BlogLearning & Development

10 Post Training Survey Questions to Ask

Terri James
VP of Product

This blog explores essential post-training survey questions to gauge effectiveness, gather feedback, and identify areas for improvement in your training programs.

Develop a Training Manual That Works

Are your trainings working? How do you know?

A successful learning and development program provides many benefits, including boosting retention, adding a sense of purpose to work, and improving personal connections within your company.

But bad trainings frustrate and demotivate employees. How do you know if yours is providing benefits or wasting time?

A post-training survey is a great feedback collection method for finding out if your trainings are effective, if your participants are engaged, if the material is relevant, and more.

A short survey at the end of your training can guide improvements to the course and future offerings. (It's very easy to create surveys in Continu and add them to multiple pieces of training content.)

Here are 10 questions you might use in your training feedback survey:

1. Was the training easy to understand and follow?

Post training survey question - was the training easy to understand?

The most effective trainings are easy to understand and follow a logical order, making this an important training evaluation question. If your participants find it difficult to understand or follow your course, they won't get the full benefit of the material you've put so much work into, and it's time to make some changes.

This could be a simple yes/no question, or you could provide options like "easy to understand, easy to follow," "easy to understand, hard to follow," "hard to understand, easy to follow," and so on. You might also ask for clarification on which parts of the training were difficult.

2. How engaging was the training material?

Like trainings that are hard to understand, those that don't grab your participants' attention won't accomplish much. Combining answers to this question with participant engagement insights from your learning management system will give you a complete picture of how engaged your learners are.

You can also make this question more precise if you're looking for particular insights from your feedback questions. "How engaging was the instructor?", "How engaging were the videos?", and "How engaging were the readings?" are viable questions that get into more specific areas of your training.

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3. How relevant was the training to your job/role?

If a training isn't relevant to someone's job, there's little point in taking up their time to complete it (unless it's a regulatory requirement). Course content relevancy fosters engagement, as well – if it's not relevant, your participants are unlikely to be engaged.

If you're getting a lot of negative answers to this question, it's time to rethink either the training or the audience. You can supplement this question with "How could this training be more relevant to your job/role?" to get suggestions from learners.

4. Was the learning management system easy to use?

In addition to asking learners about the content of the course, it's a good idea to include a question about the learning platform in your training survey questions. The best learning management systems don't get in the way – they make it easier to engage with the content.

If learners are having trouble with the delivery of the training, ask for more detailed feedback so you can address their specific issues and ensure a seamless process for accessing the training.

5. Was the instructor knowledgeable and helpful?

If your training is led by an instructor, you'll want to include training evaluation questions specifically about that instructor. It can be difficult to gauge the quality of instruction without getting feedback from your learners.

You can also include more specific questions, such as "Did the instructor answer participant questions clearly?", "Would you recommend this instructor to your coworkers?", or "Did you feel that the instructor adequately engaged with participants?" to get a more detailed instructor performance review.

6. Did you think the training was too long or too short?

A complete training effectiveness evaluation covers many factors about the training, including its length. Determining the optimal training length can be difficult – you want to cover all of the relevant material, but trainings that are too long leave participants bored and unengaged.

The length of a training isn't always completely under your control, but if many participants are saying it's too long or too short, you may want to break it up into a series or add relevant material.

7. How well did this training meet your expectations?

Before delivering a training, you should tell learners what to expect. What will they be learning? How much time will they need to invest? What training outcomes will they achieve? Will there be a knowledge retention assessment? This question will help you see if the expectations you're setting are being met.

If a participant says that the training didn't meet their expectations, you may want to provide some space to find out more. There are many different types of expectations and ways in which they can be met, so more details will be useful.

8. How satisfied are you with the training?

Learner satisfaction measurement is a great metric to track on all of your trainings. It might seem very similar to the question above about expectations, but it's worth delving into both, as a training can sometimes meet expectations but leave participants unsatisfied.

Again, if learners are unsatisfied, you may want to ask for more detail by including a space in your training feedback survey for respondents to share more details. (A 2022 survey from SHRM found that 75% of employees are satisfied with their training overall, so if you're getting numbers lower than that, it might be time for a change.)

9. Do you have any suggestions for improving the training?

You've spent days – maybe even months – designing your training, testing different parts of it, seeking out feedback, and possibly designing some sort of skill development analysis to assess its effectiveness. But learner suggestions can still be extremely valuable.

Many times participants will skip this question or write something very short, but you might be surprised at some of the insightful ideas you'll get with this course evaluation question.

10. Is there anything else you'd like to share about the training?

It's always a good idea to open up your post-training survey to allow participants to share any other thoughts they have. Some participants will have unexpected and valuable insights to share that you didn't cover with a previous feedback question.

If at all possible, make questions like this optional so you don't get hundreds of responses that just say "No" or "It was good." You'll save yourself a lot of time analyzing your training feedback questions.

How to choose course evaluation questions

Now that you have an idea of the types of questions that are useful in post-training surveys, you may be wondering which you should use. Here are three tips:

1. Decide on what you're most interested in measuring.

Is it content relevance? Learner satisfaction? Instructor performance? This will depend largely on your training priorities and your design process.

2. Think of 1–2 secondary items that might be useful to your learning and development team.

Not every feedback question is helpful. For example, "Should we include different content?" isn't a useful question if the training has stringent legal requirements for what's included.

3. Keep the survey short.

The shorter the survey, the more likely your learners are to complete it. If it takes more than a few minutes, users will start dropping off before the end of the survey. If you're not getting as many responses as you hoped for, consider making it shorter.

Prioritize the items you identified in steps one and two, consider adding a few more questions, and start there.

Put your survey feedback to good use

Collecting feedback is only the first step in training program improvement. To make the most of the feedback questions, you'll need to draw insights from them through analysis.

It's easy to analyze multiple-choice or yes/no questions, as your learning management system will likely give you averages or similar statistics. Continu, for example, provides you with graphical representations of the results for easy analysis.

Analyzing free-text responses, however, can be a bit more complicated. You might use a word cloud to see which words are most common, do some sort of semantic analysis, or simply read through all of them to get an overall feeling of the trends. This means that free-text questions in your training feedback survey will take more time to analyze, so you may want to only include one or two. But don't skip them entirely, as they let participants share thoughts you weren't expecting.

And, of course, once you see how learners are responding, it's time to take action. Let their feedback guide you in making incremental improvements to your training program design.

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About the Author
Terri James, VP of Product at Continu
Terri James
VP of Product

Terri is the VP of Product at Continu, a modern Learning Management System built to help companies train employees, customers and partners using one platform. For over a decade, Terri has led Continu as a product and is passionate about helping companies build a culture of learning.

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