What If You Didn’t Start with the End in Mind?

April 8, 2014

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 (rutraining.wordpress.com) 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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