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Training Assessment - How to Design a Training Assessment Form

Creating a Happy Sheet Giving Maximum Feedback

Training assessment forms, or "happy sheets," give an immediate response to a training course. To give maximum benefit they need to be well designed.

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A training assessment form, or "happy sheet" as they are often called, is the the short questionnaire that learners are asked to complete immediately after a training event.

Creating a training assessment form that delivers meaningful information requires some planning. There are a number of issues to consider, all of which will affect the value of the information being gathered.

A "happy sheet" has limitations as a method of evaluating training. It is just one of the tools in a comprehensive training evaluation methodology.

Identifying the User of "Happy Sheet" Data

The content of a training feedback form will reflect the needs of the person or people who will use the data. Depending on how the training is organised, and the format of its delivery (such as classroom or online), there may be multiple parties who want to see the feedback.

These can include:

  • The trainer(s).
  • The training organisation.
  • The learner's organisation(s).
  • The supplier of the training venue or technology.

Each one of these will have different requirements from the assessment form.

Design of Training Assessment Questions

A training event can be a ten minute online tutorial or a five day classroom course. Whatever its duration, when it is over the learner does not want to be faced with a training feedback form comprising pages of questions.

The most effective forms will elicit the maximum amount of information from as few questions as possible. This is achieved by listing all the information that the form is required to collect and then assessing how of this is essential rather than just "nice to have".

The next stage is to construct questions that provide the information required. If there are more than 8-10 questions they should be ranked in order of importance, and any below number 10 excluded.

The subjects that the typical "happy sheet" will ask about are:

  • The quality of the trainer (if a classroom course).
  • The quality of the training materials.
  • The relevance of the training to the learner's needs.
  • The quality of the training environment, and any refreshments if supplied.

There should always be space for the learner to make any other comments. The "comments" section of the form, if completed, often provides the most valuable information to the reader. It can raise issues that the other questions did not cover and may provide valuable insight into the success or otherwise of a particular training event.

Design of the Training Assessment Form

Creating the questions is not enough in itself; thought must be given to how they are answered. To help learners answer quickly, and to make it relatively simple to perform comparisons, multiple choice answers are often used. The learner gives a rating to each question, drawn from a predetermined list.

If the "happy sheet" is presented online, the learner will usually be asked to click on radio buttons to indicate their choice. If it is on paper they might tick or circle a value from a list.

The assessment form must be not ambiguous and it should be easy for the learner to follow. For example, it must be absolutely clear which list of answers match to each question.

The learner should have a choice whether or not to compete their name on the form. Ideally their name should be captured because if they attend multiple training events their response patterns can be analyzed. However, most trainers give learners the right to complete "happy sheets" anonymously if they wish to.

The questions and design of a training assessment form should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it still meets the needs of those collecting the data.

About the Author - Andrew Knowles
Experience is the author of authoritative writing. That's why I focus on subjects where I can say "been there, done that". As a full-time freelance writer and consultant based in the south of England, I help organisations with their marketing and social media strategies. My passion is for excellence in communication - creating, clear and coherent messages that people understand. My life includes being a husband, father and active member of my local community in England. My workplace experience has involved managing teams of professionals, establishing new business units and providing consulting services. I've developed and delivered plenty training courses and presentations around IT and communication. Find out more about Andrew:

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