Are You Using Your Evaluation Data?

November 7, 2012

Kirkpatrick Quick Tip Vol. 2 #34

Alan finished up his program and distributed the evaluation forms. Participants completed the evaluations, left them in the designated location, thanked him for a good program and departed. Alan flipped through the forms to make sure the comments were positive and then filed them in a folder.Does this scenario sound familiar? As we work with training professionals around the world, many admit with concern that they think they are not doing the “right” things with the evaluation data they collect.

There is good reason for concern. If training participants don’t see evidence that their feedback is being used in some way, they typically stop providing it. If you receive evaluation forms with a straight line through the highest rating for all items and few or no comments, this could be the case.

Here is a list of actions that can be taken to make the most of training evaluation data and to make that usage visible to program participants:

1.  Enter the data into an electronic repository to aggregate it so that objective decisions can be made. Make it public when program changes are made as a result of participant feedback.

2.  Pull any testimonials you are authorized to share, and put them in program marketing materials.

3.  Contact individuals who provided their names on the evaluation forms and discuss their views in greater detail.

4.  If the program has multiple days or modules, provide a brief evaluation form at the end of each segment, and share the findings at the beginning of the next session. Explain how you will respond to their input throughout the rest of the program.

5.  Post aggregated program data in your marketing materials. Here is an example on the website: (Reference the right column: 93% of participants would recommend this program.)

6.  Incorporate high-level findings into program reports. Data related to on-the-job application is good data to highlight.

7.  Share with participants’ program managers or supervisors any evaluation data related to the participants’ confidence and commitment to apply the new knowledge. Schedule time to discuss any anticipated barriers to application.

When possible, let program participants know how important their feedback is to you and how it will be used before you distribute the evaluation forms. This will elicit more feedback, and when participants see you react to and use it, the feedback will continue.How have you used evaluation data? Please log in below and share your methods with the Kirkpatrick Community.

Additional Resources:

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certificate Program

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program

Chapter 20 of the ASTD Handbook of Measuring and Evaluating Training

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?

Quick Tip #31: Is Your Training Survey Too Late?

Quick Tip #32: Do You Allow Time for Training Evaluation?

Quick Tip #33: Is It Safe to Give Honest Feedback in Your Organization?

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