How to ask for training feedback (and boost your response rates)

If you’re struggling to collect training feedback that gives you actionable insights, follow these best practice tips

Training evaluation is key to informing improvements in course content, delivery methods and overall course design. For training companies, feedback also has the power to drive business growth through independent reviews, and for L&D teams it demonstrates if their learning strategy is delivering on the overall business strategy. Yet collecting meaningful feedback is something that training providers often struggle with.


Best methods for feedback collection

While some training providers prefer the traditional method of paper feedback forms, online data collection is proven to bring many more benefits. Not only do learners prefer online surveys, but they’re easier to share, encourage honest feedback and provide faster and more meaningful data analysis. Emailing online surveys after the course invariably generates a low response, but with the right tools, digital surveys can be accessed on the spot. And there’s no reason why 100% response rate can’t be achieved.

QR codes for classroom training
In a classroom environment, QR codes are by far the best way to collect feedback on the spot. Simply create a QR code that learners can scan with their devices in the classroom and set aside time for filling in the survey like you would a paper form.

Survey link in the chat box for virtual learning
For virtual learning, a survey link can be pasted into the chat box of the online classroom. Follow the advice above by sharing the survey link towards the end — but not at the very end — of the course before learners are starting to log off.

Embed survey links for self-paced training
With self-paced training, the situation is different as there’s no instructor to guide your learners and encourage them to provide feedback. In this case, you rely solely on the design and delivery of your feedback forms to get responses. Embedding feedback questions throughout the content — along with some persuasive messaging — will make it an organic part of the learning experience and not something that can be easily skipped or missed.

Email survey links for follow-up feedback
Similarly, when emailing follow-up surveys, thought needs to go into the subject line and the content in the email itself to trigger the learner to click on the survey link and offer their feedback. For the subject line, use phrases such as “Your recent training” or “The [course name] course you recently attended”. By making it clear the email relates to them they’ll be curious to open it, but don’t mention feedback in the subject line. The body of the email should introduce the importance of providing follow-up feedback, and the key is to replicate what the instructor would do face-to-face, by sharing all the same sentiments in the form of text.

Coursecheck recommended methods for feedback collection

Getting your instructors on board

Course instructors are instrumental in driving response rates. The relationship learners build with their instructor can have a significant impact on how they feel about the course and how much they learn. And because of the rapport they’ve built, instructors are well placed to ask for, and receive, feedback.

Data analysis from half a million pieces of feedback collected using Coursecheck shows that even on the same course, different instructors can get very different response rates. With such a huge variation, it’s no surprise that the way in which instructors approach feedback surveys and how they present them to their learners has a substantial impact not only on response rates, but the quality of the responses themselves.

Follow this guidance to ensure your instructors are not only getting a good number of responses but also good quality feedback.

  1. Give your instructors assurance that the whole process is for the good of the company. Be clear they know why you’re collecting feedback and what you want to achieve.

  2. Don’t assume it’s easy for your instructors to ask for feedback. Give them guidance on the best way to approach it, including a script. Even if they’re comfortable with the task, it’s important to have a consistent approach among all your instructors so that you get a consistent response.

  3. Incentivising instructors will show that you’re serious about feedback. A league table based on response rates or NPS (Net Promoter Score) could be linked to bonuses or other rewards, for examples supporting charities or social causes.

  4. Be transparent with the results. Make sure instructors are set up to receive reports so they can see what people have written about their training. Response rates will improve if they are engaged in the process and have visibility of the outcomes.

  5. Share the best practice tips on how to ask for feedback with your instructors, as outlined below, to ensure you are collecting large volumes of quality feedback.


5 best practice tips for instructors to ask for feedback

  1. Give context
    As with anything, context is important. Before you ask your learners for their feedback, explain why you’re collecting feedback and how you’re going to use it. If learners know you will be acting on their feedback, they are likely to be more thoughtful with their responses, knowing that it could make a difference to future iterations of the course.

  2. Empathise
    People are constantly inundated with requests for feedback from all aspects of their life. Make sure you empathise with your learners and assure them it will only take a few minutes of their time, and their feedback will be read and taken seriously. Put people at ease and tell them not to be shy; if there’s anything that could have been better, you want to know. Showing your appreciation for their feedback will go a long way in making participants feel valued and more willing to respond.

  3. Approach it from an organisational perspective
    For some, asking for feedback can be an uncomfortable task because you feel like you’re coming across as fishing for compliments. It’s easier to ask for feedback when introducing it from the organisation’s perspective, using words like “If there’s anything WE could have done better, please don’t hesitate to share”.

  4. Introduce feedback early
    Timing is key. Announcing at the very beginning of the course the fact you’ll be collecting feedback will mentally prepare learners for it. It will also make them more mindful throughout the course to consider what was useful and what could have been better.

  5. Make it a focussed activity
    Share feedback surveys towards the end of the course, but not at the very end when participants are getting ready to leave. By making it a group activity as part of the course, learners are far more likely to respond and put thought into it.


In summary, gathering effective training feedback is vital for improving course quality, driving business growth, and aligning learning strategies with broader business goals. By leveraging the influential role of instructors and adopting best practices in feedback collection, training providers can significantly improve response rates and the quality of insights gained.

By implementing these strategies, training providers can ensure they are continuously improving their offering based on valuable learner insights, ultimately leading to more effective training programmes and satisfied customers.


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