Summary of Measurement Demystified

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Measurement Demystified book summary

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This richly detailed manual on learning measurement promotes not only evidence- and data-based learning and development (L&D), but emphasizes the need to manage learning like a business. The relatively new Talent Development Reporting Principles (TDRp) by organizational development experts Peggy Parskey and Dave Vance incorporate measurement models that Kirkpatrick and Phillips crafted a half-century ago. Importantly, however, the TDRp extends measurement and reporting beyond learner satisfaction, application, business impact and return on investment (ROI). TDRp includes using metrics to manage learning performance by regularly monitoring and adjusting training programs.

About the Authors

David Vance and Peggy Parskey run the Center for Talent Reporting and were instrumental in developing the TDRp. Vance was named chief learning officer of the year in 2006. Both consult and speak widely on the topic of learning measurement.


Most firms measure learning only to gauge efficiency – quantity and learner satisfaction versus costs.

Most firms record the number of training courses they offer their employees, the number of learners who complete them and the direct costs of these programs. They tend to capture learner satisfaction with formal training as well through surveys or evaluation sheets that learners complete afterward.

However, fewer companies move beyond these basic efficiency measures to assess learning and development (L&D) effectiveness – including the degree to which employees apply what they learn on the job, and the business outcomes that follow. Only a small minority conducts a return on investment (ROI) analysis to assess whether the benefits of a training initiative outweigh the costs.

Useful models for evaluating learning effectiveness have existed for decades.

In the 1950s, Don Kirkpatrick built on the work of Raymond Katzell to suggest four levels of training evaluation. In the 1970s, Jack Phillips altered Kirkpatrick’s fourth level slightly, adding a fifth level for ROI analysis:

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