Give real, constructive feedback on training surveys…(sorry for the long rant)

Richard Instructor Palmetto, Florida Posted   Latest   Edited  

I am fully aware of the fact that I am encouraging my own guys to complain about me but I feel this is a conversation that needs to happen in order to further the industry. I also want to say that I'm not doing this to bash any one instructor or other training company. I think we ALL have something very valuable to give, so let's not turn this into a festival of badmouthing the other guys or bringing up names or classes.

As an instructor for Carquest Technical Institute, I get the chance to present classes on a wide variety of subjects. I have also been lucky enough to attend and/or present at many of the large and small training events across the US over the last 5 years. Worldpac STX / Vision, Super Saturday, Autologic NCTS, ASTE, MACS etc, etc.... I have seen what goes into developing a relevant, entertaining and informational class and workbook. We might not get everything perfect but know that we are certainly trying as I am sure every other trainer or training company is doing his or her best to present the most up to date and helpful classes. 

As an attendee, I have been excited, educated and inspired by most of what I have seen. I also have been horrified, depressed, and outright angry at some of the information given or the way it was presented to this industry. Again, I'm not here to badmouth anyone, I want everyone's help to fix the small percentage of things that need to be fixed. I have sat behind more than one person in a class that whined and complained all class long about how bad a class he "payed good money to attend and this stinks!" (his exact words) I watch those people fill out the survey at the end of the class, and it is all excellents, or 5 stars, no comments on why the class was so bad. I asked some of them about the survey after the class. More often than not, I am told the person presenting the class was nice so they didn't want to hurt their feelings. That's not helping anyone. If the class isn't what you expected, the information is wrong or not helpful, the class was titled poorly and wasn't the exact subject you expected, or the presenter didn't provide the information well, you need to let him, us, me know so that can be remedied for the next class. I have had guys bring up information in class that may help all of us to better understand a subject, or may be even point out a mistake that I made. I'm perfectly okay with that happening. If I am wrong I will admit it, and we all learn. If I'm not wrong, be prepared to discuss and defend your point of view in class. The discussions only help, don't be afraid to speak up! (of course, pulling out your phone and calling your friend Tom on speakerphone during class to prove me wrong is probably a bad idea! YES that happened to me, and Tom let him know over the speakerphone to all the class that I was actually correct. Ha)

I'll let you in on a secret, and this might just be me, but if I am giving a class and I have 20,40, 200 people on the edge of their seats, hanging on my every word because the class is so good, I am only noticing the one guy that seems to not like the class. We can tell if you're not having fun. Just like a comedian might have the whole room laughing, he only notices the ones who are not laughing. It may look like I am going around the class picking up the end of class surveys in a very random pattern, but I know exactly where I put that guy's survey in the stack so I can read it first/last. I wanna know why he didn't seem to enjoy the class. It is very common for me to see all "Excellents" from that guy. So does that mean I'm a nice guy and he doesn't want to hurt my feelings or I just read the room wrong? If you don't give me real constructive feedback, I can't fix whatever it is that isn't right. 

Some of you are paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to attend training, but even if the class is free, let someone know when it isn't up to your expectations. Be respectful, and give specific instances where things could have been better. A review that says "this class sucks or it was a waste of money" doesn't help, but a review or comment of " The last case study on the Mercedes did not have accurate waveforms or DTCs and was very confusing to understand the actual fix or diagnosis" gives the trainer an idea that maybe that part of the class needs a little work.

I can remember taking training classes way back in the late 80's and early 90's that were nothing but sales classes disguised as a tech class and I ripped into the small independent parts store salesperson that presented those classes every single time until they brought in a different training company. It helped everyone that attended get real training and attendance went from 10-12 people to 50-65 people every month.

