Course Evaluations: Create Forms That Provide You With Valuable Insight

by | Apr 8, 2020 | Course Administration

Woman making training course evaluations on computer

How much useful information you extract from completed course evaluations depends entirely on how well you create course evaluations.

While well-designed forms can provide you with valuable insights that you can use to bring your business to the top, poorly designed forms can result in worthless and misleading information that leads you in the wrong direction.

Whether you are planning to create course evaluations for the first time, or want to improve the forms you already have: Here are 6 tips on how to create forms that will provide you with the valuable insight that you (hopefully) are looking for.


How to structure a course evaluation form

So, how do you actually go about designing good evaluation forms for your courses?

Well. Of course, what constitutes a good evaluation form depends on your goals and what kind of courses you ask your participants to evaluate. Still, there are some things to keep in mind when designing your forms.

Let’s start by looking at how to introduce your participants to your evaluation.


Be honest about the purpose

You should be honest and tell your participants why it is important that they respond to the evaluation form. This is the only way to make participants feel motivated to complete the evaluation form. After all, no one likes being asked to do things without knowing why they should do it.

The purpose can be clarified by both the instructor and the introduction of the evaluation form.

Not sure how to formulate the purpose in an inviting way? Here are some examples:

  • “We are passionate about how our participants’ experience our service and need your feedback to know what we are good at and how we can improve.”
  • “Feedback from our participants allows us to improve and deliver high quality courses.”
  • “Your opinion is important to us. By taking this evaluation, you are helping us provide better courses and customer service. ”


Ask the right questions

Once you have a good introduction in place, the time has come to determine which questions to ask. This can be a difficult task. There are a lot of things you want answers to, yet you don’t want to ask so many questions that your participants are not able to complete the evaluation.

So, what questions should you ask and how should you ask them?

First, make a list of all the questions you want answers to. Once you’ve done this, ask yourself the following questions to find out which ones to include in the survey:

  • Will this question help me improve the delivery of this course (or am I just curious and find this exciting to answer)?
  • Is there an easier way to ask this question?
  • Can I get answers to two or more questions by reformulating myself?
  • Is this a leading question?
  • Are there several ways to interpret this question? Can I word it more clearly?
  • Do I use a language that suits my target audience?

Merely asking yourself these questions will help you filter out unnecessary, poorly formulated questions and leave you with a list of quality assured, good questions that will give you the answers you actually need.


Customize the length for your target audience

Furthermore, after you’ve eliminated some unnecessary questions, you should test how long it takes to complete.

After testing the time, compare the result with the time you estimate that your target audience is willing to spend on feedback like this. Of course, how motivated and how much tolerance they have for long forms depends on who your target audience is. 

Two things that may also be worth noting: An analysis SurveyMonkey conducted of about 100,000 surveys showed that the more questions you ask, the less time respondents spend per question. The analysis also showed that the completion rate dropped between 5-20% if the survey took more than 7-8 minutes to complete.

Tip: Reduce the number of people who fall off during the process by stating initially how long the survey will take. This way you give the respondents accurate expectations about how long the evaluation will take.

Welcome message course evaluation

In FrontCore Course Evaluations you can easily create a welcome greeting that your participants will see before answering your questions.

If you see that it takes too long to complete the evaluation, you should rank your questions by importance and remove out the questions that are most important to answer.


Use different question and answer options

We have already mentioned that you should select your words carefully. Therefore, it is also worth mentioning that you should not limit yourself to just one question type.

While closed questions are easier to analyze and can provide a better picture of what the mass thinks of specific aspects, open questions provide better insight into each participant’s experience of the course. The latter, however, can provide you with input that you had never even thought of asking for. This means that you should include both types.

Open questions: Questions that provide a narrative answer. This means that the question cannot be answered with single words like “yes” or “no”. The respondent must fill in the answer himself.

Closed questions: Asking closed questions are the opposite to open questions. With a closed question, the respondent simply cannot give any answer they wish. 

In addition to the typical multiple-choice options, you should offer participants to answer using rankings. For example, have the respondent rate something using a certain number of stars or agree or disagree to varying degrees. This type of response can bring out nuances that common multiple choice questions do not.

Undoubtedly by using a mixture of question types and answer variants, you will be able to form a better and more complete picture of how your participants have experienced the course they have attended.

Also read: How to interpret your course evaluations correctly


Don’t be too narrow

When you create the course evaluation form, be sure to ask questions about several different aspects of the course. A typical error here is to focus solely on the instructor and the course content. However, many people forget to ask about other important factors that can ruin the overall impression of the course. As a result, they’re missing out on important feedback. 

Now you might be wondering what other things you should consider asking, and I dont blame you.

Of course, it always depends on what is relevant to your course. But there are some typical questions you should consider asking, such as:

  • What was the main reason the participant took the course?
  • How did the participant experience the booking process? Was it easy to sign up for the course?
  • What does the participant think about the venue? How well could the participant hear the instructor? Was it easy to find?
  • If the course is conducted online: How did the participant experience the learning platform?
  • How does the participant experience the learning outcome?


Have a conscious relationship with anonymization

There are several reasons to anonymize your respondents. Perhaps the most obvious reason is that it increases the likelihood of your participants giving honest feedback.

The negative sides of anonymizing the results, however, are not to be ignored. 

Firstly, anonymization means that you lose the opportunity to follow up on any dissatisfied participants.

Second, you will no longer be able to use the positive feedback customers leave in your marketing communications.

In other words, think carefully about whether it is necessary to anonymize the evaluation or not. If you do not ask questions that are on the sensitive side, you may not want to anonymize. 

Tip: Do not let the instructor hand out and collect the feedback on paper. It can be uncomfortable for participants to give honest feedback when the instructor collects the evaluation forms and is able to read the answers. Avoid this easily by sending out the forms electronically.


Get more out of your course evaluations today

To sum this up: When you create course evaluations associated with your courses, you lay the groundwork for how much valuable insight you can extract from your data after the collection. Small and easy adjustments can make a big difference to what you are left with.

Do you want an easy way to create course evaluations? Create, collect, and get an overview of all of your company’s course evaluations in FrontCore’s course Training Management system. Read more about Course evaluations in FrontCore here. 

- 117 sample questions in different categories

- How to achieve high response rate

- How to get high quality feedback

- How to effectively collect evaluations

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About FrontCore

Over 3700 training providers use solutions from FrontCore – and that’s not without reason. FrontCore is one of Norway’s leading competence environments within cloud based systems for Training Management, Learning Management and Webmarketing. With over 23 years of experience from the training industry and our finger on the market pulse continuously, we help course and training providers achieve more efficiency and higher revenue.

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Author: Eline Hagene

Author: Eline Hagene

Marketing Manager

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