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Where Did The Four Levels Come From?

Dr. Don Kirkpatrick was Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin and Honorary Chairman of Kirkpatrick Partners until his passing in May 2014.

An innovator and visionary thinker, Don created and developed The Kirkpatrick Model, the most recognized and widely-used training evaluation model in the world. He established the Four Levels of Evaluation framework in the 1950s, around the time he completed his Ph.D. dissertation, Evaluating a Human Relations Training Program for Supervisors.

About Don Kirkpatrick

Don held B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he spent the majority of his professional career at the school’s Management Institute. He shared valuable principles and techniques with managers at all levels, covering a wide range of topics, including Coaching, Communication, Time Management, Change Management, Team Building, and Leadership.

During his career, Don served as Training Director for International Minerals and Chemical Corp. and Human Resources Manager of Bendix Products Aerospace Division.

He also served as president of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). He was the recipient of ASTD’s highest honor, the Gordon Bliss Award, as well as a “Lifetime Achievement in Workplace Learning and Performance” award. He was a member of Training Magazine’s Hall Of Fame, and inn 2007, received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Asia HRD Congress.

Don served as the Board Chairman of South Asian Ministries, was an active member of Gideons International, and was a Senior Elder at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

He loved fishing, tennis, golf, big band and classical music, directing church choirs, and composing his annual family Christmas poems. In May 2011, Don retired from public speaking and put his musical and literary talent to good use writing original songs. To listen, go to Don passed away peacefully in May 2014 with close family by his side.

The Kirkpatrick Model

The Kirkpatrick Model is the standard for leveraging and validating talent investments.

The four levels of evaluation — Reaction, Learning, Behavior, and Results — form the time – tested and most trusted method of designing, implementing, and evaluating training that produces bottom-line value and organizational mission accomplishment.


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