Emoticons as Training Evaluations

Have you ever had a medical doctor or nurse show you a pain chart and ask you to indicate the level you are currently at?  The chart is a visual for the patient and an easy-to-use tool for the medical provider. 

For years, people in the training field have referred to level-one course evaluations as “smile sheets.”  So why not use emoticons instead of numbers that correlate to “extremely satisfied,” “satisfied,” average or neutral, “not satisfied,” or “extremely unsatisfied.”  These may be used in live training, as well as at the end of computer-based or self-paced materials.

The new rating scale would be an honest reflection of how participants felt about the training they are about to leave. This most likely would give the training department a better picture of what their true customers think.  A simple scale like this would also eliminate the need for all those other questions often asked of trainees, which only seem to justify giving them a form to complete or a URL to go to. Lots of questions are pertinent for pilots.  Once the materials are finished, asking those detailed questions may just be a waste of everyone’s time completing forms and summarizing the answers.

The new scale might look something like this:

What do you use for training evaluations?  What do you think of using graphics instead of or along with words?  Let me know in blog comments.

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