Evaluating your online training is important if you want to determine online training ROI. But where do you start? You need a post-training evaluation plan. Take a look at this tried-and-true model, and before you know it you’ll be ready to create your own plan!

Evaluate Your Online Training

The Kirkpatrick Model

The Kirkpatrick model has long been a popular way of evaluating training effectiveness. Dr. Don Kirkpatrick created it in the 1950s. Here’s the original model:

Level 1: Reaction
To what degree do participants react favorably to the training?

Level 2: Learning
To what degree do participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, attitudes, confidence and commitment based on their participation in your training?

Level 3: Behavior
To what degree do participants apply what they learned during training once back on the job?

Level 4: Results
To what degree do targeted outcomes occur as a result of the training event and subsequent reinforcement?

The New World Kirkpatrick Model

Of course, training technology has vastly improved since this model was created. Below is an outline of the updated Kirkpatrick Model of training evaluation with the original definitions and new explanations.

Level 1: Reaction
To what degree do participants react favorably to the training? This original question measured only participant satisfaction with the training.

New World Additions:

Engagement
The degree to which participants are actively involved in and contributing to the learning experience

Relevance
The degree to which training participants will have the opportunity to use or apply what they learned in training on the job

Level 2: Learning
To what degree do participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, attitudes, confidence and commitment based on their participation in your training?

Knowledge “I know it.”
Skill “I can do it right now.”
Attitude “I believe this will be worthwhile to do on the job.”

New World Additions:

Confidence “I think I can do it on the job.”
Commitment “I intend to do it on the job.”

Level 3: Behavior

To what degree do participants apply what they learned during training once back on the job?

New World Addition:

Required Drivers
Processes and systems that reinforce, encourage and reward performance of critical behaviors on the job

Level 4: Results

To what degree do targeted outcomes occur as a result of the training event and subsequent reinforcement?

New World Addition:

Leading Indicators
Short-term observations and measurements suggesting that critical behaviors are on track to create a positive impact on desired results

Now, according to Jack Phillips, founder and CEO of the ROI Institute, Inc., a research, benchmarking and consulting organization, the third and fourth levels are rarely measured when it comes to e-Learning. It can be easy for e-Learning developers to say “Well, that’s not part of my job” or “I don’t have access to learners after the training is over.” You’re doing your learners—and yourself—a disservice if you say this. The value of the training you created is judged on the results it generates. So don’t you want to make sure it’s working?

You need to build post-training activities into your plan during training design. Think of the training program not as a singular event, but an ongoing process with multiple stages, including evaluation. Take advantage of technology, like the notification features in a learning management system such as CourseMill LMS, to schedule and automate refresher messages and job aids that reinforce your training or deliver quick surveys to check how well learners are remembering course content.

If you keep these four levels of the Kirkpatrick Model in mind while you’re creating your training, not after you’re done, you’ll be one step ahead. After all, e-Learning developers who can prove to stakeholders that their training is achieving the desired results will become extremely valued members of an organization.

Want to know more about your e-Learning ROI? Check out this blog: Getting More ROI out of Your e-Learning.

For more information about tracking and evaluating your online training with CourseMill LMS, try a 30-day free trial.