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Training & Learning

10 Course Evaluation Questions to Determine Areas of Growth

According to Gartner, 64% of managers don't think their employees are able to keep pace with future skill needs. 

As an L&D professional, it's your job to ensure employees have the skills they need to succeed. But how can you determine which areas need improvement?

One way is to use course evaluations. By asking the right questions, you can get valuable insights into where your employees need more training.

So, we're giving you the 411 on all things 'course evaluation questions'. By the end, you'll know how to choose the right questions, what type of responses to look for, and how to use this feedback to improve your course. Because ultimately, that's what it's all about—helping your students succeed.

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The importance of course evaluations

Whether you've just finished coaching in the workplace or conducting an employee training, it's imperative that you take the time to evaluate the course. 

Part of a solid digital learning strategy is being able to track employee engagement and performance. Course evaluations provide data that can be used for this purpose.

 But that's not all, course evaluations can also help you:

  • Determine whether employees understand the material
  • Find out what learners liked and didn't like about the course
  • Identify areas where employees need more training
  • Get ideas for new course topics
  • Spot potential problems with your delivery methods
  • Find out what employees think of the instructor
  • Evaluate the overall effectiveness of the course

10 essential course evaluation questions to ask

To measure participants’ expectations:

1. Did the course meet your expectations?

It's important to set realistic expectations for your employees before they take a course. If their expectations weren't met, that's something you can work on for future courses.

Take for example, this scenario: your students thought the course was going to teach them basic IT skills, like how to convert Word to PDF or how to create a PowerPoint presentation. But instead, the course was about something completely different. If this were the case, you'd want to know so that you can align expectations for future courses.

2. Did the course meet your needs?

This question is similar to the first, but it's important to ask both. Sometimes employees have different needs compared to the solutions that were offered in the course. This feedback can help you adjust future courses to better meet the current needs of your employees.

Some common needs for growth in L&D courses include:

  • New skills or knowledge in a specific area
  • Support to improve performance in a specific task
  • Greater confidence in using a certain tool or software

3. Would you recommend this course to others?

This is perhaps the most important question on the list. If your employees wouldn't recommend the course to others, that's a clear sign that there's room for improvement. Their peers are likely interested in similar courses and are therefore part of your target demographic. If your courses aren't hitting the mark, you’re missing out on potential students.

Using a NPS (net promoter score) can be beneficial here. It can help you identify how many of your students are promoters and how many are detractors--giving you an idea of the overall opinion of your learners on the course(s) they've taken.

To measure course quality:

4. Was the course material suited to your level?

Are your students complete beginners? Or do they already have some experience with the topic? It's important to make sure that the material is appropriate for their level. Otherwise, they might get frustrated and give up.

5. Were the topics covered relevant to the course?

Picture this. You're taking a collaborative learning course, but the instructor spends half the time talking about how to use different learning theories in your teaching. That would be pretty frustrating, right?

It's important that the topics covered in a course are relevant to the overall theme. Otherwise, learners get frustrated and might not be able to apply what they've learned. To avoid this, create a course outline before you start writing the material. This ensures all the topics fit together and support the overall learning objectives.

6. Did the lectures, course, and assignment complement each other?

Ideally, all the different aspects of the course should work together to support the student’s learning. For example, if the lectures cover one topic and the assignments another, it can be confusing for learners. It's important that the lectures, readings, and assignments all complement each other and support the same learning objectives.

Let's say you're leading a tutorial on how to merge PDF online. In the lectures, you might cover the different steps involved in the process. Then in the assignments, you can give students a chance to practice what they've learned. Finally, in the course, you can provide additional resources and information on PDF merging tools.

7. Were the instructions easy to understand?

This is an important question to ask, especially if you're teaching a skills-based course. If the instructions are confusing or difficult to follow, learners might not be able to complete the assignments or struggle to understand the material.

To ensure your instructions are clear and easy to understand, try: 

  • Breaking down the steps involved in each task
  • Using clear and simple language
  • Providing examples of what you want students to do

To measure course design:

8. Were the course pages easy to navigate?

The course pages should be easy to navigate so that students can find the information they need quickly and easily. If the course pages are difficult to navigate, it can be frustrating for students and could even prevent them from finishing the course.

Imagine you're teaching a course on diversity and unconscious bias. The course pages are full of text, and there are no headings or subheadings. Not only is this confusing, it makes it difficult to find the information your learners need. Your design should be clear enough for learners to glean main points of information at a glance.

9. Was the course design visually appealing?

The design of your course can impact how much students learn. Visually appealing courses keep students engaged and interested in the material.

To create courses that are visually appealing, use colors and images to break up the text, and design an easy-to-follow layout. You can also use multimedia elements like infographics and videos to increase course engagement.

10. Were the graphics clear and engaging?

Finally, it's important to ask whether the graphics in the course were clear and engaging. Graphics can be a great way to enhance the design of your course, but only when they're done well. Confusing or illegible graphics are low quality content and can cause learners to lose motivation or quit the course early. Always use high-quality images that are relevant to the course material, and keep your text simple and clear.

Best practices to prompt honest answers in your evaluation

  • Make it engaging: No one wants to spend their time filling out a long and boring survey. So, make sure that your evaluation is short, sweet, and to the point.
  • Make it anonymous: It's often hard to be honest in an evaluation if you know your name is attached to it. That's normal--employees don’t want to risk getting into conflict, and some even fear retaliation from management. Also, some people simply don’t want to draw attention to themselves. Make it easier for your respondents to give honest feedback by keeping your evaluations anonymous.
  • Optimize your timing: The timing of your evaluation is important. If you send it too soon, people might not have had enough time to complete the course. If you send it too late, people might not remember the details of the course. Use this context to determine the best time to maximize learner responses. 

Takeaway

Course evaluations are a valuable tool that can help you improve your course content. By asking learners these 10 questions after they’ve completed your training programs, you can get valuable feedback to make your educational content even better.

In-course feedback and discussion is another way to measure learners' experiences. With a comprehensive LMS like 360Learning, employees can share feedback and discuss their learning experiences directly in the platform's forum, in real-time. Collaborative learning and upskilling are more effective when learners see the value of their opinions to help improve the quality and impact of course content. Want to see 360Learning in action? Get a personalized demo here.