An Overview: Brinkerhoff's Method for Learning Evaluation


Brinkerhoff’s Success Case Method (SCM) focuses on qualitative analysis and crafting stories from discussions with a small number (i.e. about two to six) of affected parties. But this model is not restricted to learning, as it can be used to analyze any major business change, such as the purchase of new equipment or implementation of a new process.

What is the Brinkerhoff model?

While some learning programs are resounding successes, and others are total flops—most of the time, they fall somewhere in the middle. Regardless of your overall training program's success, there will always be a few outliers: those learners who performed or scored exceptionally well and those for whom the program did not work.

Recommended Reading

Brinkerhoff’s Success Case Method (SCM) involves identifying the most and least successful cases within your learning program and studying them in detail. By comparing the successes to the failures, you learn what to change to ensure success in future endeavors. Based on what you learn, you can also write and publicize success stories to show the value of your program.

To Brinkerhoff or not to Brinkerhoff?

Remember, Brinkerhoff's Success Case Model is not designed to help judge the overall
success of an initiative. Rather, it's to help you learn from the most and least successful cases. We’re not sure if Brinkerhoff would agree, but we recommend using
his method alongside other learning evaluation methods to paint a full picture. When it comes to particularly important or innovative programs, however, the Success Case Model will help you dig deeper, learn lessons, and shout about successes.

Brinkerhoff Learning Evaluation & Correlation (source:  

Where can I find out more about learning evaluation?

If you want to learn more about Brinkerhoff's Method of learning evaluation, download our full eBook now. And don't forget to visit our online resource center for even more digital guides and books, learning strategy worksheets, and recorded webinars, just to name a few.

eBook: Brinkerhoff's Method for Learning Evaluation

Andrew Downes

About The Author

As one of the authors of xAPI, Andrew Downes has years of expertise in data-driven learning design. With a background in instructional design and development, he’s well versed in creating learning experiences and platforms in corporate and academic environments.