If you have started implementing microlearning in your organization, it’s really important to measure how much it has contributed to learning, behavioral changes, and performance improvements. And Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model shows us how.
To use Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model to measure your microlearning efforts, you first need to collect data by asking 6 simple questions:
- Who are we evaluating?
– the learners, their managers, the trainers, or even the customers
- What are we evaluating?
– knowledge, behavior, or skill that the learner needs to learn, recall, and apply
- Why are we evaluating?
– the desired outcome of evaluating the people or parameters specified
- When are we evaluating?
– the most appropriate time to collect data – ‘immediate’ or ‘later’.
o Immediate evaluation measures immediate reaction or response.
o Evaluation at a later point/s (e.g., the application of learning after 1, 3, 6, 9 months) is usually a better measure.
- Where are we evaluating?
– the location or medium where data is collected – on-the-job observation, paper-based assessments, or online surveys
- How are we evaluating?
– how to collect the required information, responses, and feedback – surveys, quizzes, reports, etc.
These 6 questions form the basis for Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation.
Kirkpatrick’s 4 Levels of Evaluation
Kirkpatrick’s model measures training effectiveness at 4 levels – Reaction, Learning, Behavior and Results.
The table here describes what each of these 4 evaluation levels mean, and how they can be measured.
|Evaluation level||What it involves (The details)||Indicative examples|
|Level 1: Reaction Did the learners enjoy the training?|| How did learners react or respond to the training?
The learner’s reaction to the training session immediately after its completion on:|
|Level 2: Learning||Did learning transfer occur? What was learned?What was not learned?To what extent did learners improve their knowledge, skills, or behavior?Ideally, learners need to be evaluated before (pre-test) and after the training (post-test) to measure progress.|
|Level 3: Behavior||Did the training result in change in behavior? Are learners applying learning to in workplace? This assessment can start weeks or months after training.|
|Level 4: Results||Did the training achieve the desired outcomes? Are the outcomes truly the result of the training? This level requires measuring the training objective both pre- and post-training.|
Now let’s see how this framework is used in a format that can be used by L&D professionals.
Kirkpatrick’s Evaluation Format for Learning Professionals
The evaluation format given here is only indicative, and can be customized based on your learning evaluation needs. The content in BLUE in the format is only for reference, and may be deleted when creating your own evaluation format.
|What’s getting evaluated?|| [Mention the exact nature of evaluation] |
3. ………….and so on
|Why to evaluate?|| [Mention issues, lacunae, problem areas and pain-points why evaluation is being done] |
3. ……………..and so on
|S. No.||Level||Who’s being assessed?||Where is it done?||When should you assess?||How do you evaluate? (suggested options)|
|1||Reaction||The learner||Online||Immediately after the microlearning lesson||A quick survey or rating (Likert’s or stars)|
|2||Learning||The learner||Online||Self-assessment by learner within each lesson Assessment of learning at end the lesson||Scenarios or videos (or other graphic formats) with multiple-choice questions Graphics, animations, or gaming role plays Completing a report for a topic-related scenario True/false questions or multiple-choice options for self-assessment|
|3||Behavior||The learner||Online||Monthly or quarterly after the training||Surveys, Likert’s scale, or open-ended questions Topic-related assessment questions|
|The manager||Online||Assessing a microlearning session periodically||Survey, ‘yes-no’ questions (polar responses) and open-ended questions Provide options to managers to share progress and results|
|4||Outcome||The manager||Online||Assessing a microlearning lesson on a quarterly basis||Surveys, options to share trends or progress for long term training effectiveness|
The Kirkpatrick evaluation format tells us that evaluation needs to be an on-going and long-term process. It shows how measuring effectiveness of microlearning initiatives is not a one-time activity!
By measuring effectiveness over time, you can establish performance baselines of your learners as well as your learning initiatives.
This is useful for the management team as well. It enables you to effectively communicate with your stakeholders, and help gain their trust and confidence.
To conclude, measuring microlearning effectiveness with the Kirkpatrick evaluation framework not only gets you management support, but also gets them to recognize your contribution.