4 Steps to Receive Better Training Evaluations

Feedback is essential for growth. That’s especially true in virtual settings, where computer screens and digital interfaces can increase the distance between trainer and learner. That’s why a virtual trainer evaluation is both a critical instrument and a vexing challenge.

Getting the most out of this feedback in online environments, then, requires a thoughtful and intentional approach. Following a few concrete and easy to implement steps can help elevate your evaluations from rote exercise to powerful tool.

Tip #1: Make a Different Evaluation for Every Virtual Class

It’s not uncommon for virtual trainers to use a universal evaluation form. At the end of an online session, they simply send this form out to every learner, no matter the topics covered. This might seem sensible enough--after all, virtual training can feel like a particularly stable training medium.

However, the approach of any trainer will vary depending on the content. So too will the receptiveness of learners. In other words, if the content changes, so too should your evaluation.

Your feedback will be much more useful if you create a unique evaluation for every virtual class you teach. This will allow you to ask questions that are directly related to the material covered and so better gage retention and engagement.

Tip #2: Use a Pre-Test and Post-Test

Many trainer evaluations are trying to do too much. Often, overly comprehensive evaluation forms attempt to gather information about the performance of the trainer and the studiousness of participants all at once. But those cross purposes might make the data a bit tough to interpret.  

When trainers measure participant learning on its own, you can make data points easier to evaluate. For example:

  • By comparing scores between the pre-test and post-test, you can assess how well learners absorbed main points.
  • Pre-tests and post-tests are especially easy to arrange in virtual settings; most training or meeting software makes it easy to send out quick quizzes and collate results.
  • Design pre-tests and post-tests to evaluate the same knowledge but ask different questions. This will more accurately measure growth.

Tip #3: Identify Which Results Matter

When you send out a virtual trainer evaluation, you’re gathering data--and, usually, that data is collected to help identify strengths and opportunities in your skill set. As a result, it’s helpful to identify which results matter before you write your trainer evaluation.

  • Are you invested in keeping virtual trainees energized? Ask whether virtual participants felt engaged or if material felt interactive.
  • Do you want to create an inclusive environment? Make sure you ask participants to evaluate how safe and included they felt, especially in virtual settings where it can be all too easy for learners to feel ignored or unseen.
  • Want to focus on communicating core concepts? Ask learners how confident they feel explaining core concepts to their peers and teammates.

Tip #4: Be Suspicious of Universally Good (or Poor) Feedback

If you’re getting nothing but great reviews from your participants, it might mean that you’re a wonderful trainer! Or... it could mean that you aren’t asking questions that are probing or specific enough.

After all, everyone has something to work on. That’s how we grow! Likewise, if you receive nothing but negative feedback, it’s worth taking a look at your evaluation form to make sure your questions are both clear and fair.

Use Your Feedback

By listening to participants--especially in online settings--you can make your training more energizing, more interactive, and more successful.

To find out more about creating top notch, effective virtual trainer evaluations, register for the Interactive Virtual Trainer and learn how to grow your virtual training skills!

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