Alternative’s to Kirkpatrick: Brinkerhoff’s Success Case Method

Instructional Design Fusions

As learning experience designers (aka instructional designers aka performance improvement consultants), we constantly try to improve upon our own processes. Are we meeting the needs of our learners? Are we creating learning opportunities that impact organizational performance?

When it comes to learning solutions leveraged in organizations, Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model is often looked to as the assessment method, despite its focus on training events rather than on learning processes.  In my previous post, I  described an alternative approach to Kirkpatrick’s model—Kaufman’s 5 levels of evaluation.  In this post, I’ll take a look at a more flexible model, Brinkerhoff’s Success Case Method.

Brinkerhoff: A focus on systems

Brinkerhoff (2005) squarely addresses one of the critiques of Kirkpatrick’s model: “Performance results can’t be achieved by training alone; therefore training should not be the object of evaluation” (p. 87). According to Brinkerhoff, this is like saying that the success of a marriage depends on…

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