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The A to Z Of Course Evaluation Surveys

Kate Williams

12 April 2021

9 min read

Are you ready to think a little? Because before discussing anything mentioned in the headline, we’re asking you a question. 

What do you think about employee training sessions? 

Your options are:

  1. It’s not the most essential business function. 
  2. It doesn’t have a significant role to play in a company’s growth. 
  3. If conducted with a goal in mind, training sessions reap handsome rewards. 
  4. If employees are benefiting from training, it’s worth it. 

If you agreed with the first two statements, you haven’t had a wonderful experience with training sessions and seminars in the past. So, you’re not entirely excited about the goods it can do. Whereas, if you agreed with the last 2, you’ve got a growth mindset, who understands that a company’s growth is not possible without its employee’s growth. And good, goal-bound training sessions are important for that. 

In this blog, we would talk about how you can get the desired result and improve your employee training sessions with the help of a short and straightforward training feedback survey, commonly called a course evaluation survey. The what, why, how, when, and the questions to include in the survey: we’ve covered it all here. All you gotta do is read till the end and pick all the value nuggets. And before starting, don’t forget to make yourself a good cup of coffee because reading without coffee is plain boring!   

What Is A Course Evaluation Survey?

At the workplace, employee training, seminars, and upskilling courses are nothing new. Inviting your entire customer success team to an online customer psychology training to later wow them with their great customer service. That’s one of the many examples of an employee training session. The important goal for such sessions is to give new knowledge and learnings to the employees to work better and grow. 

But what’s done after this training? A course evaluation survey is conducted. Why? To measure the effectiveness of the entire training. The word “evaluation” clearly shows that this survey is conducted to get feedback on the training’s overall effectiveness and impact. 

To put it simply, a course evaluation survey is a step in the overall training cycle where the information (data) is collected to find out if the intended objectives are achieved or not. Along with giving you insights into the effectiveness of training, the survey lets you understand how well your employees and teams received it. How much they learned from it, and how they’re implementing this at work. Well, we’ve talked more about all this in the next sections. So, just hold your horses longer. Now that you know what a course evaluation survey is, it’s time to address why you need it for your company? More on this in the next section.  


Course Evaluation Survey: Why Need It In 2021?

“Forget about the past; why would I need a course evaluation survey in 2021?”

Recently, we were approached by a tech. CEO who had a bucket full of questions. Yeah, she gave our sales team a damn tough time. But even though her questions seemed to have no end (literally!), they were quite legitimate. And this was one of them. 

So while working on this blog, we thought, why not include this question? Because if one leader is coming up with this, chances are, others would as well. And before jumping onto the how and the when of course evaluation survey, it’s important to talk about the why first. Let’s start then.  

To Give The Best Employee Experience

Your employees would work towards your company’s growth if you, as a leader, work towards theirs. Timely training sessions would help you do that while giving them the experience that keeps them satisfied. A personalized course evaluation survey would add to this greatly, as employees feel valued when you value their opinions. 

Giving the right employee experience became a hot topic in the pandemic’s wake. Companies are continuing with the remote work culture in 2021; employee experience would become crucial than ever. This end of course survey would then act as a vital cog for leaders who aim to deliver their employees’ best experience. 

To Measure The Knowledge Gained

What’s the need for employee training sessions? To help them learn new skills and gain greater knowledge about their work. That’s the reason, right? Well, the entire training becomes ineffective otherwise. And the only way to understand this is by course evaluation surveys. Because this survey would ask them questions about what they are “taking home” from the training and how they are planning to use it while working. For a leader like you, who loves sustained growth, this is very important to understand, isn’t it?

To Understand The Quality Of Training

Only your employees and teams can tell whether the training gave them true value, or was it a borefest! Now, we’re not blaming instructors for this, but sometimes their method and content lacks that edge. If that’s the case, a course evaluation survey will help figure out the problem areas through the attendees’ eyes, your employees. And you make necessary changes for the next sessions based on the data collected. So, with this training feedback survey, you keep improving the quality of training. In the new normal of 2021, constant improvements are the key to continuous growth. 

