How can trainers maximize the effectiveness of their training programs? Well, ask the trainees!
Using training survey evaluations is important for running any successful training course. They not only provide insights into student experiences but also ideas on how trainers can improve future courses. It’s ideal to administer training questionnaires before and after the training.
Training industry statistics show that post-training surveys provide a rich resource to enhance training. They also ensure that training goals are delivered and learners/participants get a return value on their investment.
In this article, the discussion is focused on the importance of post-training surveys, how organizations can make the most out of the exercise, and the kind of training survey questions they should consider disseminating after each training program. With these, companies can get an idea not only of the effectiveness of the whole approach but also of their pre-training preparations.
Post-Training Survey Questions Table of Contents
- Significance of Post-Training Surveys
- How to Evaluate Learning Programs with Post-Training Surveys
- What are the types of post-training survey questions?
- Types of Survey Answers
- Post-Training Survey Questions Examples
- Tips for Writing Post-Training Survey Questions
Input from students is essential to improving instruction. One of the most common approaches to gaining remarks regarding the courses and the instructors is through assessments. These studies, which can also be referred to as post-training surveys, can provide beneficial information for the enhancement of courses.
By conducting such assessments, organizations or institutions can ensure that learners are armed with the necessary skills they need for employment. Thus, they can aid in the reduction of the 40% of unemployed global youth.
Additionally, they can contribute to the economy, as 40% of employers cannot find individuals with the right skills.
Source: International Labour Organization, n.d. Designed by
Significance of Post-Training Surveys
All training programs have one main goal: to arm learners with new knowledge and skills that can help them in completing tasks efficiently while achieving high standards of quality. With a post-training survey, educators or trainers can determine whether they have achieved the objectives of an instruction (Deller, 2020). Thus, they can know which areas of the training are doing well and which ones need further fine-tuning.
Moreover, conducting a survey as a part of adult learning strategies allow the organization to figure out what kind of instructional programs they should provide. It can also help find out whether the trainees were satisfied with the course and with the trainer. Plus, a post-training survey allows instructors to determine whether there has been a change in the skills of learners (Jovancic, 2020).
What’s more, recent research has taken an active learning approach where trainees are active participants in the learning experience (Bell & Kozlowski, 2009 cited in Bell et al., 2017). By engaging them with training evaluation questions, managers can have a complete look into the effectiveness of a program.
How to Evaluate Learning Programs with Post-Training Surveys
To find out how effective a learning program is, post-training survey questions must be administered. This is also an excellent feedback system that trainers in andragogy can implement. You may also use something like the ADDIE model if you’re looking to implement continuous evaluation.
But coming up with a survey that can really help the organization determine effectiveness is not something that can be done easily. To accomplish this, organizations can base their questions on any of the four popular training evaluation methodologies:
- Kirkpatrick’s Model of Training Evaluation. It has four levels that measure reaction, learning, behavior, and results.
- Scriven’s Key Evaluation Checklist. It has four categories of checklists such as preliminaries, foundations, sub-evaluations, and conclusions.
- Phillips’s Evaluation Model. The return on investment is calculated using a seven-stage process: collecting pre-program information, collecting data after the training, isolating the effects of the program, converting information to monetary value, tabulating the costs of the instruction, calculating ROI, and identifying tangible benefits. Thus, the formula has net program benefits over program costs.
- Brinkerhoff’s Success Case Method and CIRO Model. The former includes identifying the goals of the learning program and connecting them to business requirements, asking the survey participants to point out the best and worst-case scenarios, acquiring corroborating evidence, analyzing the data, and communicating the findings. The latter requires identifying training needs and goals (context), designing and delivering training (input), measuring the quality of the trainee experience (reaction), and ascertaining the immediate, intermediate, and ultimate outcomes (outcome) (Ellis, 2015).
What are the types of post-training survey questions?
When it comes to surveys, there are two categories that people are most familiar with: open-ended and close-ended questions. The former means that survey-takers can have various answers. Meanwhile, the latter means that respondents can have only limited answers. This is where types of questions such as multiple choice or yes/no questions come in (Del Siegle, 2016).
- Multiple Choice. This is a type of survey question that gives respondents several choices for answers. An “other” option is usually included if the choices may not apply to them. Multiple-choice questions can also be either single-answer (select one answer only) or multiple-answer (can select two or more answers) (Bernazzani, n.d.).
- Ranking. A rank question asks the respondents to rank items in order of importance or according to their choice (Question types, n.d.).
