Published: April 25, 2022 | Comments
Your contact center is probably using standard training evaluation tools, like post-course learner surveys, knowledge tests, and skill demonstrations. Asking learners to evaluate the effectiveness of a course and to demonstrate what they’ve learned are cornerstones of training evaluation.
These commonly used tools are effective, but they overlook an important component of effective learning: learner reflection and introspection - feedback that helps the learner ask these questions:
- Am I confident I can apply what I’ve learned on the job?
- Do I have concerns or hesitations?
- Are there areas I need to work on or roadblocks to performance?
Adding elements of self-evaluation to your training evaluation toolkit fuels learner engagement, ownership, and participation in the learning experience, increases trainers’ understanding of the learner experience while there is still time to address gaps, and helps learners and trainers work together more effectively to transition skills and knowledge to the job.
There are many opportunities to use self-evaluation during training to evaluate how learners are faring:
“Use a 1-5 rating scale to indicate your understanding of the content and write down outstanding questions at the conclusion of each new hire module.”
Review self evaluations as class wraps up on Friday, address gaps in understanding or confidence either individually or with the group, and cover any outstanding questions.
“Evaluate your own performance in a role-play with a standard rubric or checklist.”
Ask each learner to share a reflection and a development opportunity. Follow up with learners in a few days to ask about their progress.
“After the role play exercise, self-evaluate your performance using the standard Quality Evaluation form.”
Ask each new hire to share a strength and development opportunity, and provide them with a template to track their target areas and progress.
Not every learner immediately feels comfortable self-evaluating, so it's especially important to simplify and streamline this evaluation tool. Here are some ideas:
Provide a consistent approach to self-evaluation.
Simplify self-evaluation tools and scales by mirroring scorecard and quality evaluation form formats and using consistent scales and formats across all evaluation tools. If, for instance, the quality evaluation form uses “Expert - Effective - Novice” as the scale, use the same scale or mirror the format with a 3-point scale. This approach helps employees become accustomed to the standard scale format and self-evaluation tools require less explanation and adjustment to use.
If I’m not specifically matching other tools, I keep the tone casual and opt for a simple 3-point scale, like this one:
Rate your confidence that you can apply what you learned in this module:
- 5 - I’m ready to go! I feel confident I can apply what I learned in this module.
- 3 - I’m getting there! I’m not 100% confident I can apply what I learned in this module yet but with more practice and clarification, I’m confident I’ll get there.
- 1 - Not yet! I’m uncertain if I can apply what I learned in this module and need additional instruction, practice, feedback and clarification to get there.
Create consolidated self-evaluation tools.
I organize all self-evaluation tools together in a dedicated learner workbook section or a OneNote page. This allows learners and trainers to track their reflections over time, spot trends, and celebrate increasing knowledge and skills. Keep the focus on the learner’s reflection, not complicated rating scales or excessive criteria.
Protect - don’t punish - candid, authentic self-evaluation.
Unlike most learner feedback, in which we ask the learner to rate the training, self-evaluation asks the learner for a much more personal perspective. In addition to asking, “How was the training?” we are also asking, “How are you feeling about what we are asking you to do? Do you feel ready to go do it? How do you think you are doing?”
While we don’t want to push learners to disclose more to a trainer or with a cohort group than they are comfortable with, trainers can create an environment where it's safe to share, and where the response is always “Thank you for sharing this with me. It helps everyone realize most of our fears, insecurities, and concerns are shared by others. In sharing them, we can help you with the resources and support your need to increase your performance and your confidence.
Building self-evaluation into practice, transitions, and nesting allows new employees to understand the criteria that’s used to evaluate their performance and to learn to compare their performance against the criteria, rather than relying on a supervisor or a trainer to always tell them how they’re doing. Self-evaluation helps employees build awareness and confidence, and makes it clear we expect employees to play an active role in identifying and solving their own performance problems. Finally, we can add self-evaluation data to our training evaluation framework to determine if our training programs are achieving a strategic training outcome: confident, capable, and engaged employees.