Training community workers and leaders
Evaluating your training
Evaluations are mechanisms for finding out whether your learning objectives for a specific training program were achieved. They should be tailored to measure outcomes and to help you improve future training.
At the time or later on, you can use your evaluation process to ask the following questions:
- Did the participants learn something they considered to be useful and relevant?
- Did the project address its goals and objectives in an effective and efficient way?
- Were the participants able to apply what they learned to their work or leadership situations?
Here are some steps to take when you design and conduct an evaluation of your legal information training.
Pick the type of evaluation you want to conduct
Here is some information about types of evaluation you might consider:
- Easily measurable information assessing impact on a group of people. Some examples:
- the number of participants in the training
- the number of people helped
This is the type of information that funders often rely on. It is often referred to as “quantitative information”.
- Information gained from interviews, surveys or focus group assessing impact on individuals. Some examples:
- experiential information (how people felt the training went)
- anecdotal stories
This type of information can be extremely useful in learning how well the project has worked to date, and in helping set future goals. It is sometimes referred to as “qualitative information”.
Tip: You can use the information obtained from an evaluation process to identify:
- New topics to be covered in future training programs
- Teaching techniques that have been especially effective for learning specific material or skill sets
- Effective ways to describe and market your training programs
Design the evaluation tools you wish to use
The next step in program evaluation is to decide on a method to gather information to answer the evaluation questions. Here are some of the tools and methods you can use:
- surveys (online or on paper at the end of the training session)
- exit interviews
- follow-up phone calls or emails three to six months after the training
- focus groups
Tip: Consider conducting surveys or interviews with training participants three to six months after the training to see if what they learned made a difference in their work
The easiest and least time-consuming way to conduct an evaluation is by conducting a survey. Hand out your survey in person at the end of your training if you are training people in person. You can use our sample evaluation form as a starting point.
Analyze and apply the findings
Whichever evaluation method or tool you choose, it is important to read and carefully consider the responses from your participants. Look for consistency in both positive and constructive comments. Any trends and themes in the responses about the content, value, timing, level of participation, and delivery can help you to improve the design of future training sessions.