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Donald Kirkpatrick passes away

Learning legend Donald Kirkpatrick passed away on May 9, 2014
Learning legend Donald Kirkpatrick passed away on May 9, 2014
Kirkpatrick Associates

Sad news comes from the learning community. Donald Kirkpatrick, the father of the Four Levels of Learning Evaluation, passed away on May 9, 2014.

Kirkpatrick's college thesis on evaluation turned into the seminal blueprint for evaluating the effectiveness of training programs and the book Evaluating Training Programs: the Four Levels of Evaluation. Kirkpatrick's model divided evaluation into four types of measures.

Level One, Reaction - Did the attendees like the training?

Level Two, Learning - Did the attendees learn from the training?

Level Three, Behavior - Did the attendees change behavior as a result of the training?

Level Four, Results - Did the organization achieve some measure of success as a result of the training?

Kirkpatrick claimed that results are rarely measured. He also, in a session this Examiner attended, stated that results are difficult to prove and that training professionals should accept any change in success rates as proof of results.

Those who attended Kirkpatrick's sessions at the ASTD International Conference and Exposition will remember a good humored man who would begin his sessions by turning the attendees into a vocal choir singing chants. He even once in a session made attendees promise to, whenever mentioning his name, proclaim that "the Green Bay Packers are better than the Dallas Cowboys."

The learning world is a better place for Donald Kirkpatrick's work. Learning professionals everywhere are indebted to him for that work.

So, once last time in Kirkpatrick's memory, the Green Bay Packers are better than the Dallas Cowboys.