Making Sure Your Training is Effective-Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation

Instructional Design Basics

Companies pour a lot of money into training. And of course, they hope that money is well spent.

That would mean that the training worked, in casual terms. Or, to be more specific, that employees learned things, developed new skills, and changed their behaviors at work, and those changed behaviors ultimately contributed to progress toward a business goal, such as increased workplace safety, higher production efficiency, increased sales revenue, lower total costs, the roll-out of a new product, or similar goals.

But exactly how do you know if your training was effective?

To figure this out, Donald Kirkpatrick came up with something now called Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Training Evaluation. There are other methods to do this, but Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels are a widely used method. They became very popular after he published his book Evaluating Training Programs in 1994.

We’ll learn more about the four-level Kirkpatrick evaluation in this article.


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Blended Learning Post at IPCed’s Blog

We just wrote a post about blended learning that appears on the blog of our friends at the Institute for Professional Care Education.

Never heard of blended learning before? Well, the guest post explains it fully, but the general idea is to create training that includes activities in more than one format–for example, an online course followed up with instructor-led training. We feel so strongly about blended learning that we created our family of Convergence learning management systems (LMSs) to let you work with many different types of training. Click the link in the first paragraph to read the blog post at IPCed and learn more.

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Convergence Partner Capstone Technology Launches New Website

You may not be aware of this, but Convergence Training is actually a division of Capstone Technology, a global provider of a wide range of industrial and manufacturing technology solutions. We work from our comfortable Vancouver, Washington headquarters alongside our partners in Capstone’s MACS and dataPARC divisions, and have satellite offices and technical partners spread out across the world. We share many of the same clients, and we share the same goal – to deliver innovative solutions that allow you to get the most from your facilities.

Check out the recently overhauled Capstone Technology website to learn more about what we’re up to.

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New Courses Available Now: Ergonomics for Office Environments and Process Safety Management (PSM)

We’ve got two new courses available in our safety training libraries!

The first, Ergonomics for Office Environments, is part of our standard Health and Safety training library.

And the second, Process Safety Management (PSM), is part of our Safety/Hazardous Materials library.

Check the videos below to see a sample of each new course. If you want more information or want to request a demo of the full courses, here’s how you can contact us.

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How to Use Leading & Lagging Indicators to Evaluate Workplace Safety–PLUS Safety Differently

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Every company we work with says that safety is job one, safety is the most important thing, there’s no work goal that’s worth sacrificing safety, or something like that. And they’re sincere.

To that end, they come to us for help improving their safety training programs, using our 3D-animated online safety training materials, our best-in-class learning management systems for use in industrial and manufacturing companies, or even our mobile safety training and work-support solutions.

One top of that, of course, they’ve got multi-tiered safety efforts at work. They may have a safety management system; they’re using the hierarchy of controls and they’re performing proper job hazard analyses. They hold regular safety meetings, they track safety incidents and near misses, and they perform incident investigations.

So there’s a lot of serious effort going into safety and safety training.

But how do you KNOW that you’ve got a safe workplace? For many, the answer is to look at the incident rate. The goal is always zero incidents; a decreasing incident rate is a good sign, and an increasing incident rate a bad one.

But that’s not enough. There’s more to safety than just your incident rate, right? So a lot of safety people talk about leading and lagging indicators of safety.

What does that mean? Well, let’s take a step back and look at the terms leading and lagging first. Leading indicators are things that occur before an incident could occur, and lagging indicators are things that happened after an event occurred. Leading is before; lagging after. It’s the same use of the terms that you hear when people on the news are discussing economics.

That’s the new, updated, traditional safety logic. But we’re also throwing in some additional thoughts about an even newer concept called Safety Differently, which turns some of this stuff on its head as well (especially the stuff about lagging indicators). So we hope you find this article thought provoking in a safety kind of way.


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Teaching Skills: The Psychomotor Domain of Learning and Learning Objectives

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[This is the the seventh in a series of posts about learning objectives. We’ve now compiled all the posts into a single downloadable guide to writing learning objectives if you want to check that out.]

