Donald Kirkpatrick – The Measure of a Legend

karl-kapp-donald-kirkpartickA wave of tributes has greeted the passing of Donald Kirkpatrick – visionary and architect of the ‘Four Levels of Evaluation’. Dr. Kirkpatrick’s work revolutionized the concept of training evaluation, and subsequent measurement of learning ROI. With a lifetime worth of contributions to the L&D community, and unwavering dedication to work-related learning and performance, Dr. Kirkpatrick’s voice and methodologies have become the gold standard within organizational learning & development.

Often cited as a legend of the industry, his pioneering work continues to significantly influence those who are new to the learning industry, as well as seasoned veterans in the areas of communication and leadership. Dr. Kirkpatrick’s work created a ripple effect that continues to spread ever outward, influencing people at every level of the industry, an impact that is surely immeasurable.

“To me, Donald Kirkpatrick was a pioneer in the field and someone to whom I admired and looked up to. His work influenced my ideas about evaluation, tracking behavior change and the power of a simple idea to change an industry. It still amazes me, the history of his model…how it grew and grew and became so influential. It is a great example of letting an idea run free. The power of ideas. The model is useful and beneficial for all types of learning and, importantly, it is easy to understand and apply but complex enough to deal with the issues of evaluation that we are experiencing today.”
Karl Kapp
Professor/Consultant at Bloomsburg University

“Dr. Kirkpatrick will forever be remembered for his immense contribution to our industry. His ‘Four Levels of Evaluation’ model is woven into the very fabric of the Axonify solution, helping connect measurable learning to tangible business results. He was a pioneer, a thought leader, and a personal inspiration – he will be greatly missed.”
Carol Leaman
CEO, Axonify

“So much has already been said about the impact that the Four Levels of Evaluation have had on several generations of trainers – revolutionizing the way we measure program impact. What was memorable for me was Dr. Kirkpatrick’s final presentation in Orlando in 2011. He shared with a packed room the emotional, spiritual connection that he has to his Four Levels model. It was a rare and inspiring glimpse into how much passion there is within some of the leaders in our field. L&D was much more than a job or industry function for Donald Kirkpatrick. It was his life’s purpose, and he shared all that he knew freely to help everyone be the best we can.”
Juana Llorens
ATD Community of Practice Manager, Learning and Development

“He will truly be missed as he has been one of the most influential icons in my career. I will fondly remember a few moments together giving each other a hard time as he was a Green Bay fan and I a Detroit Lions fan. Rest in Peace, thank you for sharing, leading, and contributing so much to our profession – bless you Don. Level 4 is what you were about…”
David Shulkin
Learning/Performance Technology & Television Professional

“He opened our eyes to the importance of looking beyond the classroom, to influence how people do their work; to shift our focus from how well we train, to how well they learn.”
Jackie Morton
Director, Human Resources, Crowe MacKay

Please share your Dr. Kirkpatrick stories with us, as we remember and honor this rockstar of learning.

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