How do I evaluate my course?

Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Training Evaluation Model

A good metrics to use in evaluating elearning courses is Kirkpatrick’s Four- Level Training Evaluation Model. This was developed by Donald Kirkpatrick, of the University of Wisconsin in his 1959 book “Four-Level Training Evaluation Model.” He emphasized four areas of assessment (Mindtools, 2016):


Reaction – Questions in this area allow learners to provide feedback on user experience, course topic, course navigation, moderator of facilitator, materials, etc.  You can use the results to help improve the course for future learners.


Learning – Questions in this area allow you to measure what the learners have gained from your course. This is where your learning objectives come in. Your questions should match with and help address the course learning objectives and determine if there was a change in the learners’ knowledge, skills, and attitude.


Behavior – Questions in this area help you assess how learners are applying what they have learned from your course.  This would entail involvement of the supervisors and the working environment that would allow the learners to apply what they have learned in their workplace.


Results – Questions in this area enable you to assess if your course are contributing to the business requirements and pre-set learning outcomes of the learners’ respective organization as a whole.


WATCH: The Four Levels Training Evaluation Model (2:37) by Hendri L. Tobing


Step 1: Create options for feedback about the course – It is recommended that you ask the learners their immediate feedback on the course in terms of user experience, topic, scope of discussions, moderator or facilitator, the materials used, areas of improvement, and others questions that would help improve the course.

Other tools that we also recommend are online discussions so that learners can interact with each other and with the course moderator or facilitator if they need to share experiences of if they need clarifications about the instructions or the content.

You might also want to create an online community for your course learners. The learners can use the online community to discuss and interact before, during and after the moderated course ends, or during the offering of your self-paced course.

Learners also often experience technical problems. They must be provided with helpdesk options via email, phone, or live chat.

Step 2: Assess learners’ performance – Following Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model, design quizzes, self-assessment questions, and learning activities that would help achieve the course objectives.  Do you need a pre-test? A post-test only? Or both?

READ: eLearning course evaluation: a guide for elearning professionals

READ: 5 Elements of measuring engagement in training evaluation

READ: The streetlight effect: when your training evaluation Is guided by what’s easy to measure


Step 3: Use results for course improvement – You can open self-paced courses for a certain period and assess course feedback and learners’ performance. Use the results to improve the course and launch a new version for a new batch of learners.  The same can be done for moderated courses which are open only for a specific duration.

Last modified: Monday, 10 April 2017, 5:27 PM