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Seb Anthony

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Evaluation frustration


At the end of each training event, staff are requested to complete an immediate reaction questionnaire to give us some idea of the impact the training had.

Unfortunately it has come to light that many members of staff find the questionnaire difficult to understand and have asked for it to be revised.

I'm afraid I can't see the wood for the trees, I have worked with this type of evalution sheet for many years and fail to see the difficulty, but if anyone has some evaluations they would like to share for inspiration, I would be truely grateful.

Please contact me on - [email protected]

Many thanks,

10 Responses

  1. Happy Sheets
    Hi Emily

    If you can email me your evaluation form i will look at the questions and see if i have something in my files that is not so demanding.

    My email address is [email protected]


    Nick Fry

  2. ask them for the value
    In my experience, both as participant and as trainer, the evaluation sheet needs to be very simple. People are often tired, sometimes high.

    I sometimes limit the questions to “what did you learn?” “What difference will it make?” “How will you apply what you’ve learned?” and “Who would you recommend this course to and why?”

  3. Agree with Joanna Howard

    I agree with Joanna – you could go further and think ‘What is the Happy Sheet for?’ and ‘Is it worth it?’ – have a think about the value of dropping the Happy Sheet and instead substituting follow-up time/interviews with Participants, to reinforce their learning and to encourage them to overcome problems in applying their learning (it’s also a good way to increase your networking and influence … )


  4. Pre-survey
    Hi Emily

    An effective technique a colleague of mine uses, and which seems to generate far more successful training as well as far more positive reviews, is to ‘pre-survey’. He asks, at the beginning of the training, “When you have completed this training, what would be the most beneficial outcome for you”, and “Imagining yourself at the end of this course, having learned all you wanted to learn, what would you be putting onto the evaluation sheet?”

    This has 2 benefits. 1. It helps the trainees tell you what they want to gain – and so you can tailor the training to them. 2. It sets in their minds a positive expectation that they will achieve those learnings – so encouraging them to learn and make mental connections.

    H e found his post course evaluations improved significantly having done this.


    David Nicoll

  5. Evaluation
    Emily ~ if you are interested in evaluation (or more likely validation), forget about using reactionnaires except in very relevant infrequent circumstances. Consider using a simple validation questionnaire that tells you WHAT the learners have learned, such as a Learning Questionnaire or Key Objectives LQ. Let me know via email if you would like to see the ones I have used now with full effect for many years ~ even a child would understand them!
    Leslie [email protected]

  6. Happy Sheets
    Dear Emily,

    The only Happy Sheets we have used have had to be ‘Tick the box variety’ with five degrees of satisfaction.

    Very few of the trainees could be bothered writing comments. So we converted a comprehensive sheet into a nearly all ‘tick the box’ variety.

    This meant that we worded the questions very carefully and repeated some questions with different wording to extract the most information from the trainee in the shortest amount of time.

    This proved to be very successful and produced some great results to present to the management in the form of an excel graph. Also it assisted our department in avoiding closure!


  7. Flip chart
    I have been successfully using the idea of using a piece of flip chart with a continium line and as many questions as you can fit for an end of day evaluation that is a bit of fun. Have you also thought about a ‘grafitti board’ for post-it-note comments during the day about what is going well and what needs to be improved?

  8. A simple sheet is the best
    What you put into your evaluation sheet depends, of course, on the purpose. However, for years I’ve used the same type of sheet, in various settings, and it has worked well and gives me the information I want. It does not seem to be off-putting to learners as most people fill it in, and most put in some sort of comments. These have often been very helpful, highlighting areas of difficulty, confirming things that have worked well, and giving me new ideas for improving training sessions and courses. I simply have a 1-5 scale at the top (Very Good, Good, Satisfactory, Poor, Very Poor) followed by 4 questions:
    “1.)What part(s) were the best?
    2.)What part(s) were the worst?
    3.)Do you have any suggestions/comments?”

    Sometimes I also add:
    “How relevant was the information to your needs?”

    Cynthia Shuken


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