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The Value of Evaluation: Usage and value of Kirkpatrick/Phillips model

Thursday, October 29, 2009
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Is your organization getting its value for money from its training evaluation? According to ASTD's Value of Evaluation report only about one-quarter of respondents agreed that their organization got solid "bang for the buck" from its training evaluation efforts. With the tough economic demands, business leaders have to scrutinize costs even more, to find greater efficiencies. This highlights the need for the true value of evaluating learning to be realized and for current practices to adapt to increased efficiency and effectiveness demands.

Ninety-two percent of respondents to ASTD's Value of Evaluation report indicated that they measure at least Level 1 (reactions of participants) of the model. [more]However, use of the model drops off dramatically with each subsequent level, with only 18% measuring at Level 5 (return on investment). It therefore seems that organizations are evaluating at the first few levels and then dropping off completely. This opposes expert recommends of evaluating programs at all five levels, but trimming the number of programs that are evaluated as the level increases.

It appears that the degree of usage of a Kirkpatrick/Phillips evaluation level does not tell us much about its perceived value. Although Level 1 is the most commonly used type of evaluation, it had the lowest rating of high or very high value. Only 36% of respondents whose companies use Level 1 evaluation said it had high or very high value. In comparison, Level 3 (evaluation of behavior) and Level 4 (evaluation of results) were seen to be the most valuable, with 75% of respondents indicating high or very high value for each level.

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Perhaps reconsidering what levels of Kirkpatrick/Phillips model are used for evaluation will benefit organizations in realizing the true effectiveness of their learning programs and increase their "bang for the buck".

Source: The Value of Evaluation: Making Training Evaluations More Effective (ASTD/i4cp)

Click here to learn more about ASTD Research.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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