- Rating Scale. This type of question is common in product satisfaction surveys, as it asks customers to rate how satisfied they are with the merchandise. In the case of training programs, organizations can ask participants how contented they are with the instruction (10 types of survey questions, 2020).
- Likert Scale. This is another common survey question type, which asks the respondent to determine on what level they agree or disagree with a statement. It can be a five- or seven-point scale and can include statement answers likes “not likely”, and “highly likely” (Bernazzani, n.d.).
- Dichotomous. It involves a question that only has two possible answers (Survey: dichotomous questions, 2017). Usually, the choices are yes or no.
- Semantic Differential. This is a rating scale that aims to measure the connotative meaning of words and their concepts (Osgood et al., 1975). It can be used to measure the attitude of an individual toward a word or a concept. For example, a study can ask participants to answer how they feel about “work,” with the options given as “interesting/necessary” and “boring/unnecessary” (Statistics How To, 2017).
Types of Survey Answers
In surveys, there are two types of answers that organizations or survey-makers will encounter. These are choices and measurements.
Response choices can be either:
- Categorical – a response is categorical if it is definite; e.g., an item can ask for the biological sex of the respondent. The answer would either be male or female, which would make the choice categorical.
- Ordinal – responses where the survey taker would rate items; e.g., a participant in a survey is asked to rate ice cream flavors from favorite to least favorite.
- Numerical – the answer to a question is a number; if the question asks for the age of the respondent, then the answer it yields is numerical (Fink, 2002).
Post-Training Survey Questions Examples
Single-Choice and Multiple-Choice Question Examples
What kind of content did you like in the program?
Which of the following would you like to see more in the module?
For a self-study course, what time/s did you study?
- Late night
- Early morning
Post-Training Likert Scale Question Examples
- The topics in the course were relevant to me.
- The trainer was knowledgeable about the subject.
- The training facilities were adequate.
Post-Training Rating Question Examples
- How would you rate the training overall?
- How would you rate the module?
- How engaging was the content?
Post-Training Closed-Ended Question Examples
- Did you understand the objectives of the training before starting the course?
- Was it easy to comprehend the title and description of the program?
- Would you prefer to have more quizzes and exams?
Post-Training Open-Ended Question Examples
- What did you like best about the training program?
- What areas of the training can still be improved?
- What would you like to include in the module in the future?
Tips for Writing Post-Training Survey Questions
Fink (2002) recommends that before writing survey questions, survey-makers should first decide on the survey’s context. To that end, every box in the following checklist should be ticked:
- The specific purpose of the survey
- The terms used to state the purpose of the survey are clear.
- The specific objectives are in order.
- Know who the respondents will be.
- Match the information needed with the time that it will take to find it.
- The surveyor is standardized.
- The response format is uniform.
- Questions are asked in the following contexts: social, cultural, and economic.
Once every box has been checked, organizations or individuals can proceed to make survey questions.
And while making questions, survey-makers should ensure the following:
- Questions are purposeful.
- Questions are concrete.
- Time periods are related to the question.
- The language used is conventional.
- Sentences are complete.
- No abbreviations.
- No slang expressions and colloquialisms.
- Careful usage of jargon and technical terms.
- Questions are reviewed by experts and potential respondents.
- Adoption or adaptation of questions used in previously successful surveys.
- Shorter questions or statements.
- Cautious use of loaded questions.
- No two-edged questions.
- No negative questions.
Analyzing Training Evaluation Data
While it is most common to complete the training program before gathering and analyzing data, it is also appropriate to do so while the instruction course is ongoing. By doing so, organizations can make relevant changes during training to improve results.
In order to do that, organizations have to ask whether the program has met the expectations of the trainees. If it does not, then why? And if it does, in what way?
When they have determined the answers to those questions, they can make the right recommendations and put them into action.
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- Bernazzani, S. (2019, Jul 30). How to write good (even great!) survey questions. HubSpot Blog.
- Deller, J. (2020, April 29). Post-training survey questions: Examples and types. Kodo Survey.
- Fink, A. (2002). How to Ask Survey Questions (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Google Books
- Jovancic, N. (2020, March 26). 27 training survey questions to help obtain valuable feedback. LeadQuizzes.
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- Glen, S. (2017, October 12). Semantic differential scale: Definition, examples. Statistics How To.
- Survey: Dichotomous questions (2017). In M. Allen (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods (Vols. 1-4). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Question types (n.d.). Online Surveys.