levels of evaluation
levels of evaluation

Levels of Evaluation

(LEV-uhls ov EEval-YOU-ayshun)

gas-like elements


What Are Levels of Evaluation?

Levels of evaluation are a variety of distinct ways to measure a training program. These include number of attendees, number of course completions, participant reaction, knowledge gain, on-the-job skill transfer, impact on a department or organization, and return on investment.

Other Common Names

Other common names for dialogue education include:

  • Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model
  • The Four Levels of Learning Evaluation

Key Properties

Element 30, levels of evaluation, is characterized by three properties:

  • Determines the effectiveness or success of a training program
  • Uses qualitative and quantitative measures
  • Gathered at various points between the actual training event and a specified time following the event
levels of evaluation

Insights from Brian Washburn in What's Your Formula (not at all gaseous)

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supervisor supportSupervisor Support

When you find ways to enlist the support of your learners’ supervisors, they can help the learners find the relevance and importance of your content, which can boost Level 1 scores. Supervisor observations are also key to a more objective Level 3 evaluation.

audience response systemsAudience Response

While pre- and post-testing are perhaps the most common way to formally conduct Level 2 evaluations, there are many opportunities to gather in-the-moment data around how much and whether learning is taking place. Using audience response software can be an informal way to collect Level 1 (reaction) and Level 2 (knowledge) evaluation data.

quiz softwareQuiz Software

Similar to audience response tools, quiz software can help you gather Level 2 information during the flow of a training program. Most quiz software allows you to review participant results and generate reports after participants have completed the quiz (which is often conducted in the form of a game).

dialogue educationDialogue Education

Similar to several other examples discussed, the element of dialogue education can be an intentional yet informal way to measure Levels 1 and 2 during the course of a training program. When participants are engaged in conversation and dialogue, it’s much easier to observe how much they’re picking up and retaining.

learning objectivesLearning Objectives Taxonomy

Identifying the appropriate objectives on which to focus and connecting them with the appropriate activities is the only way to ensure you’re able to accurately measure the right things.

instructional designInstructional Design

As with everything else in this chapter, once you’ve determined which levels of evaluation are important, they should be part of the overall design of the learning program. Pre- and post-tests will take up precious session time. Efforts at Level 3 and Level 4 evaluation should be announced and even designed as part of the overall program, meaning learners must respond to post-training surveys so you can collect that data before they receive their certificate of completion for the course.


While all levels of evaluation are data points, it may be necessary to collect other information before you can make sense of the evaluation results. Baseline data and data on outside factors can all offer greater context, which will make any data collected as part of the levels of evaluation more meaningful.

Books on Levels of evaluation


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