Monthly Archives: September 2014

Occam’s Razor visits the 3rd Level of Kirkpatrick

by Randy Sabourin

occumsI’m not sure I can get the title to be any more jargon-y, but I like it. Perhaps we should get definitions out of the way first. Occam’s Razor is a problem solving principle devised by William of Ockham in the 12th century. It states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Its modern adaption, that the simplest explanation is often the most likely one, can be applied to complex problems to help simplify them. Kirkpatrick’s 4 Levels of Learning Evaluation was developed to measure the effectiveness of training by Donald Kirkpatrick. The 3rd level is the Holy Grail of Corporate Learning. It asks if there is an observable change in the participant’s behavior from the training. It’s generally evaluated 3 to 6 months after the training. I’m not going to define the Holy Grail.

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