by Dominique Turnbow
In this post, we’ll explore Level 1 of the Kirkpatrick Model. In the previous post, I introduced the model and pyramid I’ll be referring to throughout this series. While this model was not developed specifically for information literacy instruction, it is applicable to the work that we do as instruction librarians.
Lets start at the bottom of the pyramid with Level 1: Reaction. Each level has questions that drive the kind of information that you should strive to answer if you are evaluating or assessing for that level.
Level 1 of the Kirkpatrick Model attempts to uncover your learners reaction to their learning experience. How satisfied are learners with the lesson? Were learners engaged? Is the content relevant to them?
It might surprise you that the first level seems to have nothing to do with what learners actually learned, but instead with their satisfaction of the learning experience, which is comprised of learner engagement and relevancy of content. Research that suggests that motivation plays a key part in one’s learning and learners are less likely to retain information if content is not relevant (learn more about relevancy and motivation here and here). The ARCS Model provides a framework for promoting and sustaining learner motivation through attention, relevance, confidence and satisfaction.
Evaluation or Assessment?
Many people use the terms “evaluation” and “assessment” interchangeably; however, these terms have different definitions for educators and instructional designers. I like to use the definition provided by ACRL’s guidelines for Characteristics of Programs of Information Literacy that Illustrate Best Practices: you assess people and evaluate things. For example, you would assess what students learned from your workshop; you would evaluate how they liked the workshop format, delivery, etc. When writing learning outcomes for Level 1 evaluation, consider using phrases like “learners will be confident,” “learners agree that content is relevant to them,” or “learners will be engaged in the workshop.” Assessment plays a part in the Kirkpatrick Model in Level 2 and Level 3 where you examine the student’s learning and behavior change.
Now it is your turn to think about how you might incorporate Level 1 evaluation into your next information literacy workshop or learning experience. Develop something you could use to capture Level 1 evaluation, like an activity, worksheet, etc. Join the conversation by posting your ideas and questions in the comments. I’ll post my ideas on November 14.