Donald Kirkpatrick's original article

What about the Kirkpatrick model?

Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Approach to Assessing Training Outcomes” is a 50 year-old standard for evaluating training impact.  Though the origin of its four levels is a bit controversial, it was widely popularized by Donald Kirkpatrick and remains the most familiar model for the evaluation of training within organizations to this day. 

Unfortunately, Professor Kirkpatrick never defined what “training” actually is, or how related assets should be managed. At the time, the training industry was interested in solving different problems. Obviously science, technology, and business models have changed substantially since 1959.

The Digital Learning Asset Framework attempts to lay the groundwork for the next 50 years. It is intended to be used to measure Digital Learning Assets themselves as a function of their stated output goals. In other words, when we make a thing for people to learn from, does the thing do what it’s supposed to do? This can be known. The Framework helps us know it.

There is no reason one would have to give up the Kirkpatrick model (or likely any other existing training evaluation models) in order to use the Digital Learning Asset Framework. While this Framework is potentially complementary to the familiar Kirkpatrick standard, it is ultimately indifferent to it. Use what works for you.

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