We’ll be running quite a massive series of internal developer trainings in the next months, and in a planning meeting, I got into a short but heated opinion exchanges about whether we should hand out evaluation sheets after the sessions or not. I was against it. And now I wonder if I’m right.
Sessions will be held by members of the development team, the audience are developers too; there should be two dozens of people. There’s going to be one or two repetitions of the sessions.
Pro evaluation sheets:
- The speaker gets feedback on how he was doing. This helps her/him to improve both the session (slides, script, timing) and presentation skills.
- Participants feel more involved. Maybe they can even vent away some frustration and feel better.
Contra evaluation sheets: (you might notice, I’m biased towards this side of the argument. Hence the longer and more arguments. Which does not make it right per se.)
- I don’t like filling them out, so I presume nobody does. I would not expect an outrageously high return rate. Given that you only get a few data points (there are 12 participants in total), what’s the validity?
- The speakers are just developers; teaching groups is an exception from their day job. Everyone will give their session maybe two times. So even if you get a very clear indication of things you could improve, there’ not that much opportunity.
- Designing a questionnaire, distribution of sheets, and evaluation are all tasks that take their time – a scarce resource that I feel could be of some use elsewhere.
In the end, I still think it’s just not worth the effort.