To Measure The Training’s ROI

Well, a course evaluation survey done after 2-3 months would allow you to see the results that training brought. What type of results? Increased productivity and motivation at work, happy employees, satisfied customers, and increasing growth percentage. And these results would allow you to evaluate if the cost of training was money well spent or not. Going forward, such timely evaluations can make a huge difference to your bottom line. 

How To Design A Course Evaluation Survey That Gets Maximum Responses?

Businesses today are swiftly moving towards the remote work culture after it came to light in 2020. But this new work culture has brought newer challenges for leaders. One such challenge is to give training and learning opportunities for employees while working remotely. But even after you somehow organized an online training session for them, how will you know if it generated the desired effect or not? Through a course evaluation survey. And since you already know the need for this survey, let’s give you the right tips to design it. You’ll get valuable responses that you don’t want to miss out on using these tips. Excited? Well, let’s not keep you waiting anymore. 

#1 Know Your Goals

Yup, this one’s the key. Why? Because $87.6 billion was spent on corporate training and employee development in the United States. And this amount was spent in just 2018. $87.6 billion in 1 single year! As staggering as this sounds, the part which surprised us more was much of this spending didn’t give any results. Yes, the Forbes Magazine talked about this “wasted training” with a great breakdown, and we were truly surprised.  

Well, the top reason for no significant result is a lack of defined goals. If there are no set goals for your training programs, what’s the point in taking feedback? Before even thinking about getting maximum responses for your end of course survey, set the right expectations and goals for the training and learning program. Then, set the goals that you wish to achieve from the survey. The questions that you’ll include in the survey would be based on these set goals. And only then would the responses make proper sense. With us on this?  

#2 Personalize To Attract

If post-training, you want the maximum response from the course evaluation survey, personalize it in the best possible manner because your sales team won’t be interested in answering customer support questions and vice versa. Even if you’ve conducted a common training session, the training feedback survey needs to be personalized based on different teams’ work profile. 74% of marketers agreed that personalization was the key to increased customer engagement in 2020. And if you also agree, what makes you think your employees are any different? Go for personalization in your end of course survey; the response rates would just skyrocket. Trust us on that. 

#3 Keep It Crisp 

“When did surveys start getting so long and boring?”

If you want an outstanding response percentage on your course evaluation survey, make sure the survey length and questions are short. Otherwise, the chances are that you’ll get this statement as feedback, not the actual responses! Keep only what’s needed and associated with your goals in the survey. Don’t stuff everything up to make it big and boring. The ideal number of questions would be 8-10. Any survey taking over 7-8 minutes to complete, the completion rate drops by 5-20%. You don’t want this, right?  

#4 Go Creative! 

Let’s say you came across two different surveys today. Both had the same number of questions. The first one only had closed-ended questions, i.e., the multiple-choice types. But the latter one was one hell of a survey! It comprised both open and closed-ended questions and the ranking-type ones to understand the overall employee experience from the training. It also used infographics and bar graphs to attract the respondents. All these features, packed in a single survey!

You and your team would need the right platform to craft such engaging and creative surveys. Don’t worry, SurveySparrow has got you covered (Drumrolls!). Its top-of-class features allow you to create conversational, personalized, and stunningly creative surveys. And you can white-label to maintain the brand identity while collecting and storing the responses securely. Ain’t that exactly what you wanted from your survey platform? 

#5 Don’t Create “Tough Tituations”

  • Which trainer’s session, out of the 2, was better?
  • How much on a scale of 5 would you rate the instructor?
  • What did you dislike about today’s session?

If you want to use such questions in the course evaluation survey, you need to anonymize your respondents. Otherwise, they would be in a tough situation. Even when they want to give out an honest opinion, they won’t do it, fearing their identities would be revealed. 

Anonymization has its disadvantages as well. You won’t be able to use positive or negative feedback to improve the training sessions. So, suppose you can keep the questions neutral and don’t put your respondents in tough situations. In that case, there’s no need for anonymity. The choice is yours. 

