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Section 1: Training

Reviewing your training

Reviewing your training

Self evaluations

Evaluations of the training you have delivered can come from various perspectives. Your learners and their employers, not to mention you as the trainer, may have quite different perspectives on how valuable a training session has been.

The best way to improve your skills as a trainer is to continually evaluate your own performance, and to take on board the comments made by others about your training style and the outcomes you achieve.

At the end of each training session, you should look back over how it went, and identify the things that worked well, the things that didn't, and what you'll do differently next time.

There are lots of reasons why activities don't work as well as you'd hoped, or why problems crop up during the session that you weren't expecting. These include:

  • participants finding activities too difficult, or taking longer to master skills than you were expecting

  • participants finding activities too easy, and becoming bored because the exercises weren't challenging enough

  • insufficient time to cover all the material you had prepared

  • an unsettled group, making it hard for participants to concentrate

  • interruptions from other workplace activities, or supervisors wanting to talk to participants

  • equipment not being available when it's needed.

Each time you identify an aspect of your presentation style or the structure of the session that could be improved, make a note of it and decide on what you'll do next time to get a better result. After you've tried it out, review the session again to see how well it worked. This process of reviewing, modifying, trialling and reviewing again is called the continuous improvement cycle. It's a process that every professional trainer needs to undertake regularly, and it's also a requirement of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations.

Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself at the end of a training session or course you have just delivered:

  • What was the most successful part of the training session? Why did it work so well?

  • What was the least successful part of the session? How could it be improved next time?

  • Did the session go according to plan? If not, how can I avoid that problem next time?

  • Did all students participate in the discussions or activities? If not, why not?

  • Did the discussions stay on track? If not, how can I manage this better in future discussions?

  • Did the participants' stay interested throughout the session? If not, how can I vary the delivery style or the activities I present in future?

  • Were there any problems with the students' behaviour or attitude to the training? Did I handle the problems well? If not, how could I handle them better in the future?

  • Were there any students who had special learning needs? Did I respond appropriately?

  • Did I conclude the session well and tell the participants what the next step would be?

  • Were there any comments in the Participant Evaluation sheets that were helpful to my development as a trainer?