Kathy Obear
Amherst, Massachusetts

  1. On-going evaluations

    It is important to "take the pulse" of the seminar at least after every activity, if not more often. There are a variety of ways for a facilitator to check the effectiveness of the learning activities:
    1. "read" the audience: attend to the nonverbals of participants
    2. listen to comments as participants discuss group tasks and at breaks
    3. ask the entire group how they are doing
    4. talk to individuals at breaks and during individual activities
  2. End of the seminar evaluations
    1. Verbal evaluations
      • A facilitator may choose to ask for public comments regarding the seminar. This technique is effective if one purpose of the workshop is to foster group development and to improve the quality of relationships among participants. In this case the following questions may be helpful:
      • How are you feeling right now?
      • What would anyone like to say to the other people here today?
      • What do you want to "take home" with you?
      • What wishes do you have for the other people here today?
      • What did you learn today that you want to remember?
      • Unfortunately, few, if any, participants will use the opportunity to give verbal feedback to offer constructive or negative comments. Facilitators will get a far more honest and balanced evaluation when they provide a means for anonymous feedback.
    2. Written evaluations
      The following are typical evaluative questions:
      • Right now I am feeling
      • What were the three(3) most helpful parts of this seminar?
      • What three(3) things do you want to remember from this seminar?
      • Write down at least one(l) goal that you have after this seminar.
      • Three(3) things that I want to do differently
      • What three(3) things will you try NOT to do in the future?
      • The activities I learned the most from were
      • What suggestions for improvements do you have about this seminar.
      • Please comment on the facilitator's style and skills as a presenter.
      • Please comment on the quality of the handouts.
      • Please comment on the quality of the facilities, refreshments, meals, etc.
      • What additional information / topics do you still want more information about?
      • What I learned about myself
      • What I learned about other people
      • Please add any further comments and suggestions.
  3. Post-seminar evaluations

    Often it is helpful to gather evaluative feedback 2-8 weeks after the seminar to measure how successful the participants were in applying the new knowledge / skills / attitudes in their lives. It is often useful to send out some additional articles and a personal note with the evaluation form. Consider "rewarding" those that take the time to fill out and return it.

    Kathy Obear is a diversity trainer and consultant based in Amherst, Massachusetts (413) 283-2503.

    Copyright © 1991 Kathy Obear. Permission is granted to copy and use this material for educational and non-profit purposes only. This copyright statement and acknowledgement of authorship should remain intact on materials you copy from this website.