Impressions of Kirkpatrick Webinar

Don Kirkpatrick

Don Kirkpatrick is not the sourpuss the photo, posted to announce this webinar with the legendary icon, portrayed. Rather, he presented today as a warm, gracious, humble elderly gentleman, more like this photo. His role today was to trace the nearly 50-year history of the evaluation model that bears his name. The Kirkpatrick Levels of Evaluation began as part of his second Ph.D. in education to add to one in business leadership. His key research agenda was evaluation. In 1959 he wrote a series of four articles in which he broke evaluation into four parts: reaction, learning, behavior, and results. He said he never personally identified them as “levels.” In the intervening years, his model gained recognition and renown. One purpose for today’s webinar was to highlight his organization’s current focus. Now run by his son and daughter-in-law, Kirkpatrick Parters is tackling the struggles many organizations experience with Levels Three and Four of the Kirkpatrick Model. They call it “the new world levels.”

Their focus is to demonstrate value of Training Effectiveness. They find that most organizations deal with Levels One and Two well, but shy away from, lack the courage to fully confront Levels 3 and 4. Throughout the webinar the Kirkpatricks emphasized two key elements:

  1. The End is the Beginning. So, they stress beginning with Level 4 to set criteria for success in the ROI, Return on Expectations.
  2. Value must be created before it can be demonstrated. They strongly advise not to let the metrics define value at the end of the project but to make sure it works along the way. Training alone does not get results and must be built with performance checks and drivers.

Their presentation contained specific “required drivers” to support the evaluation process.

The entire webinar is available on-demand at the Training Industry website (, and resources and materials from the webinar are available at this link.


New Media Consortium

Earlier this semester I discovered New Media Consortium, the research center that tracks emerging technologies, and its yearly Horizon Reports. Below is a short summary about NMC Horizon Reports and links to those reports.

NMC Horizon Reports


With well over one million downloads in the past ten years, the NMC Horizon Report series serves the higher education, K-12, and museum communities across the globe in their desire to understand the impact of emerging technologies on their chosen field or discipline. Not a predictive tool, the NMC Horizon Report provides insight into the technologies that are most likely to make a significant impact across three time horizons, based on the consensus opinions of the self-nominated advisory board.

Expert Research and Analysis
In 2002, the NMC launched the first NMC Horizon Report and expanded its reach in 2008 and 2010 to cover both formal and informal learning in the higher education, K-12, and museum sectors. The reports provide a detailed overview of six emerging technology topics and explore the relevance of each for teaching, learning, and creative inquiry through action-based examples and recommended further readings. Each NMC Horizon Report is released with a Creative Commons attribution-only license and may be freely replicated and distributed.

International Perspective
Because of the growing desire from institutions in different parts of the world to gain more region-specific insight, in 2011 the NMC expanded the work of the project to include the series of NMC Technology Outlooks — special editions of the NMC Horizon Report that focus on the future landscape of learning in particular regions and/or countries. This new series of reports is the product of collaborations between the NMC and innovative organizations across the world that seek to leverage the well-known medium of the NMC Horizon Report to bring important research, trends, and challenges in their regions to light.

Consensus Among Thought Leaders
Each edition of the NMC Horizon Report or Technology Outlook begins with the formation of an international, multi-disciplinary group of between 40 and 50 technology experts from both within and outside higher education. That group engages in dialog and discussions about potential applications of emerging technologies — most of which may not be obvious if the technology is very new. Participation on the Horizon Project advisory board is by invitation after self-nomination, and participants are honored with a special listing and acknowledgement in the NMC Horizon Report. Since 2002, hundreds of experts from all over the world have served on an NMC Horizon Project advisory board.

> NMC Horizon Project

> NMC Horizon Reports

> NMC Horizon Project Navigator