As we mentioned in an earlier post, Bloom believed there are three different kinds of learning: learning about things you can “know,” learning about things you can “do,” and learning about things you “feel.” We will refer to these as knowledge, skills, and attitudes, or “KSAs” for short.

In this post, we’re going to consider the “skills” domain more closely, looking at six different levels of skill. The information below is based on the theories of R.H. Dave (1975), and draws from explanations of those theories that appear at Don Clark’s well-known “Big Dog Little Dog” instructional design blog. Check out Clark’s material on learning domains to read more about this hierarchy and to learn about alternate versions of this hierarchy by Simpson and Harrow if you’re interested. I’ve written about Dave’s hierarchy because it’s the one that seems most useful to me, but the others are also popular, well-known, and well-regarded.

This information can help you create a more effective workforce training program.


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Brrr…The Polar Vortex Is Upon Us. Here Are Some Cold Weather Safety Tips

Baby, it’s cold outside. (I like that version, don’t you?)

In fact, much of the US is being revisited by something we seem to hear more about in recent years: a polar vortex.

As you’ve probably heard on this news, the low temps associated with the polar vortex are dangerous and even deadly. As a result, we thought we’d use the opportunity to drop some quick links to helpful information on you. Check ’em out below and stay warm and safe.


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Common Question: Do You Need an Authoring Tool Like Articulate or Captivate to Use the Convergence LMS? Answer: No

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One of the questions that our new learning management system (LMS) customers frequently ask us is whether or not they NEED to use e-learning authoring tools like Articulate Studio/Storyline, Adobe Captivate, or others in order to use our LMS.

Another related question they commonly ask is “What’s an e-learning authoring tool anyway?”

So we thought a little post to clear all this up would be helpful. The brief answer to the first question is NO. You can use the Convergence LMS perfectly well without an authoring tool. The information below will explain that more fully. And as for the second question, if you don’t yet know what an e-learning authoring tool is, read on.

Convergence Training is a training solutions provider. We make off-the-shelf e-learning courses, several learning management systems (LMSs), custom training solutions, and more. Contact us to see full-length course previews, set up an LMS demo, or just ask a few questions.

And since you’re here, why not download one of our free guides as well:


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Free Interactive Glossary of Corrugated Board Terms

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Are you in the corrugated board industry?

If so, you might find this free, downloadable, interactive glossary of terms used in the corrugated board industry interesting and valuable.

We’ve drawn all the images and definitions from our series of e-learning courses for corrugated manufacturers, which you might want to check out–it’s a cool series of courses, assuming you’re into corrugated. Which we assume you are, since you’re reading this post.

We hope you enjoy this and put it to good use.


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NSC’s 10 Preventable Workplace Incidents (And Suggested Safety Training Courses for Each)

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The National Safety Council (NSC) has a list of the Top Ten Preventable Workplace Incidents on their website. According to them, the items on the list are the “ten most reported workmen’s compensation injuries as listed by top insurance companies throughout the country.”

Since we’re all interested in preventing workplace incidents and injuries, we thought it would be helpful to provide the list below and include some suggested workplace safety training courses for each item.


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Happy New Year from Convergence Training!

With only a little time left in 2013, we at Convergence Training wanted to wish you all a very happy New Year.

Don’t worry if you didn’t follow through on all those ambitious resolutions you set for yourself last year. You now have 365 days to come up with a whole set of new ones.

So whether you’re staying in to watch the ball drop or celebrating out with friends and family, have a safe and wonderful end to 2013, and an amazing start to 2014.

Cheers from Convergence Training!!!

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How Video Can Help Us Learn: A Fun Example

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Every so often, when we see some effective training material during our daily lives outside the office, or when we see something that explains things nicely, we like to share it here.

Some years ago, we found the video below from a story on the National Public Radio (NPR) website about an informational video that explained a physical process. The video was created by a college student named Dan Quinn. Mr. Quinn has a YouTube channel where he publishes videos he creates, and one is a really interesting piece on why wine “cries” in a glass.

We decided to write more about that video for our “things from everyday life that related to job training” series below.

For more articles in this series, check out this article on visual design and airline tickets and this article on humor in pre-flight safety videos.


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