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Kirkpatrick Quick Tip Vol. 2 #31

Have you ever read your post-program evaluation forms and thought, "I wish someone would have mentioned that during the class, when I could have fixed it!"

You are not alone. This quick tip will provide practical ideas to get participant input when you can still effect a change.

Many training professionals and organizations rely heavily on post-program evaluations to give them the information they need related to the effectiveness of their training. While this common tool is a good and efficient way to gather data, it is too late to provide information that can be used with participants of that particular session.

Focus on formative evaluation whenever possible: collection of data and information during a learning event or phase. Here are a few methods you can use:

  • "Pull up a Chair" – If something does not appear to be going well, pull up a chair in front of the group and simply point out that you are sensing a problem. Be a good listener and ask what would help.
  • "Periodic Check" – Periodically stop and ask participants an open-ended question such as, "What value do you see in this?"
  • "Flip Chart Feedback" – Place a flip chart near the door with an open-ended question prior to breaks and ask each person to provide a response as they leave or re-enter the room.

Take a few moments to review a current program plan to see if you have built in a few formative evaluation methods. They will give you timely feedback and increase your training effectiveness. A side benefit is that you may also be able to shorten your post-program evaluation form because some basic questions have been answered during the program.

Have a formative evaluation method to share with the Kirkpatrick Community? Please list it below!

Additional resources:

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certificate Program

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program
Quick Tip #26: Do You Get the Truth in Your Evaluations?

Quick Tip #27: Is Your Evaluation "All About You"?

Quick Tip #28: Is More Training Evaluation Data Better?

Quick Tip #29: Are You Asking the Right Survey Questions?

Quick Tip #30: Are Your Survey Questions Impossible to Answer?

Please share your thoughts on this Quick Tip.

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Actions: Permalink | Comments (3) |


# Kirk Justus
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 7:20 PM
I have used the first suggestion and like it. I want to try the third idea--a flip chart by the door--I think that has good potential.

However, I feel your second suggestion is off a bit. "Do you see any value in this?" is a closed ended question--it can be answered with a Yes or No. Change it slightly; "What value do you see in this?" You will elicit more detailed information from the participant.
# Administrator Account
Thursday, October 18, 2012 1:07 AM
Thanks Kirk,

You are right! An open-ended question would work much better.

Readers: by the time you read this, we will likely have already changed the second question to Kirk's suggestion.

Thanks to others who emailed us with the same feedback. Glad to know that you are reading and absorbing the content.

Wendy and Jim
# Anonymous User
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 5:42 PM
Do You Allow Time for Training Evaluation?
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