Saturday, September 25, 2021
Glossary of Kirkpatrick Terms Minimize

This glossary of Kirkpatrick terms is intended to help you better understand the Kirkpatrick Model and, more generally, the field of training evaluation. These terms are covered in detail in the Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program - Bronze Level.

ACE (Accelerated Certification Event): In-person bronze and in-person silver certification programs may be taken consecutively. Some conditions apply. For example, you may attend the bronze and silver programs back-to-back if you have a good training evaluation background. You will also need to accept that some of the activities in the more advanced silver level program are focused on a bronze plan that you will just have started to create.

AWACS (airborne warning and control system): A U.S. Air Force aircraft that monitors battlefield conditions and activity; parallels the Kirkpatrick approach to continually monitoring and reporting on Level 3 activity

Blended Evaluation Plan®: A methodology in which data are collected from multiple sources using multiple methods, in a blended fashion that considers all four Kirkpatrick levels, for the purpose of monitoring, reporting and adjusting findings to maximize program participant performance and subsequent organizational results

Borrowed metrics: Relevant Level 4 success outcomes that training professionals obtain from business or human resource departments in order to complete a chain of evidence

®: Someone who is doing the right things -- following the New World Kirkpatrick Model, creating organizational results and helping others to accomplish similar results by sharing their stories and experiences

Business partnership: Cooperative effort between the training department and other business and support units in the company

Chain of evidence: Data, information and testimonies at each of the four levels that, when presented in sequence, demonstrate the value obtained from a business partnership initiative

Consumptive metrics: Participant attendance, Level 1 and Level 2 data that attempt to show training value, but instead highlight the costs of training to the business

Corporate jury: The individual or group of business partners who ultimately judge the degree to which training efforts add value to the business in relation to their costs. This group subsequently controls or influences training department budgets, staffing and future

Critical behaviors: The few, key behaviors that employees will have to consistently perform on the job in order to bring about targeted outcomes

Dashboard: A graphic depiction of key metrics in a business partnership initiative that monitors and communicates progress towards business outcomes; typically color-coded in green, yellow and red

Drivers / required drivers: Processes and systems that reinforce, monitor, encourage or reward performance of critical behaviors on the job

Formative evaluation: The collection of data and information during a learning event or phase

"The great divide": The significant gap that exists between Level 2 Learning and Level 3 Behavior, both in research correlation studies and actual practice

Impact metrics: Levels 3 and 4 metrics, which constitute the most relevant measurements of training effectiveness to key business stakeholders

"In order to what?": An important question asked during preliminary conversations defining the goals of a training initiative that helps move from training-centric to true business outcomes

Key business stakeholder: A member of the jury that has a stake in the success outcomes of a training initiative and ultimately judges the value of training relative to its costs

Kirkpatrick Model: The Kirkpatrick Model is the worldwide standard for evaluating the effectiveness of training. It considers the value of any type of training, formal or informal, across four levels. Level 1 Reaction evaluates how participants respond to the training. Level 2 Learning measures if they actually learned the material. Level 3 Behavior considers if they are using what they learned on the job, and Level 4 Results evaluates if the training positively impacted the organization. 

Dr. Donald Kirkpatrick is credited with creating the Kirkpatrick model in the 1950s, the model is applied before, during and after training to both maximize and demonstrate training's value to the organization. 

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

Level 1: Reaction: The degree to which participants find the training favorable, engaging and relevant to their jobs

Level 2: Learning: The degree to which participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, attitude, confidence and commitment based on their participation in the training

Level 3: Behavior: The degree to which participants apply what they learned during training when they are back on the job

Level 4: Results: The degree to which targeted outcomes occur as a result of the training and the support and accountability package

"The missing link": Another name for Level 3 because execution at this level is critical for maximizing Level 4: Results, yet neither training nor the business tends to take ownership of it

Necessities for success: Prerequisite items, events, conditions or communications that help leverage success or head off problems before they reduce the impact of an initiative

"Needles": The Level 4 metrics a training initiative is designed to move that will effectively demonstrate training value to key business stakeholders; this refers to a needle on a dashboard indicating the current level of a critical measurement

Return on expectations (ROE): What a successful training initiative delivers to key business stakeholders demonstrating the degree to which their expectations have been satisfied (see ROE's Rising Star: Why Return on Expectations Is Getting So Much Attention)

Success factors: Items that each contribute to on-the-job application, performance and ultimate results, including required drivers, the training program, personal responsibility and necessities for success

Summative evaluation: The collection of data and information after a learning event or phase

Support and accountability: The two forces that must be balanced after training in order to drive critical behaviors (see Transferring Learning to Behavior)

"What will success look like?": The cornerstone question that helps convert generic stakeholder expectations into observable, measurable success outcomes, which subsequently become the Level 4 targets of return on expectations

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