One of the often over-looked components of training program development is the post-training evaluation. In many cases, the evaluation design is an afterthought as precedence is given to the actual training content.
This is a huge mistake.
Arguably, the design of your evaluations should begin near the start of the entire project. This includes pre-course, in-course, and post-course evaluations. Otherwise you will likely end up using paper-based-smiley-face driven evaluations, which won’t really give you any insight into the course material and how to improve.
When it comes to post training assessment, there are a few “best practice” tips that you can use so as to help maximize its effectiveness and participation. It doesn’t matter if the training is elearning or live, these guidelines apply to both:
Post Training Evaluation Tips
Make evaluation part of course completion metrics – By linking the evaluation to a learner’s proof of attendance, your participation rates will skyrocket.
Administer assessments electronically – There are a variety of reasons for this, but mainly because it allows you to generate meaningful reports with the responses received, as well as keep accurate records. Even in a live training session, look to deliver the evaluation electronically.
Use proven evaluation techniques – Don’t just think of random questions, put some time into researching (and using) proven theories for capturing relevant data. There are many evaluation theories that you can go with for your training (my personal favorite being the Kirkpatrick model).
Require Comments – At least one section of your final evaluation should require written (typed) comments. While making every written feedback portion of the evaluation required is a bit too much, having one section is just fine. If you use the first tip, then you won’t have to worry about much backlash to this.