Training evaluation surveys

How many of you all measure training effectiveness through surveying? Do you measure transfer of learning? What types of questions do you ask?

It’s important to bring it back to the objective you were trying to achieve with the training. For example, if a training objective is to have people feel more confident with a sales process, ask them a question to understand if the training supported that.

One technique I’ve previously used is comparing pre and post evaluations. It’s a good measure of post learning intentions and perceived learning and it is very easy to administer. At the end of the learning (typically a course), you ask participants to rate their intentions and their level of knowledge both prior to attending the course and after attending the course.

When done this way, the results can be pretty impressive. For instance, one set of participants were more than 10 times more likely to say they intended have frequent coaching conversations after the course.

I’ve found that it depends on what you are trying to measure: the transfer of knowledge to the role or the experience that trainees had. In the first instance, I would ask questions around transfer of learning, if they are using their new skills on the job, and have they even had the opportunity to use their new skills on the job. I’ve seen a lot of companies institute trainings, but then not provide the safety in the actual role to try a new set of skills. If the focus is on improving the training experience, then I ask questions that would be beneficial to the trainer (e.g., was the training engaging, what could be improved, etc).