Is Your Training Survey Too Late?

October 17, 2012

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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