It takes hours, weeks, and sometimes months to create eLearning content. And then, once the course launches, there’s a bit of a void. The course is in production, and the eLearning content team wonders if it’s well received. Hopefully…fingers crossed…it’s making a difference for learners. If you want to ensure your eLearning content delivers, you can’t sit around and wait for somebody to evaluate your content or give you feedback. You need to be proactive about gathering feedback that helps you assess the effectiveness of your training programs.
Here are five easy ways to evaluate if your eLearning is hitting the mark:
- Include a brief survey at the end of each course.
One of the best times to gather feedback from participants is right after they finish a course, when the content and training experience is fresh in their minds. A quick way to collect this feedback is by including a satisfaction survey on the last page. The questions don’t need to be extensive; in fact, a simple request for the participant to rate your course on a scale of 1 to 5 will provide you with very basic information that can help you determine if the course is meeting the mark. If the majority of responses indicate that the course doesn’t meet learner needs, use that feedback to further investigate what’s not working.
- Conduct focus groups with participants.
Sometimes the best way to get specific feedback about your course content is to lead focus groups with a group of learners. You can do this with a pilot group of participants before you launch a program or after a course has been in use for at least six months to a year. During a focus group, learners need to feel comfortable sharing positive and constructive feedback, so be sure that you have a skilled, impartial facilitator lead the discussion.
- Track and analyze completion rates.
Collecting and analyzing completion rates is a basic way of understanding which courses are compelling enough for users to finish. Ideally, if you have a learning management system, it’s easy to run a report and find out which courses participants are and aren’t finishing. Based on that data, examine if there are similarities or distinguishing features that make one course more appealing than another.
- Gather feedback from managers after participants complete a course.
The goal of most training courses is to improve or increase skills. After learners complete a course, ask their managers to provide feedback about whether or not the course had a positive impact on their work performance. This information will help test the effectiveness of your design regarding learning objectives and will provide insight into any necessary revisions or changes in your future content.
- Ask another designer for feedback.
Learners and managers may be able to provide general comments, but they aren’t going to be able to help you from a technical standpoint; that’s why asking a fellow eLearning designer to review your course is helpful. That designer will be able to provide insight and advice regarding how to change the design or improve the delivery so that your content is as compelling as possible.
Don’t let those hours, weeks, and months of designing an eLearning course go to waste. Once a course is live, do all you can to make sure it is delivering the best learning experience possible. When you’re proactive about gathering feedback, and you take course evaluation seriously, the effectiveness of your training programs will skyrocket.
Liz Sheffield is a freelance writer with a background in training and development. She specializes in writing about everything related to the human side of business. You can contact her via LinkedIn or Twitter.