objective and quantifiable.
– Paper pencil tests, performance on
skills tests, simulations, role-plays,
case study, etc.
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Level Two Examples
 Develop a written exam based on the desired
learning objectives.
 Use the exam as a pretest
 Provide participants with a worksheet/activity sheet
that will allow for “tracking” during the session.
 Emphasize and repeat key learning points during the
session.
 Use the pretest exam as a posttest exam.
 Compute the posttest-pretest gain on the exam.
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What makes a good test?
 The only valid test questions emerge from
the objectives.
 Consider writing main objectives and
supporting objectives.
 Test questions usually test supporting
objectives.
 Ask more than one question on each
objective.


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Level Two Strategies
 Consider using scenarios, case studies,
sample project evaluations, etc, rather than
test questions. Develop a rubric of desired
responses.
– Develop between 3 and 10 questions or
scenarios for each main objective.
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Level Two Strategies
 Provide instructor feedback during the
learning activities.
– Requires the instructor to actively monitor
participants discussion, practice activities, and
engagement. Provide learners feedback.
– Ask participants open ended questions
(congruent with the learning objectives) during
activities to test participant understanding.
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Example
Which of the following should be considered when
evaluating at the Reaction Level? (more than one
answer possible)
___Evaluate only the lesson content
___Obtain both subjective and objective
responses
___Get 100% response from participants
___Honest responses are important
___Only the course instructor should review results.
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Example
 Match the following to the choices below
___ Reaction Level
___ Learning Level
A. Changes in performance at work
B. Participant satisfaction
C. Organizational Improvement
D. What the participant learned in class
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Scenario Example
 An instructor would like to know the
effectiveness of the course design and how
much a participant has learned in a seminar.
The instructor would like to achieve at least
Level Two evaluation.
– What techniques could the instructor use to
achieve level two evaluation?
– Should the instructor also consider doing a level
one evaluation? Why or why not?
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Rubric for Scenario Question
Directions to instructor: Use the following topic checklist to determine
the completeness of the participants response:

___ Learner demonstrated an accurate understanding of what level two
is: learning level.
___ Learner provided at least two specific examples: pretest -posttest,
performance rubrics, scenarios, case studies, hands-on practice.
___ Learner demonstrated an accurate understanding of what level one
evaluation is: reaction level.
___The learner provided at least three specific examples of why level
one is valuable: assess satisfaction, learning activities, course
packaging, learning strategies, likelihood of applying learning.
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Behavior Level
 How the training affects performance.
 The extent to which change in behavior
occurred.
 Was the learning transferred from the
classroom to the real world.
 Transfer – Transfer - Transfer

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Conditions Necessary to Change
 The person must:
– have a desire to change.
– know what to do and how to do it.
– work in the right climate.
– be rewarded for changing.


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Types of Climates
 Preventing – forbidden to use the learning.
 Discouraging – changes in current way of
doing things is not desired.
 Neutral – learning is ignored.
 Encouraging – receptive to applying new
learning.
 Requiring – change in behavior is
mandated.
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Guidelines for Evaluating Behavior
 Measure on a before/after basis
 Allow time for behavior change (adaptation) to take
place
 Survey or interview one or more who are in the best
position to see change.
– The participant/learner
– The supervisor/mentor
– Subordinates or peers
– Others familiar with the participants actions.
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Guidelines for Evaluating Behavior
 Get 100% response or a sample?
– Depends on size of group. The more the better.
 Repeat at appropriate times
– Remember that other factors can influence
behavior over time.
 Use a control group if practical
 Consider cost vs. benefits of the evaluation
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Level Three Examples
 Observation
 Survey or Interview
– Participant and/or others
 Performance benchmarks
– Before and after
– Control group
 Evidence or Portfolio
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Survey or Patterned Interview
1. Explain purpose of the survey/interview.
2. Review program objectives and content.
3. Ask the program participant to what extent performance was improved as a result
of the program. __ Large extent __ Some extent __ Not at all
If “Large extent” or “Some extent”, ask to please explain.
4. If “Not at all”, indicate why not:
___ Program content wasn’t practical
___ No opportunity to use what I learned
___ My supervisor prevented or discouraged me to change
___ Other higher priorities
___ Other reason (please explain)
5. Ask, “In the future, to what extent do you plan to change your behavior?”
___ Large extent ___ Some extent ___ Not at all
Ask to please explain:
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Evidence and Portfolio
 Thank you for participating. I am very interested in how the
evaluation skills you have learned are used in your work..

 Please send me a copy of at least one of the following:
– a level three evaluation that you have designed.
– a copy of level two evaluations that use more than one method of
evaluating participant learning.
– a copy of a level one evaluation that you have modified and tell me how
it influenced program improvement.
– (indicate if you would like my critique on any of the evaluations)
 If I do not hear from you before January 30, I will give you a call – no
pressure – „just love to learn what you are doing.
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Results Level
 Impact of education and training on the
organization or community.
 The final results that occurred as a result of
training.
 The ROI for training.
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Examples of Level Four
 How did the training save costs
 Did work output increase
 Was there a change in the quality of work
 Did the social condition improve
 Did the individual create an impact on the
community
 Is there evidence that the organization or
community has changed.
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Guidelines for Evaluating Results
 Measure before and after
 Allow time for change to take place
 Repeat at appropriate times
 Use a control group if practical
 Consider cost vs. benefits of doing Level Four
 Remember, other factors can affect results
 Be satisfied with Evidence if Proof is not possible.