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In response to last week's feature, which highlighted an article by Paul Matthews in which he discussed his thoughts about a program he attended on the New World Kirkpatrick Model, Cortney Paretzkin submitted the following comment: 

"I am working on my master's in OD at Roosevelt University ( and recently used Creating a Post-Training Evaluation Plan from the June 2013 issue of T+D as a key reference for a research paper. The reason this particular article was a great resource for me was because it supported my philosophy that Kirkpatrick's four level evaluation model can help bring T&D from a "nice to have" function within the organization, to a strategic business partner that is focused on business results and ROI.

As I have gone about my coursework, I have been educated in how to apply the four levels of evaluation and have been under the impression that this model can be applied to any training program. Unfortunately, I have not yet had the opportunity to actually apply Kirkpatrick's model to an actual workplace training program.

What I found interesting in Paul Matthews' article was when he stated that 'It is virtually impossible to use Kirkpatrick's evaluation successfully after a training course unless it was part of the thinking when the training course was just a twinkle in your eye. But if you do use it at the twinkle stage, it is relatively easy to put in place....'

While I certainly believe that it is a best practice to begin developing training with the intent to apply Kirkpatrick's model, how do you evaluate existing training that did not start with level four, results, in mind? Do others agree that it is difficult to apply the model in those scenarios?"

What Are Your Thoughts?
Respond to Cortney (and many others who have the same questions) by leaving a comment below, or chime in via the associated discussion in the Kirkpatrick Evaluation discussion group in LinkedIn.

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Additional Resources:

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program - Bronze Level

New World Kirkpatrick® Four Levels Program

The New World Kirkpatrick Model

Kirkpatrick Then and Now

Creating ROE: The End Is the Beginning
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  • What If You Didn't Start with the End in Mind?


Wednesday, April 9, 2014 11:26 AM
Not too long ago, I brought this up in a training meeting at my company. I recommended we start with the evaluation plan in mind right from the start. It's important to understand what are stakeholders view as success in order to be able to report back results. It is hard when you think of evaluation after the training is over. It's not always impossible. You may be lucky and be able to back track and grab data from months ago, but how about to prove certain measures you didn't do any tracking. If you think about it after the training, than there's nothing you can do.
I've had this experience. I rolled out a big training program and I didn't think about evaluation until later in the process so when it came to reporting results, it became difficult to show hard metrics. I had enough to show that they participants enjoyed it and they said they were going to use the new skills acquired, but couldn't prove it.
I have now started thinking about this before I even start developing a course and it works out so well. I have been able to change how people in my department view training.
# Wendy Partners
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 2:05 PM
Dear Vanessa,

Thanks for sharing your story. Simply taking the time to create the plan up front made such a difference for you.

We really appreciate brave people like you who will share with the group.

Best regards,
Wendy Kirkpatrick
eLearning Learning

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