Never Forget Kirkpatrick’s 4 Levels

If you are a training nerd, you are likely familiar with Donald Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Learning Evaluation. If not, you may want to check it out. It is the best way to evaluate any business training effort. My purpose, though, is not to delve into the levels but to take you through the process of how I memorized them so that you might never forget them and apply the techniques to your own learning pursuits.

The Levels

The levels are: Reaction, Learning, Behavior, and Results.

The Process

One of the best ways to remember something is to come up with a word that includes the first letter of each item you are trying to remember. A famous application of this is PEMDAS to remember the “Order of Operations” (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction). So, in order to come up with a word having the letters R-L-B-R, I used a site called WordSolver. The word it came up with for me was “Rollbar”. Great!

Now, I wondered “How can I associate “rollbar” with Kirkpatrick?” So the first thing that popped into my head for rollbar was a truck equipped with one. And being a Star Trek fan, I thought of Captain Kirk for “Kirk” and “Patrick” Stewart (a.k.a. Captain Picard). Putting it all together I saw a truck with Captain Kirk and Patrick Stewart in the cab rolling over (and surviving unscathed oh course). Memory set. Now I will never forget Kirkpatrick’s 4 Levels.

How about you? How have you applied techniques like this?

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