Use a training evaluation checklist to collect feedback on your training. Learn when and how to ask the right questions following a training seminar, and employ these four easy tips when writing your own evaluation form. Simplify your evaluation process by replacing inefficient paper checklists with a free digital solution.
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A training evaluation checklist is a tool used by training and HR managers to gather feedback from participants in a training or seminar. This makes it easier to identify skill gaps and issues and then work to improve training programs and the overall experience that these programs provide.
The three most important advantages of a training evaluation are the necessary feedback from the learner's point of view, the motivation of the staff, and the constant optimization of the company.
A good training evaluation includes aspects such as: defining goals, personal impressions, the learning effectiveness, and practical orientation of the training.
By providing a training evaluation, you show attendees how important their opinions and suggestions are to you. On the one hand, the interaction shows genuine interest, and on the other hand, you get the chance to find ways to improve through ideas and constructive criticism.
Seminars and training courses run through all areas of life, whether in education or in the workplace. Analyzing this training in the form of feedback on the seminar is an important way to identify weaknesses and opportunities for improvement. The evaluation process is essential to assess the effectiveness of training, improve the overall quality of work, and boost employee morale and motivation by involving them in the development of training programs and allowing them to maximize their learning.
Seminar evaluations are not simply assessments of the skills of seminar leaders or whether the seminar is good enough to continue to be offered to future classes, but are used to consistently analyze the entire learning process. The stages of this process should be evaluated comprehensively whenever possible. You will also gain the following four benefits from good seminar evaluation:
Evaluating a seminar from a professional, pedagogical point of view alone is not very effective. It is the learning process as such, which is brought about by the seminar, that can best be assessed from the participants' point of view. In this way, a realistic assessment of productivity is achieved.
Employees who are involved in the design process of the company, especially if it is significantly responsible for its success, are more motivated to perform at their best and thus feel valued. The joint creation of corporate culture results in an optimal reputation of the company in the long run.
Constant evaluation of processes also brings constant improvement. Instead of crisis meetings as a last resort for sorting out serious mistakes, problems are identified promptly and can be dealt with proactively.
What the content of a training evaluation checklist, and thus the template, looks like depends heavily on the structure and content of the training. The same applies to the length of the questionnaire. In general, a training evaluation checklist should be well structured and kept as short as possible.
Frequently, the longer the questionnaire is, the fewer seminar participants feel like filling it out. Ultimately, this has a negative impact on the quality of the answers provided and, thus, on the assessment and interpretation of the results.
Accordingly, the training evaluation checklist should not contain too many questions and should preferably be equipped with simple questions and question types in order to obtain good usable data from a training evaluation. In terms of content, training questionnaires usually follow the following structure:
A seminar evaluation is half the battle for a successful company, but if crucial aspects are not evaluated, it’ll be impossible to get a complete picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the training process. The following 4 tips will help you to structure your seminar evaluation clearly and sensibly and to ask for the right information.
1. Define Goals and Objectives
What do you want to have achieved by the end of the seminar? Higher profits? Increase production? Reduce costs in production and operation? Improve quality and increase sales? Reduce employee turnover? These questions are crucial to determine which seminar evaluation results have the greatest impact on employees and the company and which gaps need to be closed and prioritized.
A clear idea of what you want to achieve at the end of the seminar helps you to plan, prepare and bundle key processes that are to go in the right direction.
2. Personal Impressions
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the course? What more should the seminar leader do? What do the participants like least? Communication is a vital component to getting the most out of your evaluation, so you should be open to receiving feedback from the participants on each seminar.
The information gathered helps the seminar team to think about what needs to be improved and to evaluate themselves in order to become more effective seminar leaders. Ask employees for their views on the seminar leader, topic, materials and resources, seminar location, presentation, and overall seminar experience. Feedback from the participants helps to identify the gaps in the seminar and the necessary changes in methodology.
3. Determine Learning Effectiveness
What exactly did the participants learn and what didn't they learn? Have they achieved the course objectives? It is best to have a list of specific learning objectives for each seminar unit, which you can review at the end of each seminar. This will help you identify important topics that may be missing from the seminar. Measure the learning effects through exercises, a pop quiz, lectures, and other mental activities.
4. Measure the Practicability of the Seminar
What skills can the participant learn and apply in the workplace? How does the seminar affect performance? Has the knowledge acquired in the training room been transferred into practice? This step is one of the most challenging, but also one of the most rewarding outcomes of a training program. Evaluate the behavior of the trainees and observe whether they have applied what they have learned to become more competent in their job.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to finding the best time to solicit feedback from your seminar's participants, and how often. There are four different ways that we'll introduce you to below. We recommend first trying out what works best for you and your events before settling on any one strategy.
1. After the Event
Often training feedback is gathered after the event is over or even sometimes a few days later. After the event, the participants have a finalized opinion about the content conveyed and the general conditions found.
The disadvantage of this variant is that many may not feel like answering a questionnaire directly afterward. If the survey takes place only a few days later, it can be that the participants have already forgotten key points or moved on from the event, so don’t be surprised if participation in the survey is lower than you expected.
2. During the Seminar
Another option is to hand out a short training evaluation form after each break to get specific feedback on the individual training topic blocks.
The short questionnaires increase the motivation of the seminar participants to answer them. This increases your participation rate and the quality of the answers.
3. Before the Last Program Point
If you schedule to do the training evaluation form right before the last program point, you can be sure that all participants are still on-site and will give you the desired attention. With this variant, you will probably achieve the highest participation rate with only one distributed training evaluation form for the seminar.
4. During and After the Training
You can also combine different strategies for obtaining feedback. For instance, you can gather topic-relevant feedback in the middle of the seminar and general feedback after the training session. During the event, keep the training evaluation form short and supplement them with a longer survey a few days later. Then compare the results. You might find that you get more valuable information using this method.
A digital training evaluation checklist makes it easy to assess and evaluate seminar plans. With Lumiform's powerful form app, you can conduct seminar evaluations anytime, anywhere, using your smartphone, tablet, or desktop.
Lumiform allows you to share reports on the spot and share them instantly with just one click. When you use the digital tool for your training evaluation forms, here's what you can do: