As a great trainer, you will be making sure that you are evaluating at the point you’ve delivered to get that all-important feedback straight away, but how are you delivering it?  We talk about making sure our training is interactive and engaging but is your evaluation the same?

There are lots of different ways that we can evaluate with our delegates when we deliver training.  It’s essential to remember that the information we get is hugely valuable to continually review our delivery and content, ensuring the very best learning experience.  I have used several different methods of evaluation during my time as a trainer, but one that gets excellent results I’d like to share with you is a variant of the traffic light system that has a little bit of a Windows PC spin on it:

Keeping it simple, I use three pieces of Flip Chart Paper and Flip Chart pens.  On the Flip Charts, I write the following titles:

Flip Chart 1 – “Recycle Bin it” – Alternatively, Red Traffic Light or “Stop”.

I invite everyone to think about the content or teaching that they perhaps didn’t find useful that they would like to send to the recycle bin.  The reason I use recycle bin rather than trash is to emphasise that it may be something that has its uses or needed to be trained; it may be the way it was explained or the content that made the delegates feel this way and its always important to ensure that you look for trends before making significant changes.  Delegates should write the individual items up on the Flip Chart, and if anyone else agrees, they tick next to it.

Flip Chart 2 – “Download and Open it” – Alternatively Amber Traffic Light or “Start”.

I now invite everyone to think of the content/teaching that perhaps was only covered briefly or they feel it needs more time or possibly new information to be included and using the same principles above to annotate the points.

Flip Chart 3 – “Keep it running” – Alternatively Green Traffic Light or “Continue”.

Finally, I invite everyone to think of the content/teaching they got the most out of and would like to see continued; again, using the same principles as above.

Make sure when the Flip Charts are complete making sure that you discuss the points where there is a trend and allowing all to have a contribution.  For anything that is not perhaps a trend but someone talks about it, I will always ask the rest of the delegates if they feel the same way, never devaluing an individual point stating that it is a point that I will ensure I monitor in future deliveries.

The great thing I find about this way of evaluating is the fact you have some excellent “hard copy” evidence of validation that you can use to refer to for your trends analysis.  Also, if you are an establishment that is subject to external evaluation, this is excellent evidence to show an inspector that you have a system in place (make sure that you are using the feedback so you can demonstrate that it isn’t action for the sake of it).  If you are finding it difficult to store the flip charts (an issue I’ve had in the past), take a photo with your smart-phone and keep an A4 copy on file instead which takes up far less space.

Scott Fraser is a Master Trainer at Target Training and delivers our PTT Train the Trainer courses and our Advanced PTT Train the Trainer courses.  You can read more about him here.