How Does Feedback Help Your Learning Programs?
The benefits of timely, relevant, and actionable feedback cannot be stressed enough, especially for organizations on the path to becoming learning organizations. In this blog, we will discuss why collecting feedback regularly is important, the characteristics of good feedback, and tips on collecting accurate, actionable feedback.
Importance Of Feedback For Learning
Regularly engaging with your learners and taking their feedback on various courses and training experiences can help you create a cycle of continuous improvements. With regular corporate feedback, you also get insights into the various iterations of your training courses, which further help assess what’s working for your learners.
Feedback also helps organizations in becoming learning organizations. Through active interactions, you will be able to develop an L&D infrastructure that works best for your learners. It will enable them to feel valued, and encourage them to efficiently participate in organizational activities.
Eliminate Ineffective Learning Practices
Developing a competent L&D structure is a huge investment in terms of cost as well as effort. To ensure your investment yields a great ROI, it is imperative to measure the effectiveness of your training programs and regularly eliminate ineffective learning practices. And, a good corporate feedback system is what you need to facilitate this.
New Ideas And Inputs
The greatest thing about an open feedback system is that you get fresh ideas about implementation, increasing effectiveness, course content, and so much more. Your learners being the end-users are especially capable of improving not only the entire training structure but also certain specialized courses.
Easy To Track Improvements
Every L&D team strives to make improvements to their L&D structure and increase the effectiveness of the overall process. However, it can be challenging to tap the pain points without valuable feedback. If you are requesting feedback from your learners to improve their learning experience, it is imperative to also take their feedback on how meaningful were those specific improvements.
Learners engage with training programs primarily for two reasons – the course offers personal development or it offers professional development. If your courses are not adding value to your employees’ existing skillset, they will not be motivated enough to continue learning. Asking your learners about course feedback regularly will help you in modifying the content to be more relevant for them.
Improves Employee Retention
It has been stated in several studies that employees prefer to stay with organizations that offer learning and development opportunities. Now corporate feedback is a crucial aspect of the training process that helps maintain the competency of training programs. If your learners believe you are making efforts to make the courses more relevant and informative, they will not only engage better but also stay at your company longer.
Characteristics Of An Effective Feedback Model
Before we dive into the various types of feedback, let’s understand what makes good feedback.
Feedback Must Be Given In Real-Time
Instant feedback can be acted on immediately reducing the scope of inefficiencies to a minimum, making it essential for organizations to have an open communication channel. Whereas, if you wait for the learner to progress in the course/training program and have them share cumulative feedback upon completion, you may miss out on a lot of aspects that could also hinder other learners’ experience.
Structured Feedback Model Is Vital
Once you start collecting feedback, you will be bombarded with information related to all aspects of the learning process. Having a well-structured feedback system will enable you to get actionable and helpful feedback, and chart a path for you to make the necessary improvements/adjustments. Set grounds for receiving feedback and divide it into separate categories. For example, one category can be the content quality which will include content relevance, applicability, value addition, etc.
Ensure Feedback Is Ongoing
Continuous feedback and continuous learning go hand-in-hand. If you delay incorporating the feedback your learners share with you, they will not be motivated to share their thoughts repeatedly. Whereas, if their feedback is well-received and implemented, they will be encouraged to share their feedback going forward as well.
Two-Way Communication Plays A Huge Role
Receiving feedback is essential for the success of your L&D program, but so is giving feedback. If your learners are actively consuming the content, and sharing their inputs, you must make the relevant changes to implement their feedback. However, if there is no subsequent increase in performance even after making the required changes, you must talk to them about your expectations, and help them reach the desired performance level.
Relevancy Is Key
It is imperative to give your learners actionable feedback that prompts value-addition. You must first establish context while giving feedback and list out the points you believe the learner must work on or address in the conversation. For example, if a learner scored well in the course assessment but is unable to transfer the knowledge to his job role, you must ask them to focus on applicability.
Types Of Feedback
The primary objective of training programs is to enable learners to attain the required skills to perform their job responsibilities competently. However, insights such as course completion rates, progress rates, etc. are not enough to gauge how effective your courses are. Along with the right metrics, you also need qualitative feedback. Holding a simple Q&A round every other week with your learners can help get you answers to questions you didn’t even think of initially. Now Q&As with all learners every other week, on top of all your existing responsibilities, may seem like a nightmare. But we have a solution for that as well!
You can simply group learners based on their job roles, completion rates, number of courses enrolled, and any other form of metric that is key to learning in your organization and randomly choose one learner from each group per week to ease the process.
Polling And Surveys
Polls and surveys are excellent means of collecting actionable feedback from your learners. They can be used for feedback generation for larger sample sizes, are easy to create and distribute, and can easily be tweaked to include periodic improvements. However, to ensure you get quality feedback that helps improve your learning process, you need to ask relevant questions. A basic questionnaire with general learning questions will simply not do.
It is important to first define the purpose of the survey; for example, if you want input about the quality of content in your courses, the survey/poll questions need to reflect the same. It is also important to keep in mind the length of the survey or the number of questions you ask. If there are a tonne of subjective questions, your learners may not fill them right. Try and incorporate more objective questions and only leave out comment sections for people who want to elaborate on their selected option. It has also been well-established that anonymity is vital to polls and surveys especially when it comes to a professional setting. Employees, at times, might not feel at ease speaking their minds out, and anonymous polls and surveys help them communicate their feedback effectively.
Discussion forums are crucial for developing a high-performing learning organization. If you have opted for an LMS that features social learning, like Auzmor Learn, you’ll find discussion forums for all your training courses (unless disabled by the company’s admin). When adequately used, forums can not only be used to obtain feedback from your learners but also help them communicate with each other. You’ll be amazed to see how actively queries get resolved when learners are engaged with each other.
Discussions forums are especially recommended for remote learners or remote-functioning organizations to facilitate healthy conversations among employees. However, it is essential to moderate these discussion forums to maintain a good line of communication. The admins can also use these forums to upload questions/mini-polls/surveys and get real-time feedback from the course takers.
One essential aspect to note here is that the activity levels of discussion forums are in itself a good form of feedback. The more your learners are engaged with a training course, the more they will talk about it. You can observe the courses with higher activity levels in discussion forums and gauge what your learners are most interacting with. This will help you further optimize your learning process.
Feedback collection is essential to identify any learning gaps in your organization. If you’re investing your resources in building an L&D structure, ensure that you get a good value for them by partnering with Auzmor. Our award-winning, robust, and easy-to-use LMS will help you make resourceful decisions to streamline your L&D structure. Book a FREE demo or check out our quick guide on effectively implementing an LMS.