So am I asking too much? Tell me what you think! Be nice...... :)

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Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam
 

I have also attended and built, given classes. Yes you can tell where the person that is not enjoying themselves is. It is almost always 5 stars or 1 star without explanation. Infuriates me. I have had very few actual criticism surveys that I could build on. I once had an instructor pass out the surveys at the beginning and asked everybody to listen closely and write down anything they didn't

+7 Ð Bounty Awarded
Rusty Owner/Technician
Oakham, Massachusetts
Rusty
 

Judging the quality of a class is simple: Does the instructor know and understand the material? In other words: is it his stuff or is he simply presenting material that someone else composed? Is he a good presenter? If either answer is "no", it's not gunna be a top shelf class.

+5 Ð Bounty Awarded
Brin Diagnostician
Melbourne, Florida
Brin
   

Are you suggesting that it's impossible for a class to be top shelf if the material isn't written by the presenter? It's fine if that's your personal experience but I've attended classes presented by the developer and classes that were not. There's no doubt there's a difference but I've benefited from just about every class that I've attended. I have also experienced situations where I've

+6 Ð Bounty Awarded
Mario Diagnostician
Weston, Florida
Mario
   

Ok Richard I was trying to be nice but that's it! The gloves are off! :) I'm very new to training, and my outlook on what your speaking on is that if dissatisfied students don't speak up, to the trainer or instructor, then nothing will get resolved, nothing will improve, as you touched on. If you don't open your mouth in class, anything you say afterwards is inconsequential to that class…

+5 Ð Bounty Awarded
Hans Diagnostician
Salt Lake City, Utah
Hans
 

I agree with if someone asks a question, it's more than likely there are more in the room who have the same question who weren't going to ask it themselves.

+6 Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
 

Constructive criticism is of paramount importance when it comes to training and education. We all learn a bit differently and so it helps to call out things that may benefit the greater group. That may be rephrasing information or changing visual aids, an all together different format, or less lecture more discussion to name a few. Alot of what I've seen in education and training, though I'm

+5 Ð Bounty Awarded
Cuba Mobile Technician
Phila, Pennsylvania
Cuba
 

I'm very new to training, but even so, I know how important it is to voice your concerns when something could be improved upon. So far, I made it a point to fill out the surveys whenever they were provided. In the case of Vision, individual surveys were given to us at the classes. I made sure to be as honest as I could, because I want to get the most out of what I paid for. Vision also sent me

+3 Ð Bounty Awarded
Mario Diagnostician
Weston, Florida
Mario
 

Leading by example Cuba:) It's like a performance review at a shop. Owners should be honest so that technicians can do their jobs up to or surpassing expectations. If owners say everything is great when it isn't, and the technician comes knocking for a raise, imagine the tech's surprise when the owner says their performance can use some work! Same with an instructor, imagine their surprise

+4 Ð Bounty Awarded
Cuba Mobile Technician
Phila, Pennsylvania
Cuba
 

Great analogy, using the shop! Spot on!

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael
 

I have attended numerous classes since 1987. Most were during my tenure at Toyota dealers. I can tell you this without a doubt that the training I received in Baltimore and In LA was far better than the training I received in NJ. The NJ instructors seemed very full of themselves especially one by the name of Bob who had a habit of putting you down if you weren't sure of the answer. I learned far

+3 Ð Bounty Awarded
Adrian Owner/Technician
Winter Springs, Florida
Adrian
 

I am going to have to chime in here with an agreement and a disagreement . I first started training many years ago and it was CTI classes that got me into it. However back in the day my local CTI class had a fantastic instructor who was also a great teacher and also one that all the attendees loved and respected. Unfortunately he passed away and we got a new instructor who I think at the time

+3 Ð Bounty Awarded
Brian Owner
Parma, Ohio
Brian
 

I agree that feedback is very important. I stress to the techs that I am working with that I am a student as well. I have very little training experience, 3 basic electrical seminars a couple of years ago and 5 hands on day classes so far this year. Every thing that I have instructed on has included a presentation (class room) and a hands on portion. I always ask for feed back good bad or ugly…

0 Ð Bounty Awarded