I am an OSHA-authorized trainer. I train those responsible for workplace safety in your organizations. I also train those that do the safety training in your organization. In my train the trainer classes, I teach you how to put the power of an evaluation to work for you.
In some of my courses, participants do a presentation. Every participant receives a critique sheet to evaluate the speaker’s presentation on the following points:
- Opening. Did he/she gain attention, present the objectives clearly, relate the value of the topic?
- Content. Did he/she present the main points effectively, apply active training strategies, elicit audience participation?
- Closing. Did he/she recap the main points, assess audience knowledge and/or skills, provide back on the job tips?
In addition, the critique sheet asks participants to evaluate the presenter on things such as topic knowledge, delivery skills and more.
The point is, as a trainer or presenter of any kind, you need to continuously adapt to suit your current needs. This is possible when you know how effective you are.
Evaluating Your Training Effectiveness
Sometimes I wonder if participants in my safety training classes are actually “getting” what I’m trying to convey. How effective am I as a trainer to them?
One way to help me answer this question is through evaluations and feedback from participants. Evaluating training effectiveness sheds light on:
- How well the training met participants’ needs
- What knowledge and skills participants gained
- How well it met the goals established
I find the evaluation of my safety training classes to be critical to my future performance. Here’s some tips for you.
As a trainer, evaluate yourself. Make a checklist of what you should do as a trainer. For instance, I have a training strategies chart I use as a guide for my training sessions. Think about:
- How well have you prepared the content you’ll be training on?
- How well do you relate the information to what participants already know?
- Do you ask questions and lead discussions to encourage participation?
- Illustrate ideas with examples?
- Give time for participants to practice and review?
- Reinforce and repeat important points?
- Help participants relate what they are learning to their work?
- Ask for suggestions on how to improve the training session?
Ask other trainers to observe and evaluate you. You can learn from each other – what works well or doesn’t with different participants or subject matter.
Ask participants to evaluate you. This can help you understand where they might have had difficulty with the material or with how you are presenting it. Find out:
- How well the training met their needs and the goals established upfront.
- What they actually learned (i.e., are they retaining what you covered)
- How they plan to apply it to their job
- What they liked (or didn’t) about the training session
- Suggestions for improving the training session
At the end of my training sessions, my goal is for you to retain what you’ve learned and be able to go back to your job and apply it.