Kirkpartick re-writes Level 1 evaluation

evaluation at end of trainingJim Kirkpatrick, son of Don (creator of Kirkpatricks 4-levels of Evaluation), is calling for “a radical change in the way we construct Level 1 reaction sheets”.

Outlining his proposals in PDF document entitled “The New World Level 1 Reaction Sheets” Jim challenges the current use of learner reaction forms. On a personal note, it is interesting how trainers refer to them as “evaluation forms” or  “happy sheets” – this reinforces the points that Jim makes.

If you design or use learner reaction sheets at the end of a workshop, download the pdf, but if you’re busy, here’s a quick summary:

Don Kirkpatrick defines Level 1 (L1) as:

“The participants’ reactions to a training event. It is basically a measure of (internal) customer satisfaction.”

Often our “evals” are trainer focused not learner focused. Jim says:

What we do is to ask participants – our customers – their thoughts about us and our methods, our buildings, and our coffee. Instead, we should be asking them about them – and how they are experiencing the training event in relation to their needs.

He produces a table to contrast typical trainer focused statements with more learner focused alternatives. For example:

trainer centred:
“The course content was relevant to my needs.”
learner centred:

“I will be able to immediately apply what I learned.”

trainer centred:
“The facilitator did a good job of generating participant interaction.”
learner centred:
“It was easy for me to get actively involved during the session.”

After challenging the ‘trainer focus’ of our evaluation forms, Jim moves on to the bigger picture and questions the ultimate purpose of training. He shares a story about two workmen who are asked:

“What is your job?”

  • One replies: “I am a window washer”
  • The other replies: “I am helping to make for a memorable experience for my hotel’s guest!”

Jim’s conclusion is:

We either forget or never figured out that our job should be to instill in the learner that they are choosing to come our training to learn new knowledge and skills in order to perform their jobs (Level 3) more effectively, in order to make a contribution not only to the business, but also to their own futures (Level 4).

So, here’s a question – how do you capture learner reactions following your training? I know many of you have experimented with various ways to do this, let us know what has worked!

You can learn more about Kirkpatricks 4-levels of evaluation on the Encyclopedia of Educational Technology website Kirkpatrick Partners website.

Read the PDF file “The New World Level 1 Reaction Sheets”

faces on whiteboard image by billso
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  1. Karen Spillane
    Posted August 21, 2009 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    What perfect timing! I am just working on this right now.

    I love this site, so many top ideas!

    Thank you


    • Posted August 21, 2009 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Glad you like the site Karen, we’ve only been live for a week, so it’s great to know we are heading in the right direction. (look out for our 1st podcast next week ;) )

      If you haven’t done so already, I recommend that you read the full report, it’s only three pages but gives some really useful examples, especially in making your reaction sheets more learner focused.

      Do let us know how you get on – perhaps you could even contribute by writing an article documenting the process and sharing your outputs?


  2. emma hiscox
    Posted March 8, 2010 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    fab site really good topics and links am currently doing ctp and its fab to insert items and rationale behind my actions!
    it makes sense in alot of places and will be a frequent user, a section on recomended titels would be good or if anyone knows of local events happening a post for that would be really neat.


  3. Posted April 1, 2010 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    It’s a pity the PDFs are no longer available. Would have been interesing to read.

    • Posted April 1, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Hi Moir,

      Thanks for letting us know about the dead links.

      The site we were linking to has removed the download. I did a quick search and have found the .pdf on the Kirkpatrick Partners website.

      The links are now working and you can download the .pdf “The New World Level 1 Reaction Sheets” from there.

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