Instructional Technology/Donald L. Kirkpatrick

Donald KirkpartickEdit

The four model of evaluation has been the most prominent model of training evaluation for over forty years (Kraiger, 2002). Even though this model is the most accepted one, there are tons of criticisms. Kirkpatrick developed the hierarchy of evaluation on the basis of his experiences in real life applications. In Kirkpatrick’s model (1979), there are four types of assessment stages: (a) reaction defined as likeness of the training programs by trainees, (b) learning defined as what facts, principles, and techniques learned during the training, (c) behaviors defined as what changes occurred in the job behavior of trainees at the end of the training, and (d) results what the result of training in tangible form of cost, performance, quality, production, or etc. The hierarchy of the model implies that without high level of reaction measures or outcomes, it is impossible to reach the superior levels. The four-model is classified in goal-based evaluation models (Eseryel, 2002) because the main criteria for evaluation are the goals determined previously. Every step goes further in the direction of them. The model helps the training professionals to determine outcomes of the training program covertly. To Kraiger (2002), Kirkpatrick’s model has been very popular because it is easy to understand the hierarchy by the practitioners.

The Four-Evaluation model is the good analysis of a training program’s assessment points. If the training program and evaluation are the systems of improvement, those goal stages show us what we have to measure to understand effect of training on the organizations. Although there are too many criticisms about the model, it has been the origin for solving the evaluation problem of training. Most of the models in training field have been stemmed from the Four-Evaluation model (Kraiger, 2002). The model can be used not only for training but also for schooling. From that perspective, the model is in the concerns of IT from two different utilization areas.


  • Eseryel, D. (2002). Approaches to Evaluation of Training: Theory and Practice. Educational Technology & Society 5 (2).
  • Kirkpatrick, D. L. (1979). Techniques for evaluating training programs. In D. P. Ely & Plomp T. (Eds.), Classic Writings on Instructional Technology (Vol. 1, pp. 231 – 241). Englewood: Libraries Unlimited, Inc.
  • Kraiger, K. (2002). Decision-Based Evaluation. In Kraiger. K. (Ed.), Creating, Implementing, and Managing Effective Training and Development: State-of-the-Art Lessons for Practice. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.