This review defines and describes the four levels of Kirkpatrick's model and identifies some of its strengths and weaknesses. It then describes some criticisms and variations designed to meet those criticisms. Finally, it reviews and analyzes a sample application of the model.
Developed in 1959 by Donald Kirkpatrick as part of his dissertation research, Kirkpatrick's four levels of evaluation (1959) is a well-accepted evaluation framework in the industrial and organizational psychology arena (Cascio, 1987). It has been used primarily to evaluate traditional instructor-led training programs and consists of evaluating four distinct general areas in sequential order (Figure 4.1):