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5. Evaluating Learning

Kirkpatrick, Donald Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

Chapter 5

Evaluating Learning

here are three things that instructors in a training program can teach: knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Measuring learning, therefore, means determining one or more of the following:


What knowledge was learned?

What skills were developed or improved?

What attitudes were changed?

It is important to measure learning because no change in behavior can be expected unless one or more of these learning objectives have been accomplished. Moreover, if we were to measure behavior change

(level 3) and not learning and if we found no change in behavior, the likely conclusion would be that no learning took place.This conclusion may be very erroneous. The reason no change in behavior was observed may be that the climate was preventing or discouraging, as described in Chapter 3. In these situations, learning may have taken place, and the learner may even have been anxious to change his or her behavior. But because his or her boss either prevented or discouraged the trainee from applying his or her learning on the job, no change in behavior took place.

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22. Evaluating a Performance Learning Model: Defense Acquisition University

Kirkpatrick, Donald Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

Chapter 22

Evaluating a Performance

Learning Model

Instead of evaluating a specific program, DAU evaluates all its programs within an enterprise learning framework they call the Performance

Learning Model which includes evaluating all of its training courses, continuous learning modules, and performance support efforts totaling over 103 thousand graduates per year. Details of this evaluation include all four Kirkpatrick levels. The figures will be of particular interest.

Defense Acquisition University (DAU)

Christopher R. Hardy, Ph.D., Strategic Planner

Mark Whiteside, Director Performance and Resource


Ft. Belvoir, Virginia

Who We Are

The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) is a government “corporate” university for the Department of Defense, managed by the

Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) (DoD USD [AT&L]).To accomplish its mission of providing practitioner training and consulting services to over 134,000 Department of Defense employees across fifteen career fields, DAU provides

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11. Taking Action

Kirkpatrick, Donald Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

Taking Action


5. Put these first four steps together into an action plan. Get input from others. Do a good job of preparing it in the form of a business plan. Present it to senior executives, gain their enthusiastic approval (one hopes), and get to it.


We thought it might be helpful to include the top ten mistakes leaders make when trying to transfer learning to behavior. Watch out for them as you develop and implement your action plan.

Number 10: Not linking and aligning incentives to desired behavior and subsequent results.

Number 9: Trying to do too much and not focusing efforts on mission critical behavior.

Number 8: Having the wrong kind of leaders, or the right kind in the wrong positions.

Number 7: Not providing adequate technology and system support.

Number 6: Not providing a balance of accountability and support.

Number 5: Not providing clear direction—vision, strategy, and expectations.

Number 4: Promoting a culture of employees who are discouraged from learning.

Number 3: Not developing action plans from a business consulting approach.

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2. The Challenge: Transferring Learning to Behavior

Kirkpatrick, Donald Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

Chapter 2

The Challenge: Transferring

Learning to Behavior

I (Jim) began working for First Indiana Bank in 1997 after several years as a management and career consultant. My boss is Marni McKinney,

Chairman of First Indiana Bank and CEO of First Indiana Corporation. When I first started, she told me, “Jim, when you plan and conduct training, please make sure that participants find it worthwhile and want to come back for more.”

In 1998 she asked me, “How do you think our training is going? I surely hope people are not only enjoying it, but are learning something!” And in 2000 she said, “You know, our people are spending a lot of time in training. I would really like to know if they are able to apply what they are learning.”

Two years ago (2002), she said, “As you know, we have great responsibility to our shareholders to meet our financial goals for 2003 and beyond. I need to be able to see how training is impacting the bottom line. I don’t want people spending a lot of time away from their jobs in activities that are not directly contributing to positive results.”

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2. Reasons for Evaluating

Kirkpatrick, Donald Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

Chapter 2

Reasons for Evaluating

t a national conference of the National Society for Sales Training

Executives (NSSTE), J. P. Huller of Hobart Corporation presented a paper on “evaluation.” In the introduction, he says,“All managers, not just those of us in training, are concerned with their own and their department’s credibility. I want to be accepted by my company. I want to be trusted by my company. I want to be respected by my company. I want my company and my fellow managers to say,‘We need you.’”

“When you are accepted, trusted, respected, and needed, lots and lots of wonderful things happen:


Your budget requests are granted.

You keep your job. (You might even be promoted.)

Your staff keep their jobs.

The quality of your work improves.

Senior management listens to your advice.

You’re given more control.

“You sleep better, worry less, enjoy life more. . . . In short, it makes you happy.”

“Wonderful! But just how do we become accepted, trusted, respected, and needed? We do so by proving that we deserve to be accepted, trusted, respected, and needed. We do so by evaluating and reporting upon the worth of our training.”

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