I got this e-mail from a colleague earlier this year (sharing below with slight edits):
I am writing to ask for your help with my upcoming little research I plan to carry out with teachers in my area. More specifically, after two years of supervising and providing in-service opportunities I am eager to find out the impact of all that I did so far on their teaching performance.
Do you have any suggestions on how such feedback can be collected? Have you ever faced the situation in which you tried to evaluate the impact or effectiveness of your training on teachers’ performance?
Some initial thoughts in reply:
- creating a culture of offering honest feedback is important (especially when you will be seeing the same people again, and in the culture where relationships are important)
- teaching how to structure feedback (using the ELC, for example, insisting on ‘description first’ rule, no matter who the feedback is for (students, parents, peers, trainers, etc.)
- creating a habit to offer/ask for feedback (every session, every week, etc.)
- ‘owning’ one’s feedback, being ready to sign one’s name (and feeling secure to do so, confident that a listener can open up)
- culture and habit of acting on feedback (so that teachers saw the effect of what they said)
- (which often comes to changing one’s own attitude to receiving feedback, being ready to accept it)
- ultimately, feedback is about mutual trust between you and teachers (so the task for a trainer is to model that for teachers, and potentially, their students)
How it is sometimes done on the training courses I facilitate
Categories are provided on some color cards, and participants write on each of them. They work individually.
- everyone has a chance to write and ‘be heard’ by the trainers (more chance to learn about the individual ideas)
- teachers who prefer to mention their name can do so (trainers can offer a follow-up in person)
Same (or different) categories are listed, and participants write on an A-4 poster in pairs (OR a larger poster in a group). Teachers may discuss and agree on the ideas to share.
- everyone has a chance to discuss the ideas
- the ‘most important points’ get to paper (more chance to learn about the group ideas/tendencies)
Exit tickets is something teachers do in their lessons, and we trainers can of course borrow this practice. A simple idea: before leaving the room, a form is filled in, but the format can vary) In the image below is a new idea I got from my colleague in Ukraine but have not yet tried in my training:
Online surveys, for example
- Padlet: very visual immediately, names mentioned
- Google Form: easy to analyze, e-mail addresses mentioned
- MonkeySurvey: can be kept anonymous, but the number of questions in the free version is limited
- My 2018 post about collecting feedback on a conference session (someone in the comments said it was ‘brave’ to ask for it!)
- My 2016 post reblogged recently with slight edits: Trainer Integrity and Participant Feedback
- Mike Griffin’s post on his blog is called Why I often prefer non-anonymous feedback
More links, and discussion in the comments (with even more links!)
- Exit Slip Survival Kit: a downloadable booklet by Chad Ostrowski with several practical ideas
- Does It Make a Difference? Evaluating Professional Development (a model by Thomas R. Guskey)
- A post at Edutopia, by Vicki Davis (2014-2015)
A hobby of mine is collecting various feedback forms that are not related to ELT world: for example, at a cafe or a restaurant, airlines, travel agencies, banks, etc.
What are some ideas for collecting feedback from your lessons, training sessions or conference presentations that you have tried and found successful/efficient? Or… vice versa?