5 training evaluation models used in education.

Training is an activity that usually occurs in the organization at some point. This activity is seen as an investment made by an organization as it can be beneficial and help in the long run. Some of the benefits of training within a firm or company might include; a boost in revenue and increased productivity. It also assists in meeting strategic goals set by any establishment.

Although organizations might set up training programs for their workers, telling the difference between if the training is effective or has been a total flop is quite tricky. Knowing if training served the purpose of exercising is very important. To determine if training is effective, you will need to use a training evaluation model.

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A training evaluation model is a tool designed with systematic frameworks which would allow you to investigate and analyze the efficacy of learning or training exercises. Training evaluation models generally take not of things like;

  • Did the participants make use of what they have learned on the job?
  • Are there possible ways to improve the training?
  • Was the training a good investment?
  • What did the trainees learn?
  • What was the impact of the training on the organization?
  • Was the training exercise successful?
  • Were you able to get the value for your money at the training?

Of course, there might be other question which is not included above. This is a result of the variability of the training evaluation models. Are you curious to know which type of training evaluation model to use for your organization? Then take your time to go through this article. This article helps to review different training evaluation models to allow you to pick the one that best suits you.

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Training Evaluation Models

There are different training evaluation models (TEM), and picking the right one for your organization can be pretty tricky. Below are listed various TEM:

  • The Kirkpatrick Model.
  • The Phillips ROI Model.
  • The Kaufman’s Model of Learning Evaluation.
  • The Brinkerhoff Model.
  • The Anderson Model of Learning Evaluation.

The Kirkpatrick Model

This model is the most popular of all the training evaluation models. It is also the most widely used of the TEMs. Don Kirkpatrick created the Kirkpatrick model in 1959. He made the model using a series of articles published in the journal of the ASTD.

Kirkpatrick’s model provided a way for different establishments to quickly evaluate any course or training exercise. Its use by organizations increased as it became more popular. Kirkpatrick didn’t relent on his innovation as he went forward to refine his model. The refining led to the publication of Evaluating Training Programs, which contains four levels.

The refined model contains an easy-to-use reference guide, making Kirkpatrick’s model even more. The four levels of Kirkpatrick’s model include;

  • Level 1: Reaction.
  • Level 2: Learning.
  • Level 3: Behaviour.
  • Level 4: Results.

Level 1: Reaction

You would determine how the participants responded to the training at this level. At this level, you would be able to detect if the conditions for learning were met in training.

Level 2: Learning

At this level, you would know if the learners learned anything from the training through practical tests or quizzes.

Level 3: Behaviour

This level takes place after the training has ended. You will detect whether participants are putting what they have learned into practice at this level.

Level 4: Results

What happens at this level is known as return on expectation. At this level, Kirkpatrick’s model measures results against stakeholders’ expectations.

The Phillips ROI Model

This training evaluation model was modeled after Kirkpatrick’s model as it is a result of its expansion. The person who created this model is known as Jack Phillips. He published his book is titled; return on investment (ROI) in training and performance.

Phillip built his evaluation on Kirkpatrick’s shortcomings. He added a fifth level to Kirkpatrick’s four levels. The levels include;

  • Level 1: Reaction.
  • Level 2: Learning.
  • Level 3: Application and implementation.
  • Level 4: Impact.
  • Level 5: Return on investment.

The fifth level, the significant expansion on Kirkpatrick’s model, is designed to measure return on investment (ROI). This level uses cost-benefit analysis to determine the value of training programs.

The Kaufman’s Model of Learning Evaluation

Like the Philip ROI model, Kaufman’s model also worked closely to Kirkpatrick’s model but only made a few changes and modifications. These changes and modifications include;

  • Kaufman split Kirkpatrick’s level 1, Reaction, into two parts, namely, 1a, which represents “input,” and 1b, which means “process”.
  • He also introduced a fifth level that evaluates the effect of the training on both the organization’s customers and society.

The breakdown of Kaufman’s model includes;

  • Level 1a (input): this is where you evaluate if the resources and materials given at the training are suitable and appropriate.
  • Level 1b (process): you get to know if the training is well delivered.
  • Level 2: Acquisition: this level would determine to what extent the participants can acquire new knowledge and skills.
  • Level 3: application: at this level, you would determine how the participants can utilize what they have learned in their job roles.
  • Level 4: organizational results: this level would reveal if the organization benefits from the training.
  • Level 5: societal/customer consequences: you will discover how the training has impacted the organization’s customers and society.

The Brinkerhoff Model

The creator of this evaluation model, Robert O. Brinkerhoff, introduced an entirely new method of evaluating training to know its effectiveness. This new method is known as the success case method (SCM). This method helps an establishment to understand how coaching or training would work well or if it would not work.

The SCM is different from other training evaluation models because it’s not limited to only training as it can also be applied to a wide variety of events or activities. Also, unlike other training evaluation models, the SCM is not concerned with finding the average performance of training participants. SCM has five different levels, namely;

  • Plan a successful case study.
  • Write an impact model that defines what success should look like.
  • Write a survey that identifies best-case and worst-case scenarios.
  • Document success cases and conduct interviews.
  • Draw conclusions, make recommendations, and communicate findings to stakeholders.

The Anderson Model of Learning Evaluation

This model was published by the chartered institute of personnel and development in 2006, making it unique. The model is different from other training evaluation models because the Anderson model focuses on aligning an organization’s training program with its strategic priorities. And secondly, this model is unique as it does not focus on the outcome of individual programs.

The 3 stages in Anderson’s training evaluation model include;

  • Stage 1: determine the current alignment of training against strategic priorities for the organization.
  • Stage 2: use a range of methods to assess and evaluate the contribution of learning.
  • Stage 3: establish the most relevant approaches for your organization.

Anderson’s learning model is more complex when compared and contrasted with other training evaluation models.


As reviewed in this article, it is not enough to organize training for your organization but to make sure it fulfills its purpose. The various training evaluation models would help you get the best out of every training.

Although each training model has its advantage and disadvantage, careful selection of which of the models is most suitable for your organization is equally very important. The training evaluation models can be adapted to suit the needs and requirements of a specific organization.

About The Author

Daren Nadav

Daren Nadav

Daren Nadav is the Co Founder of CourseForMe, which is a leading platform to find the best courses available online and delivers inspiring content related to eLearning. Daren holds a B.A in Economics and business management.

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