#6 Stay Open and Honest

Your honesty on why the employees should fill out the survey is the only way they will do it. This is because no one likes to fill a survey unless it’s helping the survey taker solve or identify a problem. There’s no need for an over-the-top story on why you’re doing it. Just be honest and use simple statements like,

  • Your opinion is crucial for us because, being an integral part of our family, your experience matters. 
  • We take employee experience seriously, and your unbiased response would help us get better at it. 
  • We’re always passionate about our employee’s experience, and your feedback would help us improve on it. 

#7 Push For Suggestions 

Last but not least, suggestions. This is important given it’s your employees who took the training, and their genuine suggestions can improve it big time. So, giving them the freedom to express themselves in the survey becomes crucial. A question asking for their suggestion does the job here. And keeping this question open-ended allows them to communicate freely. Now, if you ask us, that’s a win-win for everyone. The employees get to put forward their thoughts, and you get to improve the training sessions based on it. Pretty effective, we would say.  

The “Must Include” Questions In Your Course Evaluation Survey.

A blog on course evaluation survey, without discussing the questions to include. Nah! That’s not happening. Because the questions you include determines the quality of response, you get. So, with no further ado, let’s give you the top questions from different areas of the training session.

Questions Based On The Content Of The Session

  1. Was the content delivered with consistent quality throughout the session?
  2. How engaging was the session content?
  3. Was the content too easy or too challenging to understand and reciprocate?
  4. Did you, at any point, struggle to understand the need for a particular section?
  5. Was there a section that could’ve been replaced? If yes, what would be your choice of replacement? 

Questions Based On Learning Experience From The Session

  1. What did you learn from this session?
  2. How are you planning to use this learning while working?
  3. What would be your rating for the overall learning experience?
  4. Was there something you learned that you want to take up as a new habit?
  5. How can we improve the learning experience further? 

Questions On Training Outcome

  1. Would you take the same session again if given a choice?
  2. What were you expecting from the session, and how much of it was fulfilled?
  3. Would you recommend this session to your colleague?
  4. How often do you think such training sessions should be conducted?
  5. Did you understand the company goals behind this training session? If yes, what do you think they were?

Questions On Session Design

  1. What part of the session design did you like the most?
  2. How easy was the online training platform to use and access?
  3. How much time did you spend on understanding the training platform to start using it effectively?
  4. How was the colour combination and font for the session’s content? Was it eye-friendly?
  5. How would you rate the session’s design? How can we improve further?

Questions On The Environment And Technical Faults

  1. Will you take this training online if given a choice?
  2. Can you take this training in a noisy environment?
  3. Was there any delay in the delivery of some part of the content?
  4. Did any part of the session didn’t load properly?
  5. How would you rate the session’s overall working?

When To Conduct A Course Evaluation Survey?

In the blog, we’ve called the course evaluation survey the end of course survey. But that doesn’t mean you can conduct this only at the end of training. You can carry this out between a training break, conduct it after a month, before the yearly appraisals, or even mid-year evaluations. There’s no sacred timeline attached to it. Only the purpose of assessment and the achievement of goals you’ve set for this survey matters. 

So, if it suits your purpose to conduct a survey right after a training session, do it. Whereas, if you want to see how the employees are using the new learnings, conducting this survey after a month or two or as a mid-year assessment would be better. 

Wrapping Up…

Yes, we have covered everything that is to know about the course evaluation surveys!

Training and upskilling programs have played a huge role for organizations in the past. The contribution is only going to grow in the remote work culture. But even after being so important, there have been issues with its efficiency and usefulness. Well, that’s exactly where the course evaluation survey is helping. It’s solving the prevalent issues one training session at a time. And just imagine the massive difference that’ll bring for companies in the time to come. We’re super excited about it, and we’re sure you are too. So, what’s the plan? How are you planning on using this survey? We’re curious to know. We’re here if you need any help (even if you just want to talk). Ciao! 


Kate Williams

Content Marketer at SurveySparrow

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