Getting feedback on your training helps ensure that you're providing appropriate materials in a way that people are able to learn. The trick to getting feedback is to be able to elicit meaningful responses that you can use to improve your training without taking too much of your trainees' time.
What do you want feedback on?
Get general course feedback. People come to trainings for a variety of reasons, but ultimately they want to learn something. Your evaluation needs to find out if participants got what they came for. Questions include: 1) Did the training cover what you expected? 2) Was the information presented in an organized and easy to understand manner? 3) Did the training provide you with new information or insights into the topic?
To get feedback on the quality of the instructor, ask questions such as: 1) Was the instructor prepared? 2) Did the instructor know the material? 3) Was the instructor easy to follow and understand? 4) Did the instructor offer clarifications if needed? 5) Was the instructor enthusiastic and engaging?
Rate the quality of materials. While some people can learn by the spoken word alone, many others need visual cues. Visual materials not only provide additional information or clarification, but they help keep the training focused and organized. You can find out how well your materials did their job by asking: 1) Did the materials assist in making key points? 2) Were they easy to read and understand? 3) Were they clearly organized?
Create Your Evaluation
Give a numerical rating. This is the most common format of training evaluations which involves asking participates to rate the course on a scale such as from 1 to 5. It works well because it's easy to measure and gives participants an easy way to let you know if they loved it, hated it, or were lukewarm about it. Be sure you're clear about how the ratings work. Is a 1 exceptionally good or bad?
Ask for written responses. Another option is to ask participants to write short answers to feedback questions. For the answers to be helpful, the questions should be written in a way that requires more than a yes or no answer. Instead of "Did you get something from this course?" ask "What did you get from this course?"
Ask for feedback. While you want to know what participants thought of your training, you also want to know specifically what they loved or hated, or what they would recommend you add or change. While you can have one section asking for general feedback, to get the best responses, ask for specific information. For example, 1) What did you like best about the training? 2) What did you want to learn that wasn't covered? 3) What suggestions do you have for improving the training? The best evaluations are a combination of ratings and feedback because you can get a measure of the overall class as well as specific feedback, and yet they can be filled out quickly by participants.
Keep it anonymous. If you want honest answers, do not to ask for names. Some trainings ask participants if they want to receive further information and if so, to put their contact information on the feedback form. But doing this can reduce the quality of responses. If participants want more information, have them put their contact information on a separate sheet.
Be sure you give participants enough time to respond to evaluations and a safe place to turn them in so they can remain anonymous. Also, remember that evaluations are a tool to improve your training, so use the information you receive whether it is to improve some area or simply keep up the good work.
- Be sure you give participants enough time to respond to evaluations and a safe place to turn them in so they can remain anonymous. Also, remember that evaluations are a tool to improve your training, so use the information you receive whether it is to improve some area or simply keep up the good work.
Leslie Truex has been telecommuting and freelancing since 1994. She wrote the "The Work-At-Home Success Bible" and is a career/business and writing instructor at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Truex has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Willamette University and a Master of Social Work from California State University-Sacramento. She has been an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America certified fitness instructor since 2001.