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David Ratcliffe, President, Pink Elephant

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    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    Experiential Learning: Translating Knowledge Into Results

    When a concept is simple to grasp then I believe there’s a greater likelihood it will be embraced.

    One such example is the Kirkpatrick Model for evaluating training programs. How can you argue with this:

    A “Level 1” learning experience is where the student REACTS positively to training.

    A “Level 2” learning experience is where the student actually ACQUIRES new knowledge or skills.

    A “Level 3” learning experience is where the student actually goes back to work and CHANGES their behaviour.

    A “Level 4” learning experience is where the student’s new behaviour IMPACTS the business in a positive and measurable way.

    Here at Pink we’re undertaking a review of all of our education products to ensure we go beyond levels 1 & 2. So, if I can paraphrase Don Kirkpatrick and translate his levels into ITSM-speak, here’s how it could read:

    Level 1
    Students might rate a classroom training course or a conference presentation as “very good” simply because they were engaged and had an enjoyable experience. I think this sort of thing happens a LOT, especially where a speaker is knowledgeable about a subject and engages with an audience that is not under any great pressure or motivation to change anything once the session is over.

    Level 2
    At the end of a training session the student takes an exam to prove they absorbed and learned something. I believe the ITIL Foundation experience for many students achieves no more than this outcome.

    Level 3
    At the end of a training session the student may, or may not, take an exam - but they are more capable of changing things for the better once they return to work. This is certainly what should come out of an ITIL Intermediate course, and I believe there’s no reason a good ITIL Foundation course shouldn’t be able to reach this level too. Unfortunately, the objective for many students entering an ITIL Foundation class is just to pass the exam, and it’s easy for the Trainer to settle for that too.

    Level 4
    At the end of a training session the student returns to work with new behaviours and action items AND is able to put them into practice to deliver positive outcomes enabling FUNCTIONAL - or ideally BUSINESS - objectives.

    It’s not that we don’t want to see Level & Level 2 outcomes - we do. But we want to see Level 3 and Level 4 outcomes in addition to the enjoyment of the experience and certification. I believe this is best achieved by incorporating some type of “experiential learning” (or business simulation) in training sessions. Check out Pink’s newly enhanced classroom ITIL Foundation course to see what I mean.


    (13) Comments
    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 04/27 at 02:33 PM
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