Earlier this month, I wrote a blog post about five ways to make your training survey questions more effective. This week, I'd like to discuss whether we should do survey questions at all? Seriously. Part of me thinks we should not conduct training surveys at all.
We all do it. We begin creating a training class, eLearning course, or presentation by sitting down at the computer, typing bullet points of the important things we need to present. If we are in a groove, we can create five to ten slides pretty quickly in a rough first draft. When we get to a stopping point, we look back and can be quite proud of our first draft.
When it comes to writing training survey questions, the most important principles is to write questions that seek responses on which you can take action. After all, isn't that the point of survey responses? You want to collect feedback so that you can improve your training course. Yet, too often, we write questions that no one answers or that seek responses on which we have no way of making improvements. Either way, we have survey data that is useless except that we can tell our stakeholders and check the box: Yes, we survey our learners.
“Mindflash’s great ease-of-use allowed us to get up and running in a fraction of the time I was expecting. Our customers tell us they love using the Mindflash app and software. And my team is happier and more productive.”
Two questions any eLearning designer should ask when designing a course are, "How will I know if this eLearning course is effective and how will I define effective?" Certainly every professional, no matter what the field, is concerned about doing great work and knowing how he/she will know when that great work is achieved. A surgeon wants to know whether a procedure is effective. A mechanic wants to know whether a repair works. An eLearning designer wants to know whether a training course is effective.
When AWS has an outage people really notice. Obviously the tech community explodes. Every company starts tweeting out their downtime status while swarms of developers / ops folks at all of these companies gang tackle the problem to try to get their site back up. Increasingly though, even the non-tech folks notice and are frustrated. On the great Christmas Eve outage of 2012 that took down consumer behemoths such as Netflix, social media was awash in frustrated users, but even the relatively minor outage on Friday caused enough waves for my completely non-technical wife to notice as some of her favorite websites were down.
Writing a training course is not much different than writing a blog post, an article, or a book. At some point, you will need to sit down and just plain start writing. Anyone who creates any type of content has had to face the dreaded writer's block. Even learning designers get to a point in which they are sitting at the computer staring at a blank screen, and asking themselves, "OK, what do I write now?"
Too many eLearning courses are lectures in the form of slides with content that learners must either read or listen to. The content usually contains abstract topics, such as processes, that learners are then expected to apply in real life. The problem is that there is a gap between a concept in a course and applying it in action.
One problem that faces learning and development professionals is that people do not necessarily flock to your course catalog to complete the eLearning you worked so hard to develop. Sure they may complete the required courses after receiving a third and final message with the word MANDATORY in the subject line, but they do not seem to be taking the other valuable courses in your catalog.