Get feedback from participants and assess impact

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TL;DR recommendations
—Decide on the type of feedback you need to collect and what will you do with it —Decide on when you need to collect the feedback —Pick the right format —When possible, keep it anonymous

Most of the time, you will want to capture feedback from your participants regarding the training session, or workshop you hosted.

We all know that feedback is crucial for the iterative process, so that we can make the necessary tweaks to our design and increase the impact as we learn and improve.

But asking for feedback often leads to general replies, or too little feedback if any.

It is a real challenge for many of us. 😥 Let’s explore what are some options we have to collect feedback from our participants.

👉 Tip #1: Decide what type of feedback do you need to collect?

For the feedback to be valuable, you need to know what to ask. To know what to ask, you need to have clarity around the goal and what that information will help you learn. Are you looking for part of the session which can be improved? Are you looking for feedback around a specific activity? Are you looking to learn if any assumptions were challenged, or if participants had any a-ha moments? Are you looking to assess their intention to apply what they learned?

First, gain clarity on what kind of information will be useful and what will you do with it.

👉 Tip #2: Decide when you need to collect the feedback

Generally, you have three main options here.

  1. You can collect short and targeted feedback during the session itself. You might get more feedback, but not as in depth.
  2. You can follow-up with a slightly longer feedback form via email after the sessions. You might get less replies, but those who come in will be more detailed.
  3. You can follow up with a second questionnaire in four or six months after the session, to assess the long-term impact and influence. You can ask questions about what the participants learned at the workshop/ training, how they have applied this knowledge to their work, and what impact the knowledge and network has had on their working life and practices.

👉 Tip #3: Pick the right format

Based on your answers to the first two tips, you now have several options you can explore to collect feedback.

☑️ In session, summaries the whole experience—to get a general sense of how the session went.

☑️ In session, single question poll—to get an answer to one specific question

Examples: “If you were to keep an activity from this workshop, and ditch another one, which ones would you choose and why?” (open ended) “Which part of the session you found most useful?” (open ended, or chose from a list of option) “What’s one thing which was missing that could have made the workshop better today?” (open ended) “What’s one thing that surprise you about the sessions today?” (open ended) ”What do you believe is your return on time invested for this session? Was it worth our time?” (open ended) ”What has this workshop made me realize I need to in terms of [topic of the session]?” (open ended) ”What is the first small step you will do towards [desired change]”? (open ended)

☑️ In session, scales—to assess feedback on a continuum


"To what extent did you find the content of the session relevant to your needs?” (not at all relevant—> extremely relevant) “How confident are you in applying the knowledge or skills learned during the session?” (not confident at all—>very confident) "To what extent was the session interactive and encouraged your participation?” (not interactive at all—> Extremely interactive) ”I have a firm plan for how I am going to introduce what I have learned from this workshop into my work.” (strongly agree—>strongly disagree) ”I can apply the [technique, tool, method] to my work.” (strongly agree—>strongly disagree)

☑️In-session, elaborate—to get more detailed open ended feedback

Example of templates you can use: Keep, Drop, Add, Improve, or Rose, Thorn, Bud

☑️ After session survey—You might want to have a mix of multiple choice or scales, and open-ended questions.

👉 Tip #4: When possible, keep it anonymous

Knowing that their feedback is anonymous, might lead to more openness to share critique, and enhance the quality of the feedback overall. So whenever possible, choose to make the feedback anonymous.