Dr. Don Kirkpatrick

March 15, 1924 – May 9, 2014

Dr. Don Kirkpatrick, creator of the Kirkpatrick Model four levels of training evaluation

Where Did The Four Levels Come From?

Dr. Don Kirkpatrick was Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin and Honorary Chairman of Kirkpatrick Partners until his passing in May of 2014.

Don is credited with creating The Kirkpatrick Model, the most recognized and widely used training evaluation model in the world. The four levels were developed in the 1950s, around the time he wrote his Ph.D. dissertation, Evaluating a Human Relations Training Program for Supervisors.

Don held B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He spent the majority of his professional career at the Management Institute of the University of Wisconsin. He taught managers at all levels the principles and techniques of many subjects, including Coaching, Communication, Managing Time, Managing Change, Team Building, and Leadership.

In industry, Don served as Training Director for International Minerals and Chemical Corp. and Human Resources Manager of Bendix Products Aerospace Division.

Dr. Don Kirkpatrick, creator of the Kirkpatrick Model or four levels of training evaluation.
Dr. Don Kirkpatrick, creator of the Kirkpatrick Model or four levels of training evaluation, at a presentation in Asia

Don was a past national president of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and the recipient of Gordon Bliss and “Lifetime Achievement in Workplace Learning and Performance” awards. He was a member of Training Magazine’s Hall Of Fame.

In 2007, Don received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Asia HRD Congress.

Don was the author of seven management inventories and seven books, including the 3rd edition of Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels, which has become the basis for evaluation all over the world.

His other books include: Implementing the Four Levels, Transferring Learning to Behavior, Developing Employees Through Appraisal and Coaching, 2nd edition (2006); How to Conduct Productive Meetings (2006); and Managing Change Effectively (2002).

Don Kirkpatrick speaking at an event
Dr. Don Kirkpatrick, creator of the Kirkpatrick Partner, or the four levels of training evaluation.

Don was the Board Chairman of South Asian Ministries, an active member of Gideons International and a Senior Elder at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

His hobbies included fishing, tennis, golf, big band and classical music, directing church choirs, and writing his annual family Christmas poems.

In May of 2011, Don retired from public speaking and began using his musical and literary talent to write songs. To hear his songs, go to donkirkpatrick.bandcamp.com. In May of 2014, he passed away peacefully with close family by his side.

Learn More About The Kirkpatrick Model

Want to learn more about The Kirkpatrick Model? Visit our free Resources Library.

Visit the Kirkpatrick Free Resources Library

Dr. Don Kirkpatrick as a student

Dr. Don Kirkpatrick Timeline

Dr. Don Kirkpatrick Education and Professional Experience

1948BBA – University of Wisconsin, Madison
1949MA – University of Wisconsin, Madison
1954Ph.D. – University of Wisconsin, Madison
1949-1960Professor: University of Wisconsin
Management Institute, Madison
1954Dissertation: Evaluating Human Relations
Programs for Industrial Foremen and Supervisors
1960-1962Training Manager: International Mineral
and Chemical Corporation
1962-1964Personnel Manager: Bendix Products
Aerospace Division
1964-1986Professor: University of Wisconsin
Management Institute, Milwaukee

Dr. Don Kirkpatrick Awards and Honors

1975President of ASTD
1982Gordon M. Bliss Award, ASTD
1997Elected to Training Magazine’s Hall of Fame
2003ASTD Award for Lifetime Achievement
in Workplace Learning and Performance
2006Asia HRD Congress special
award for Lifetime Achievement
2006ASTD Award: One of four “Legends”
in Training and Development
2011Thought Leadership Award,
ISA (Associated Learning Professionals)
Don and Fern Kirkpatrick
Books by Dr. Don Kirkpatrick

Dr. Don Kirkpatrick Publications

1954Evaluating Human Relations Programs
for Industrial Foremen and Supervisors
1959Articles on Reaction, Learning, Behavior
and Results published in Journal of the
American Society of Training Directors, ASTD
1976Contributor to Training and
Development Handbook: L. Craig
1978No Nonsense Communication, 1st edition
1983How to Manage Change Effectively
– Best Book of the Year-ASPA (SHRM)
1984How to Improve Performance Through
Appraisal and Coaching
– Best Book of the Year-ASPA (SHRM)
1994Evaluating Training Programs, 1st edition
1998Another Look at Evaluating Training Programs
2001Developing Supervisors and Team Leaders
2001Managing Change Effectively
2005Transferring Learning to Behavior
2006How to Conduct Productive Meetings
2006Improving Employee Performance Through
Appraisal and Coaching
2007Implementing the Four Levels
2008Contributor to Handbook for Workplace
Learning Professionals

Demonstrate Training Effectiveness with The Kirkpatrick Model

Learn how to apply the four levels to any program to increase performance and maximize results.

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