November 29, 2023

Exploring the importance of feedback and using data to bridge gaps in L&D

A member of Epignosis since 2015, Maria Logotheti has grown from a customer satisfaction specialist to a trainer and today leads her own team as a customer education manager. With a background in support and education, Maria brings a wealth of expertise to her role. She is skilled at creating engaging and effective learning experiences that meet the unique needs of diverse learners and organizations through videos, webinars and training. In this Q&A, he shares his unique insights on training ROI, measuring L&D effectiveness, and LMS misconceptions.

Why is it so critical for organizations to measure the effectiveness of their learning initiatives? Also, based on your experience, what are the most important qualitative and quantitative data they should collect?

Organizations should measure the effectiveness of their training initiatives to ensure that they are using their resources wisely and that their employees gain the knowledge and develop all the necessary skills to perform better in their jobs.

They will be amazed at the data they can gather that can help improve certain areas of their L&D programs and make necessary adjustments.

In terms of qualitative data, organizations should collect feedback from participants about their learning experiences:

  • Is the content relevant and useful?
  • Are they satisfied with their training?
  • Can they immediately apply what they have learned to their work?
  • Do they feel more confident after training?

All of these questions will help you better understand whether you have met the needs of the organization and individual students.

For quantitative data, organizations should track metrics such as the percentage of employees who complete training, time spent training, and impact on job performance. They can use assessments to measure the effectiveness of training. For example, they can conduct gap tests before and after training and compare the results.

One of the most common misconceptions about learning management systems is that they can only be used to deliver training. How can organizations also use them to measure success and identify areas for improvement?

It is true; most people believe that learning management systems (LMS) are used to deliver online training, but it can be much more than that.

First, the LMS can provide reports and data about training effectiveness, such as completion rates, time spent on training, and test scores. This information can help organizations assess the overall effectiveness of their training programs and identify areas for improvement.

For example, when most students fail a test, you should check that the course material provided is accurate and easy to understand. Or, when students spend too much time on a course, it’s usually because they’re out and need to watch or read the content multiple times. Using different types of units, such as videos and live sessions, you can create more engaging courses that students want to take.

Second, by tracking student progress and patterns, you can identify gaps in knowledge. You can find out what the most popular modules are or the areas that students have struggled with the most. With this information, you can adjust training content (e.g. offer additional support to explain difficult parts) and delivery methods (e.g. provide targeted coaching to enhance learning) to better meet the needs of your students.

Third, an LMS can be used to collect feedback directly from your students and gain insight into the quality of your training. For example, you can include post-training surveys at the end of each course to gauge student feedback while the content is still fresh in their minds.

When you unlock the full potential of an LMS, you have a powerful tool for measuring training success, identifying areas for improvement, and increasing the return on your learning investment.

Another valuable source of data that organizations can use to measure ROI is employee feedback. How can they collect feedback with an LMS and why is it so important?

Gathering feedback is a critical part of measuring the return on investment of training initiatives. One way to do this is to use a survey feature in your LMS. The survey should gather details about the overall training experience, including the relevance and usefulness of the content, the quality of the training materials, and the effectiveness of the delivery method.

You can use multiple choice questions, free text questions and Likert scale questions. This way you can measure compliance, satisfaction, frequency, likelihood, quality and more. And you can ask about all aspects of your training programs. From the actual content (e.g. did they find it easy or difficult, interesting or boring, etc.) to the platform (e.g. was it easy to navigate) to the instructor (e.g. did they find it engaging and easy to understand.)

You can also use discussion forums to get direct and indirect feedback from students and transform them from passive recipients to active participants. Encouraging students to communicate in a friendly environment will help you create connections. Sharing information in this way leads to better success rates and course completion.

You can also try using polls in webinars. Some students are reluctant to engage in face-to-face discussions or a live environment, but find their confidence and “voice” in surveys during webinars. A nice idea is to reward students who engage in any of the above. For example, you can give them gamification points because they participated in a discussion. This initiative will motivate them, create a “hook” that will make them want to share more, and encourage other students to participate.

Can you offer our readers some insight into which specific features and tactics will help them track their training ROI?

Sure! Here is my short list of features and tactics that can help other organizations track their training ROI:

  • Clearly defined learning objectives: Your team must gather and establish clear learning objectives for each training program. Make sure you are aligned with the organization’s business goals and that the success of the training program can be measured.
  • Assessment before and after training: By administering pre-school assessments, you can easily find out in which areas your students are more capable or less knowledgeable so that you can provide training tailored to their needs. After training, you can also measure the knowledge users have gained as a result of their training.
  • LMS reports: Find out what your data is telling you. Through standard and custom reports, you can quickly see which courses are more popular and which require more attention.
  • Feedback Analysis: Survey data from employees can help you identify areas for improvement.
    Business results: Compare training results with key business metrics such as employee productivity, sales or customer satisfaction to see if the training had a positive impact on your business.

Once they have collected the data, how can training professionals use it to improve their L&D programs based on their goals and gaps?

Training professionals can use the collected data to improve their programs in several ways:

  • Identify areas for improvement: Where did employees struggle the most? Where did the training fall short of its goals? Focus on improving these areas by providing additional remedies, updating content, or changing the delivery method. For example, use more videos instead of plain text.
  • Optimize your learning experience: Now you know how employees interacted with the training materials. Use this data to personalize and optimize learning. For example, recommend topics that will fill in gaps in employees’ knowledge, or reinforce their knowledge with follow-up quizzes.
  • Keep course materials current and simple: Content can stay relevant, engaging and effective by analyzing your data. For example, if most employees mention that a certain section is generic and doesn’t add value to their work, you can remove that section entirely, shorten the course, and offer more targeted training.
  • Re-evaluate learning goals: As business needs change, trainers can review and adjust their learning objectives. In this way, employees receive training that will help them achieve individual, team and organizational goals. It makes sense for training professionals to share reports with senior management and department heads (with an LMS they can automatically send reports to specific people on a regular basis) to ensure business and training goals are aligned.

Is there a recent development project, product launch or other initiative that our readers should know about?

Collecting and acting on your training data can be overwhelming. That’s why we host regular webinars where we discuss best practices and share examples of how to set up and track reports within your LMS. You can find a pre-recorded session here.

Wrap up

We would like to thank Maria Logotheti for taking the time to participate in our Q&A and offering her advice to our eLearning community. You can also take a look at the 99 questions you can ask in your post-training evaluation survey to get more effective feedback and find areas for improvement in your L&D program to maximize ROI.

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