Guidelines : Course Evaluations
- Do not begin by recounting the course syllabus. The message of interest, of course, is not the course’s content or simply your attendance but rather what you thought of the course. Was it beneficial to you? Why or why not? Be specific, avoiding such broad strokes as, “It will enhance my job performance.”
- Evaluate the course objectively. In addition to commenting on personal benefit, critique the course as it might benefit others: Did the course meet the stated objectives? Was the material slanted to the appropriate audience? How knowledgeable, prepared, articulate, or organized was the instructor? What methods did the instructor employ–lecture, role play, films? Were there adequate opportunities for class questions? Did discussions center around theory or application? Were there handouts, books, or complimentary memberships that will be of future benefit?
- Be specific about content. List some key topics and/or attach a course outline if possible.
- Mention the instructor’s credentials. These details either add to or detract from the value of the course. In some cases, an instructor’s credentials may be the basis of deciding between Course A and Course B.
- Make a judgment about sending others if you were a first-time attendee from your department or company. In other words, “interpret” your critique. If the course was beneficial, was it beneficial enough for your supervisor to send others? Should the training be mandatory for all employees handling related responsibilities? Or do you consider the training relatively insignificant for your particular job assignment?
- If you are recommending others attend an off-site course or that you schedule the course in-house, include a cost analysis. Also give all necessary information to follow up your recommendation–contact person, address, phone number.
Example 1: Course evaluations letters
SUBJECT: DFU’s Revenue Accounting in the Oil and Gas Industry–Seminar Critique
Having been in the oil-and-gas industry for two years, I was already familiar with much of what the April 23-24 DFU’s Revenue Accounting seminar covered. I did profit, however, from the instructor’s discussions of the Windfall Profits Tax and NGPA.
In the future, I recommend we send only those with less than one year’s experience in the industry. If we have as many as six persons who need this basic training, I’d suggest contacting DFU directly (373-467-1234) to arrange the course in-house for a cost of approximately $2,700 versus outside attendance at $425 per participant.
The presentation involved thought-provoking analysis of specific job assignments and well-organized lectures covering the basic revenue accounting functions both in gas and oil. The instructor, Wayne Hew, provided class sets of various government publications so we could follow along directly as he made application. Mr. Hew seems very knowledgeable in the revenue accounting field with 18 years’ experience at Ryan Corporation and three years with the DFU Continuing Education Department. Articulate and receptive to questions from the group, he made specific on-the-job applications yet never let the discussions ramble.
For an extensive list of his course topics, see the attached brochure.
Example 2: Letter of course evaluation for organization
Company Name or Letterhead
City, State Zip
City, State Zip
Dear Ms. Ferrari:
As requested, I am sending you a copy of all paperwork that I received during the week-long training school for the specialized software we purchased. I found Rayon Programs’ entire training staff to be knowledgeable. Furthermore, they were able to translate that knowledge into easily understood explanations. While I was there, I discovered they offer specialized training schools (specifically tailored to each company) provided we send at least ten employees at a time, all of whom are at the same level of expertise in computers. I believe we should look into this program, as every level of user would benefit.
Rayon’s training staff was phenomenal. They made sure all of us, although we were from different companies, were at the same level of experience, and thus were able to target our needs precisely. I increased my knowledge of computer systems because of this target training. I know more “back doors” into the system, and can run several work station systems check without having to run to our networking analyst for help.
I am making copies of all the materials I received and will send you a packet after Janis has looked it over. I cannot stress enough how much I feel the rest of the staff would benefit from this program.
Example 3: Letter for course evaluations
SUBJECT: Office Organizational Skills—Course Evaluation
To recommend this course for the rest of the employees would result in a catastrophe. The ineptitude of the instructor and the poor organization of the seminar were unbelievable.
There were so many last minute changes of session titles that I believe the organizers and instructor probably did not decide on how they wanted to approach the subject until right before the conference began. We saw them huddled together, scratching out session titles and adding new ones five minutes before the opening address. Hardly the type of people you would want to take organizational advice from.
The instructor, although a nice man, was the epitome of absentmindedness. Rarely did his talks stay on topic—almost all presentations rambled far from their beginning point with absolutely no connections between the issues discussed. He routinely forgot videos, had the wrong handouts, and never did get any of our names right, although there were only 12 of us and he saw us eight hours a day the entire weekend.
Not only would I not recommend anyone going to any of this organization’s seminars in the future, I would suggest you petition to get a refund for the registration fee you paid to send me. It certainly could have been better spent.
Example 4: Business course evaluations
Company Name or Letterhead
City, State Zip
City, State Zip
Dear Mr. Attleborough:
I attended this weekend’s seminar on customer service strategies. The instructor, Ms. Mitchell, covered the following topics:
• Image projection while on the phone
• Keeping calm when dealing with angry customers
• Efficient methods of problem solving
Having been a professional customer service representative for some time now, I have discovered, through training and direct experience, everything Ms. Mitchell covered in the seminar. For future reference, I would recommend we only send new hires to this seminar, and then only if they have never had any previous customer service experience. Since the cost of this seminar is relatively modest, I believe we won’t have to worry about “throwing money away on new hires that never come back,” as Bill Barth always says.
Overall, Ms. Mitchell did an excellent job. She was knowledgeable and able to come up with effective ways to deal with difficult situations in various scenarios. She had a good mix of lecture and group activities, and was able to get people to respond to comments and ask questions. Her handouts were concise and always relevant o the topic being discussed. Were I new to the profession, I would have left the seminar feeling as if I had discovered a goldmine of information.
I’ve enclosed a copy of the conference schedule, as well as the packet of handouts I received for your review. Thank you for the opportunity to attend.