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Many training professionals erroneously view post-program evaluation from the perspective of a simple "smile sheet."
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However, we endorse a much broader view of evaluation that begins long before the end of a specific training event.
 
Use this collection of our favorite resources for post-program evaluations with substance to achieve effective program evaluation with minimal resources and wasted effort.

Before you begin to plan your evaluation efforts, keep in mind that
not all programs require a detailed post-program evaluation. Determining the degree of evaluation that your program requires will keep you from wasting valuable resources.

Some trainers throw together smile sheets the day before the program, or simply recycle their existing, ineffective smile sheets. Many of the items on these forms pertain directly to the trainer and the trainer's facilitation of the course. However, these types of issues often can be addressed and fixed during class,
before it's too late. Review these additional resources for tips on engaging in formative evaluation:

Pull Up a Chair to Gain Qualitative Data

Pull Up a Virtual Chair During Online Training Sessions

Do You Allow Time for Training Evaluation?

Learner Feedback On-the-Go: Formative Level 1 Evaluation

With these issues covered, your post-training evaluation form can address issues of much more substance. To start, review the three purposes of training evaluation and these tips for asking the right survey questions. Once you're clear on what kinds of statements and questions you need to include in order to gather the information that will be most useful, you can then work on crafting the language. For example, you'll want to ensure that your items are learner centered and phrased using terminology and language familiar to the learner, and that you're not asking more than one question at a time.

Now that you have collected the data, it is critical to
use it. If your training participants begin to feel that their opinions do not matter, this will take a toll on future evaluations, and you may find that you cease to get the truth on your training evaluation forms. It is also critical that participants feel comfortable providing honest feedback. An organization's closed culture may be reflected in evaluation feedback through lack of both robust comments and variations in ratings.

Finally, never fly blind! Always be sure to engage your 
active and passive training sonar to pick up on threats to your training program and to maximize training value both during and after training.

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Additional Resources:


Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program

Evaluating Training Programs

The New World Level 1 Reaction Sheets

Eight Tips on Developing Valid Level 1 Evaluation Forms
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Join the Kirkpatricks for Webinars This Fall
October 31, 2014

Jim and Wendy Kirkpatrick will be speaking at several webinars this fall. Join them for one or all of these learning events:

December 11 - Using Kirkpatrick to Move Beyond Training Order-Taking Part 2: An Interactive Discussion

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Thank You for Remembering Don
August 25, 2014

Thank you to all of those in the training industry who remembered and honored Don Kirkpatrick through touching articles and blog posts.

We have compiled a list of some of the many tributes that were published about Don, and we invite you to read through them by clicking here.

In Loving Memory of Dr. Donald Kirkpatrick
June 5, 2014

It is with much sadness but also great joy for his rich, full life that we announce that Don Kirkpatrick passed away on May 9th, at the age of 90. 
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Click here to read his obituary, as well as to revisit a humble reflection that Don wrote about his legacy, see our favorite photos of Don over the years, and read a goodbye letter from Jim to Don.
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Kirkpatrick Partners is a provider of training evaluation and business partnership training, products, consulting and impact studies. Our work is based on the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model created by Donald L. Kirkpatrick in 1954 as part of his PhD dissertation on the evaluation of the effectiveness of training for supervisors. It is expanded by the Kirkpatrick Business Partnership Model and Kirkpatrick Foundational Principles.

Instead of training ROI, we focus on training return on expectations (ROE). This is a more holistic measurement of all of the benefits realized from a program or initiative, both qualitative and quantitative. We offer courses and workshops on training evaluation and business partnership that equip training professionals to create, demonstrate and measure the business results and value their training yields or supports.

Don's son James (Jim) and daughter-in-law Wendy are pleased to carry on his legacy through Kirkpatrick Partners. Whether you want to earn your Kirkpatrick certification or simply create more value in your organization, we are here to help. Our programs are valuable whether you are a corporate employee, member of government or an independent consultant.

The Kirkpatricks are the authors of nine books, including Evaluating Training Programs, Implementing the Four Levels, Transferring Learning to Results, Kirkpatrick Then and Now, Training on Trial, and The Brunei Window Washer: Bringing Business Partnership to Life.
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