An Overview: Kaufman's Levels of Learning Evaluation

Kaufman's Levels of Learning Evaluation is one of several learning evaluation models that builds on or reacts to Kirkpatrick’s model. In this blog post, find out more about the two main differences between Kaufman's learning model and Kirkpatrick's model.

What is Kaufman's Model?

Kaufman's Five Levels of Learning Evaluation splits Kirkpatrick’s Level 1 into "Input" and "Process" (or Level 1a and Level 1b). Input represents the learning materials and resources available to learners. Process represents the actual delivery method of the learning experience.

Kaufman's LevelsKirkpatrick EquivalentKaufman Level's Explanation
Input1aResource availability and quality. These are training materials, digital resources, etc., used to support the learning experience.
Process2bProcess acceptability and efficiency. This is the actual delivery of the learning experience.
Micro2 and 3Individual and small group payoffs. This is the result for the “micro-level client” (normally the learner). Did the learner “acquire” the learning? Did he or she apply it on the job?
Macro4Organizational payoffs. This is the result for the “macro-level client,” the organization, and includes evaluation of performance improvement and cost benefit/cost consequence analysis.
Megan/aSocietal contributions. This is the result for the “mega-level client,” either society as a whole or a company’s clientele.

Kaufman adds a fifth level referred to as "mega" that looks at the benefits to society as a whole and the benefits to a business’ clients. This is in contrast to Kirkpatrick's levels of evaluation, which only look at benefits to the business itself.

What’s hot?

We recommend evaluating your learning materials separately from delivery. This helps you identify problems with materials earlier in the process and more easily discern where improvements need to be made. You also should define separate quality standards for your materials and delivery method.

What’s not?

We do not suggest capturing data about your learning program's impact on society as a whole; it is too far removed to be useful. As for benefits to the customer, however, this data is absolutely important and should be incorporated into the business metrics you’re evaluating at Level 4.

Up Next: Brinkerhoff's Success Case Method

In the next installment of our Learning Evaluation blog series, we will be covering Brinkerhoff's learning evaluation method. Don't miss out! Be sure to subscribe to Watershed Insights to get the latest posts delivered straight to your inbox.

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