Write the best training survey questions: pre- and post-event

This article will explain how to use survey questions on training to engage with your customers and get actionable information that will give your training program an edge.

Write the best training survey questions: pre- and post-event

The past years have seen a boom in both online and offline training sessions—and that shows no signs of slowing down.

With education the key to many top jobs and a rapidly growing number of people retraining to stay ahead of the curve, educational courses are here to stay.

When there are so many training courses available, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd—and just as hard to gauge what your trainees think.

Pre-training survey question examples

Identifying the demand (hopefully there is some) is the first step to take for any product, including training courses, and you can get a clear picture through a well-designed survey.

Instead of endlessly trawling the internet for the latest trends, pre-training surveys are a quick and easy way of getting fresh insight from the people whose opinion matters most.

Pre-training surveys shouldn’t be too long—in fact, we recommend you just use a couple of questions. Use these two questions to get the responses that set your course in the right direction:

1. What do you hope to gain from this training course?

If you’re setting up a training program, you’ve probably got a good idea of its aim already. But, your customers might not have the same needs.

For example, a course on HTML coding could be for people hoping to take their first steps into a new career, meaning you’d have to include tips on career paths and applying for jobs in tech.

But that isn’t necessarily what your customers want. The same subject could equally be focused on writers whose only HTML need is to format content for a website.

2. What level of expertise do you require?

There is nothing more disappointing than investing money in a training course and coming out the other side having learned nothing new.

And this doesn’t just apply to beginners courses aimed at advanced students. A beginner lost in a jungle of complicated processes and technical jargon will be just as unfulfilled.

Judging what level your course should be pitched at doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple choice between beginner, intermediate, and advanced training can be enough to make your course relevant to your users.

Post-training survey question examples

So, you’ve crafted your training course with your pre-training survey. Now your course is over, it’s time to get a picture of what your customers thought of it through a training evaluation survey.

Identifying what your users want is one thing but getting feedback helps to highlight what you did right and what areas you need to improve.

Use these post-training survey questions to get actionable feedback:

  1. Would you recommend this training session to a friend?
  2. How was the quality of the teaching?
  3. How was the day structured?
  4. Did the training meet your expectations?
  5. How was the venue?
  6. What did you like the most about the course?
  7. What would you change about the course?
  8. Any other comments?

Start with this template

Get the ball rolling with a question that gauges your customer’s opinion of the course. This kind of question is easy to answer as it is based on a general feeling, rather than a thought-out response.

Ask people to rate the training with a 1 to 10 scale on course satisfaction find out how well it would perform with other audiences.

Furthermore, you can capitalize on the feedback with a comments box. A simple why/why not is enough of a push for users to tell you what they enjoyed most, or what alternatives they would have preferred.

If you get 10 satisfaction surveys saying the course lacked structure—then you know exactly what you have to work on.

Go into the specifics

Generic questions have their place, but it is important to find out what it is about your course in particular that strikes a chord.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions on teacher quality, if your day was structured logically, or training effectiveness that is specific to your course.

Discover your demographic

At first, this could seem a bit unnecessary for your surveys themselves. But by taking a step back and looking the bigger picture, records of your demographics can cross over into your marketing strategy.

If most of your users are fresh out of university, it’s time for your marketing department to up their social media game.

Alternatively, if your customers are from a less tech-savvy generation—you can think about how to adapt your language on the course to make it more accessible.

post training survey questions - girl at whiteboard

Types of questions to use for training surveys

We’ve all had the experience of opening a drab, endless survey that makes you want to paint your walls just to watch them dry.

But with a little work on your presentation and question craft, you can get both quality and quantity in your survey responses.

Follow these pointers to write questions that transform your questions into effective market research:

Keep it short and sweet for maximum engagement

A sure-fire way of keeping your response rates high is to make your survey convenient.

Your customers are busy people, so limit your feedback survey questions for maximum engagement and more material you can work with.

Include a time estimate in your invitation so users know what they’re dealing with. A simple message letting people know it will only take two minutes is a great technique for getting engagement.

Then, once the survey has begun, use a Typeform progress bar to motivate users to keep going.

One question, one topic

Take time to think about what feedback you want, and structure your questions accordingly. By sticking to the topic, you’ll get direct responses that make analyzing surveys much easier.

For example, a question on whether a course was convenient or not could be interpreted to mean location, duration, schedule or anything else, giving potentially misleading answers.

Try breaking this example up into three snappy, direct yes/no questions with a simple comment box for feedback you can work with.

Leave space for additional comments

Now you’re at the end of your satisfaction survey and your users are comfortable, you can pick their brains for anything that hasn’t been addressed.

Here, you can go for a broad, open-ended question and find out things you wouldn’t even have thought of, such as parking difficulties or a slow online platform.

employee training survey questions on stage

Training survey tips and tricks

Now you know what you need to ask and how to ask it, here are some hints on how to optimize your survey questions.

Identify your goals

One thing to bear in mind when writing a customer survey is to stay focused and to the point.

Before you begin, decide what you want to gain and let that guide you. This helps you to keep your survey concise and relevant.

A good structure makes for an easy survey

Structure your questions so that those requiring a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ response come first and more open-ended responses come later.

This will improve customer engagement by making them comfortable from the outset.

The timing is everything

Send your surveys close to the course itself for maximum impact.

Evaluation forms for training programs, as well as any kind of customer satisfaction survey, need to be sent within a couple of days of the course.

This gives you accurate answers and makes it easier to take action on your end.

Test it out

Take a small group (even friends and family) and test your questions before launching your surveys.

If you find your responses are vague and not actionable, it is likely that the questions were too, so use feedback from your tests to streamline your approach.