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Training Evaluation Model: Evaluating and Improving Criminal Justice Training

NCJ Number
Kelly Bradley; Edward Connors
Date Published
September 2007
397 pages
This project produced and tested a training evaluation model that can guide evaluations of a wide range of criminal justice training programs.
The project adapted Donald Kirkpatrick's training evaluation model to criminal justice training. Kirkpatrick's model identifies four levels that successively build upon each previous level: reaction, learning, behavioral change, and results. "Reaction" refers to determining how well participants liked a training program based on rating sheets distributed at the close of a training event. "Learning" involves measuring participants' changes in attitude, improvements in knowledge, or increases in skills or techniques. This is important because changes in behavior cannot occur if learning has not been achieved. "Behavioral change" refers to the transfer of learning at the individual level, i.e., changes in an individual's job performance that can be attributed to the training. "Results" involves shifting the focus from the training's impact on individual job performance to the measurable organizational results that can be attributed to the training. After explaining the features of Kirkpatrick's model, this report presents the modified model for use with criminal justice training programs. The model that was tested includes several stages of training development that will facilitate evaluation of the training. Evaluation planning and data collection are built into the earliest stages of training development. The expanded training and evaluation model specifies tasks for conducting a needs assessment, followed by the design of a training plan, the development and testing of the curriculum, revision of the training, delivering the curriculum, and evaluating the training and trainers. Kirkpatrick's evaluation model becomes useful in determining the l impact on trainees and their organizations. Results are presented for the testing of the model at four sites that had received discretionary grant funding for training through the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). 5 appendixes with supplementary reports and 120 references