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eLearning feedback

If you create eLearning, you know how important it is to measure its effectiveness. You, your organization, and your learners don’t want to spend time—or money—on training that doesn’t provide a solid return. Most instructional designers and training professionals use the Kirkpatrick Model as a standard for evaluating the effectiveness of training.

That same model can also serve as a framework for when to provide feedback to your learners. Here’s a look at how Kirkpatrick model can be used as a structure for providing learners with feedback about their performance:

Reaction: At the end of a course, include a simple survey to gauge user responses and reactions to what they were able to learn in the course.

  • Does the learner feel more competent in regards to the topic?
  • Will the course help them meet job requirements?

A survey, which asks the learner to consider what they learned after completing the course, is the first step in performance feedback. It allows the participant to reflect on their performance—from their perspective, how did they do?

Learning: Throughout the course, designers should use quizzes and interactive content to provide performance feedback.

  • Reinforce the learner’s performance when they answer a question correctly.
  • Provide corrective feedback if the learner’s response is wrong.

By using interactive design elements, you ensure that learners have an opportunity to test their knowledge and grasp the correct information, regardless of whether they initially know the answer or not.

Behavior: Providing performance feedback about behavior change requires that you follow-up a few months after the learner has completed the course.

  • Three months after a learner completes a course, deliver an online quiz (maybe even the same quiz you had at the course conclusion) through your learning management system.
  • You can also send a survey to ask about behavior changes that will provide performance feedback.

Thanks to a quiz or survey, the learner will be able to evaluate how much of the content they retained, and receive performance feedback (are they still able to answer the quiz questions or not?) about areas for improvement.

Result: Performance feedback related to results needs to come from the learner’s manager, but your eLearning content provides a catalyst for that conversation. The information you collect and the performance feedback you provide (via quizzes, surveys, etc.) can provide managers with talking points and insight for a discussion.

  • If a learner didn’t do well on the follow-up quiz, it might indicate the need for additional training.
  • Or, if a learner completes the exercise without any errors, the manager can provide performance feedback about a learner’s strong skills in a particular area.

Thanks to a quiz, activity, or survey, the learner will be able to evaluate how much of the content they retained, and the manager can deliver relevant performance feedback.

Feedback is essential throughout the eLearning process, and it is critical for your eLearning course evaluation. The beauty of Kirkpatrick’s model is how it can be used to not only evaluate the effectiveness of learning but also to provide performance feedback to learners.

LizSheffieldBioLiz 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.

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