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This month, we sponsored a podcast for Leading Learning on Dr. Will Thalheimer, author of Performance-Focused Smile Sheets: A radical Rethinking of a Dangerous Art Form.  Thalheimer has spent over 30 years in the performance and learning field and is an expert on post – learning evaluations.

In this podcast, Thalheimer focuses on discussing smile sheets, which he describes as the questions we give to learners or conference attendees at the end of a session. This method is one of the most popular forms of feedback, yet it has almost no correlation with learning results. In the podcast he goes over strategies to overcome weak feedback.

Thalheimer suggests the number one thing to do: encourage learners to take evaluation forms seriously and to ask good questions. If you make changes based on evaluations, share this with the learners so they take them more seriously.

Leading Learning also asks about effective measurement tactics for large annual conferences. Our last blog post related to the importance of attending conferences, and we also host an annual User Group Meeting, making us very interested on Thalheimer’s recommendations for after conference post-learning evaluations.

After a conference, how should you go about evaluating and measuring learning? Thalheimer’s advice is this: before focusing on what you want to ask, it is important to come up with a strategy. What do you want to measure and why? It is also important to make a distinction between measuring the overall conference, as well as each individual session.

So, what can we do to improve? Thalheimer explains the four pillars of training effectiveness:

Leading learning podcast graphic

Where does Will see the future of learning measurement? Expect better smiles sheets, better mechanisms for gathering info, and more scenario based questions.

Leading Learning also holds an annual symposium. Get more info here: Leading Learning Symposium October 24-25, Baltimore, MD

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