Exploring The Importance Of Feedback And Using Data To Bridge L&D Gaps
As a member of Epignosis since 2015, Maria Logotheti has grown from a Customer Happiness Specialist to Trainer and today leads her own team as the Customer Education Manager. With a background in support and education, Maria brings a wealth of expertise to her role. She is skilled in creating engaging and effective learning experiences that meet the unique needs of different learners and organizations with videos, webinars, and training sessions. In this Q&A, she shares her unique insights regarding training ROI, measuring L&D effectiveness, and LMS misconceptions.
Why is it so crucial for organizations to measure the effectiveness of their training initiatives? Also, based on your experience, what is the most important qualitative and quantitative data they should be gathering?
Organizations should measure the effectiveness of their training initiatives to ensure they’re using their recourses smartly and their employees gain knowledge and develop all the necessary skills to perform better in their jobs.
They’ll be surprised by the data they can collect, which can help improve certain areas of their L&D programs and make the necessary adjustments.
In terms of qualitative data, organizations should gather feedback from participants about their learning experience:
- Is the content relevant and useful?
- Are they satisfied with their training?
- Can they immediately apply what they learned in their job?
- Do they feel more confident after the training?
All of these questions will help you understand better if you met the needs of the organization and the individual learners.
For quantitative data, organizations should track metrics like the percentage of employees who completed their training, time spent on training, and impact on job performance. They can use assessments to measure training effectiveness. For example, they can conduct pre- and post-training skills gaps tests and compare the results.
One of the most common misconceptions about Learning Management Systems is that they can only be used to deliver training. How can organizations also leverage them to measure success and identify areas for improvement?
It’s true; most people believe that Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are used to deliver online training, but it can be much more than that.
First, an LMS can provide reports and data on training effectiveness, such as completion rates, time spent on training, and test scores. This information can help organizations assess the overall effectiveness of their training programs and identify areas that can be improved.
For example, when most learners fail a test, you should check if the course material provided is accurate and easy to understand. Or, when learners spend too much time on a course, it’s usually because they zone out and need to watch or read the content multiple times. Using different types of units, like videos and live sessions, you can create more engaging courses that learners would want to complete.
Second, by tracking learners’ progress and patterns, you can identify knowledge gaps. You can find out what are the most popular modules or the areas that learners struggled with the most. With this information, you can adjust your training content (e.g., offer additional support to explain difficult parts) and delivery methods (e.g., provide targeted coaching to reinforce learning) so you can better meet the needs of your learners.
Third, an LMS can be used to collect feedback directly from your learners and gain insight into the quality of your training. For example, you can include post-training surveys at the end of each course and gauge learner feedback while the content is still fresh in their minds.
If you unlock the full potential of an LMS, you have a powerful tool to measure training success, identify areas for improvement, and increase your learning ROI.
Another valuable source of data that organizations can utilize to measure ROI is employee feedback. How can they collect feedback with an LMS, and why is it so vital?
Collecting feedback is a critical component of measuring ROI for training initiatives. One way to achieve this is by using the survey functionality in your LMS. A survey should gather details on the overall training experience, including the relevance and usefulness of the content, the quality of the training materials, and the effectiveness of the delivery method.
You can use multiple choice questions, free text questions, and Likert scale questions. This way, you can measure agreement, satisfaction, frequency, likelihood, quality, and more. And you can ask about all aspects of your training programs. From the actual content (e.g., whether they found it easy or difficult, interesting or boring, etc.) to the platform (e.g., whether it was easy to navigate) to the instructor (e.g., whether they found them engaging and easy to understand.)
You can also use discussion forums to get direct and indirect feedback from learners and turn them from passive recipients to active participants. Encouraging learners to communicate in a friendly environment will help you create connections. Sharing information this way leads to better pass and course completion rates.
You can also try to use polls in webinars. Some learners shy away from engaging in discussions or a face-to-face live setting but find their confidence and “voice” in polls during webinars. A nice idea is to reward learners who have engaged in any of the above. For example, you can assign them gamification points because they participated in a discussion. This initiative will motivate them, create a “hook” to make them want to share more, and encourage other learners to participate, as well.
Can you offer our readers some insights on which specific features and tactics will help them track training ROI?
Sure! This is my short list of features and tactics that can help other organizations track training ROI:
- Clearly defined learning objectives: Your team has to gather and establish clear learning objectives for each training program. Make sure you’re aligned with the organization’s business goals and that the success of the training program can be measured.
- Pre- and post-training assessments: By administering pre-training assessments, you can easily identify in which areas your learners are more proficient or less knowledgeable to provide tailored training for their needs. By having a post-training assessment, you can also measure the knowledge users gained as a result of their training.
- LMS reports: Find out what your data is telling you. Through standard and custom reports, you can quickly see which courses are more popular and which ones require more attention.
- Analyzing feedback: Survey data from employees can help you identify the areas that need improvement.
Business outcomes: Compare the results of the training with key business metrics, such as employee productivity, sales, or customer satisfaction, to find out if training had a positive impact on your business.
Once they’ve gathered the data, how can training professionals use it to improve their L&D programs based on their objectives and gaps?
Training professionals can use the data gathered to improve their programs in several ways:
- Identify areas for improvement: Where did employees struggle the most? Where did the training not meet their objectives? Focus on improving these areas by providing additional recourses, updating your content, or changing the delivery method. For example, use more videos instead of plain text.
- Optimize the learning experience: You now know how employees interacted with the training materials. Use this data to personalize and optimize the learning experience. For example, recommend topics to fill the employees’ knowledge gaps or reinforce their knowledge with follow-up quizzes.
- Keep course material up-to-date and simple: The content can stay relevant, engaging, and effective by analyzing your data. For example, if most employees mention that a particular section is generic and doesn’t add value to their job, you can completely remove that part, shorten the course, and offer more targeted training.
- Re-evaluate learning goals: As business needs change, trainers can review and adjust their learning objectives. This way, employees will get training that will help them reach individual, team, and organizational goals. It makes sense for training professionals to share reports with upper management and department heads (with an LMS, they can automatically send reports to specific people on a regular basis) to make sure business and training goals are aligned.
Is there a recent development project, product launch, or another initiative our readers should know about?
Gathering and acting upon your training data may feel overwhelming. That’s why we’re hosting regular webinars where we discuss best practices and share examples of how to set up and track reports within your LMS. You can find a prerecorded session here.
We’d like to thank Maria Logotheti for taking the time to participate in our Q&A and for offering her words of advice to our eLearning community. You can also check out 99 questions to ask in your post-training evaluation survey to gather more effective feedback and spot areas for improvement in your L&D program to maximize ROI.