evaluating training programs; de-brief team building

Donald Kirkpatrick’s system for evaluating training programs, used for real-time processing of team building and learning simulations.

The model was initially created to be used in a time-span that can sufficiently measure and evaluate training programs.

I have used and developed metrics for projects lasting from 1 month to continual evaluation of several years. The focus being on ensuring that each level of the model is implemented and tweaked to create the results that are established before and during the training process.

Kirkpatrick’s model is as follows;

Level 1: Reaction

  • To what degree participants react favorably to the training

Level 2: Learning

  • To what degree participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, attitudes, confidence, and commitment based on their participation in a training event

Level 3: Behavior

  • To what degree participants apply what they learned during training when they are back on the job

Level 4: Results

  • To what degree targeted outcomes occur as a result of the training event and subsequent reinforcement

AND this model can be shortened to be used for processing and reflection of team building initiatives.

Viewing the model as an experiential learning cycle. There are several ways to accomplish this. Below are questions that the facilitator can ask the participants in the program.

Level 1: Reaction

  • What was your initial reaction to the initiative?
  • What connections, ideas, thoughts, feelings do you attach to the resources you were supplied with?
  • When you were first put into the team to work on this challenge, what was your reaction to the other people on the team? i.e. how well do you know the other people? what past experiences have you had with them? stories and perceptions of their work habits?
  • Now that the challenge is done how do you feel about what has been accomplished?

Level 2: Learning

  • In what ways did reaction impact your trust in the team?
  • Share what was learned.
  • What did you learn about the process? (whatever process and knowledge you were trying to instill i.e. goal setting, planning, process mapping, cycle time)
  • If you were to describe what was learned from this initiative to a stranger, how would you? what would you say was learned?
  • Reflecting on the challenge what do you think was the learning objective?

Level 3 Behavior

  • Did anyone’s behavior change from the start to finish?
  • What caused the behavior change?
  • Does that happen in the office, meeting, work-place, etc…?
  • What causes that to happen?
  • How can we apply what we discussed to the organization, team, and you?
  • Describe the actions and processes that were most beneficial to success.
  • Which of those can we discuss implementing into the team?

Level 4 Results

  • Looking at the actions and processes that were chosen to be implemented; choose one that would have an impact.
  • On a scale from 0 – 10, 0 – being the action and process does not exist to 10 -being the action and process is prevalent throughout the organization (team, individuals, etc…) where would you place it?
  • Using the same scale where would it have to be for you to feel that it is successful?
  • Describe how you would know it was successful, what would other people do, act, produce, communicate, etc…?
  • Describe how the process would be spoken about, by team members, leadership, stakeholders, community members, etc…? 
  • What steps are we willing to take to implement those steps?

The facilitator can use a variety of techniques to engage and transfer the learning + results from experiential team building activities.

Please share ideas, alternative suggestions and methods for processing using the Kirkpatrick model.

michael cardus is create-learning

photo by Niffty..