“Learning is the relatively permanent change in knowledge or behavior that is the result of experience.” Stephen Robbins
There is a new model of evaluation in town: the eight-level Learning-Transfer Evaluation Model (LTEM) developed by Dr. Will Thalheimer. It is designed to help organizations and learning professionals determine if their evaluation methods are effective in validating learning success. [Note: I’ve added the loose comparison to Kirkpatrick’s Model.]
The Four Ineffective Evaluation Methods
Level 1: Attendance. Butts in Seats
The learner signs up, starts, attends, or completes a learning experience.[Learners may attend but not learn.]
Level 2: Activity. Class Participation
The learner engages in activities related to learning, such as attention, interest, and participation. [Learners may do these things but not learn.]
Level 3: Learner Perceptions. ~ Reaction
- The learner answers questions that reveal insights regarding learning effectiveness, such as learner comprehension, realistic practice, learner motivation to apply, and after-learning support. [This can hint at outcomes but should be augmented with objective outcome measures.]
- The learner answers questions that do NOT reveal insights regarding learning effectiveness, such as learner satisfaction, course reputation, etc. [These are not related to learning results.]
Level 4: Knowledge. ~ Learning
The learner answers questions about facts/terminology.
- Knowledge recitation during or right after the learning event.
- Knowledge retention after several days or more.[Knowing or remembering facts or terminology does not fully enable performance.]
The Four More Effective Evaluation Methods
Level 5: Decision Making Competence.
The learner makes decisions given relevant realistic scenarios.
- Decision making competence during or right after the learning event. [Learners may forget decision making competencies.] ~ Learning
- Remembered decision making competence after several days or more. [Adequate to certify decision making competence.] ~ Behavior
Level 6: Task Competence.
The learner performs relevant realistic actions and decision making.
- Task competence during or right after the learning event. [Learners may forget task competencies.] ~ Learning
- Remembered task competence after several days or more. [Adequate to certify task competence.] ~ Behavior
Level 7: Transfer. ~ Behavior
The learner uses what was learned to perform work tasks successfully, as clearly demonstrated through objective measures.
- Assisted transfer: when performance is substantially prompted/supported.
- Full transfer: when the learner demonstrates full agency in applying the learning. [Both are adequate.]
Level 8: Effects of Transfer. A much broader version of Results, somewhat idealistic
When transfer outcomes affect learners, coworkers/family/friends, organization, community, society, and the environs. [Certification requires certification of transfer plus a rigorous method of assessing transfer’s causal impact, including positive and negative effects.]
Question: How do you like this evaluation model?
May your learning be sweet- and safe.