This page will cover the importance for the trainer to listen to learners, give and receive feedback and give the learner an opportunity to evaluate the information they have received.
People like to think they are being listened to and that what they say is important. Trainers use listening techniques such as mirroring the use of language and body language. This can set learners at ease and demonstrate you value their opinion.
Restating what people say shows you have listened to them and wish to understand their point. Also non threatening eye contact (don’t stare!) can demonstrate you are paying attention to a person. These methods can help build rapport and make students more open to participating in learning.
Feedback and De-brief
During and after the lesson programme is delivered the trainer will re-cap on the material and invite learners to ask questions. This gives learners the opportunity to clarify points they may not fully understand. The trainer should have some ready prepared questions to prompt and encourage learners if they are reluctant to ask questions of their own.
The use of questionnaires can also encourage learners to think about what they have learned and their responses can be used as points for further discussion during feedback.
Constructive feedback will help students learn more about themselves and their behaviour in the class. Constructive feedback can include both negative and positive comments, and it’s purpose is to help people acknowledge areas that they do well in and areas that would benefit from improvement. Feedback should always be:
- Given as soon as possible after the event
- Focus on behaviour, not the person
- Focus on what can be changed
- Offer alternatives
It is important to consider when is the right time and where is the right place to give feedback. Should it be in the class, or elsewhere? Should it be in front of a group or one-to-one?
Also, the trainer should ask if they are the correct person to provide feedback, and do they have enough information and tact to deal with this person?
Evaluation and Assessment
Evaluation takes place when the learner reflects on the learning that has taken place. Summarative evaluation takes place at the end of the session while formative evaluation takes place during the lesson.
Evaluations should be done for both trainer and learner. In most instances learners will have little experience in making evaluations, so if they are hurtful the trainer must remember that criticism is of the learning event and to be taken personally.
Evaluation should highlight what the trainer or trainee might have done differently to achieve a better outcome. The evaluation can be referenced when making improvements for future training.
Levels of evaluation include:
- Reaction – how did learners react?
- Learning – Did learning take place?
- Behaviour – has behaviour changed?
- Organisation – Has the organisation benefited?
Evaluation methods include tests, ratings and questionnaires. They can be done formally, informally, immediately after training and/or months later. Ratings with sliding scale graded responses can help a trainer identify priority areas for improvement.