Evaluační teorie a praxe
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Kirkpatrick's Four-level Model: Theory, Practical Application and Possible Difficulties

Miroslav Tenkl



This paper deals with a theoretical framework and possibilities of a practical utilization of Kirkpatricks’s four level model which has been an essential part of an evaluation theories and methods for decades. Although the model was originally invented as an evaluation method for the educational systems, it has been adopted by many other socio-economical disciplines such as health care, industry, project management, environmental issues etc.

In spite of a successful spreading of the model across a wide range of spheres, its practical usage is in many cases disputable. Especially, serious failures very often occur in the time schedule of particular activities related to the each level of the model. As a result, evaluation processes are often delayed which lead to the insufficient or even mistaken conclusions. Beside this, the model is not usually implemented as a whole integrated instrument. On other word, although it is necessary to realize all four levels to achieve relevant results, there are usually carried out only the first two or even the first level.

In general, the basic aim of this paper is to extend knowledge about the model and its key features. In particular, the author mainly stresses those passages of the model in which the practical mistakes most often occur and which consequently cause misleading results.

At the beginning of the paper, there is outlined a historical background of the model as well as the circumstances that led to its emergence. Further, each level of the model is analyzed in detailed way so that one shall understand its practical utilization as well as the strengths and the weaknesses. In addition, the author shortly describes a few alternative models that have mainly emerged as a result of expert debate about the Kirkpatric’s model.

Case study which emphasizes shortages in the practical utilization is one of the crucial parts of the paper. Based on this practical example, the author provides some advices how to avoid making mistakes and to reach reliable results. Finally, one of the last chapter deals with an eventual options of a future development of the Kirkpatric’s model.


Miroslav Tenkl, Přírodovědecká fakulta Univerzity Karlovy v Praze, miroslav.tenkl@natur.cuni.cz

Tenkl, M. (2014) „Kirkpatrickův čtyř-úrovňový model: teorie, praktické využití a možná úskalí“. Evaluační teorie a praxe 2(1): 23-52


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