Kirkpatrick’s Level 3 Evaluation
Kirkpatrick’s’ Four Levels of Evaluation model is a series of steps that begins with level one, and moves sequentially through the levels to level four.
Each level provides valuable information to help determine the effectiveness of the overall training program.
Kirkpatrick’s model includes four levels of evaluation:
Level 1: Reaction – To what degree did the participants react favorably to the training
Level 2: Learning – To what degree did the participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, and/or attitudes based on their participation in a training
Level 3: Behavior – To what degree did the participants apply what they learned during training to his/her job
Level 4: Results – To what degree did the targeted objectives/outcomes occur as a result of the training.
Kirkpatrick’s Level 3 Evaluation
Level 3 Evaluation – Behavior
Kirkpatrick’s Level 3 evaluation measures how much participants have changed their behavior as a result of the training they received.
Basically, this level is designed to determine if the newly acquired skills, knowledge, or attitude are being used in the everyday environment of the learner.
At this level, we not only want to find out if the desired behavior change occurred, but if it did not occur, we also want to find out why the change did not occur.
Information for Level 3
Information generally sought include:
- Did the learners put their learning into effect back on the job?
- Are the learners aware that they have changed their behavior?
- Was there noticeable and measurable change in the activity and performance of the participants in their job roles?
- Are the learners able to teach their new knowledge, skills, or attitudes to other people?
- Was the change in behavior sustained over time?
- Was the change in behavior supported by others in the organization?
Techniques for Obtaining
Techniques for obtaining level three evaluations include:
- Observation of the participant while performing job activities.
- Interview with the participant to discuss behavior changes in their daily work activities.
- 360-degree feedback from others affected by the participant’s performance.
- Self-assessment to obtain specific examples of how they implemented the desired change into their daily work activities.
Importance of all levels
It is important to note that just because behavior has not changed does not mean that the training was ineffective. This is why it is important to complete the first two levels of Kirkpatrick’s model and to complete them immediately after the training event.
If only the behavior is evaluated, and it is determined that no behavior change has taken place, it may be incorrectly assumed that participants have not learned anything from the training. But, by completing the first two levels, it may show that there was a positive reaction to the training and that the participants learned from the training event.
What may be at issue is the implementation or transfer of the learning to the job activities. This may be because the learner does not receive support, recognition, or reward for their behavior change from their supervisor or manager, or it may be that the learner themselves does not want to apply the new knowledge. Whatever the reason, because the level one and level two evaluations were completed, the focus of the analysis can be at the implementation of the knowledge to job activities and not at the modification of the training event.
It is also important to note that behavior can only change if conditions in the workplace are favorable. There first has to be a desire to change and support for that change.
Kirkpatrick’s Level 3 evaluation is mainly the responsibility of the management team of the training participants. Working collaboratively with the management team with Change Management techniques will help ensure success. Also, by demonstrating the benefits to changing behavior to the participant during the training, and by creating methods of reinforcement and follow-up will help ensure success.
Strategies for Implementation
Strategies that can be implemented to enhance the transfer of learning include:
- Create a learning environment similar to the actual work environment
- Provide real world examples and actual experience performing and practicing the behaviors.
- Ensure participants understand the benefits behind the desired behaviors
- Provide feedback on their performance during the training
- Reinforce positive behaviors
In additional to the strategies implemented by the training area/department, the organization can enhance the transfer of learning by creating a culture and climate that support and embraces change as well as provide extrinsic rewards such as recognition, encouragement, praise, increased responsibility, and bonus/pay.
Benefits of Kirkpatrick’s Level 3 evaluation:
- Provides measurement of actual behavior change occurring on the job
- Measures more than just a positive reaction or short term learning
- It can show gaps between training and on the job performance
- It illustrates organization willingness to change
- It is objective evidence to support the effectiveness and value of a training program.