Great, but did anyone learn anything?

I just received a very nice email from the organizers of a professional conference at which I spoke earlier this year. Here is an excerpt:

Your combined speaker ratings from the onsite and virtual attendee evaluations may be found below.

Please note that our rating scale is: 5 = Exceptional, 4 = Better Than Expectations, 3 = Met Expectations, 2 = Below Expectations, 1 = Unsatisfactory

Session Title: Shut Up and Eat Your French Fries: Asking Effective Questions

  • Knowledge of Subject Matter:          4.81
  • Presentation Skills:                                4.72
  • Topic Relevant to My Practice:          4.55
  • Usefulness of Materials:                      4.48

You may use the following overall Speaker Rating averages as a basis of comparison for your scores:

  • Knowledge of Subject Average:        4.71
  • Presentation Skills Average:              4.50
  • Relevance Average:                               4.48
  • Materials:                                                   4.29

And, this means…

The good news, it seems, is that “on average” the attendees liked what I had to share. They thought I was a skilled and knowledgeable presenter who had something relevant for them to hear and useful materials.

The bad news, I have no idea if anyone learned anything.

This is a major problem in all professional education. Think back to your days in school and college. Do you remember rating your professors? The comfort of the chairs? Me, either!

When professionals are asked questions during CPE (Continuing Professional Education) sessions online it is only done to make sure they are paying attention. Yeah, THAT shows a high level of trust!

My take

If the professions wish to remain relevant, it is time for them to rethink the way they have implemented CPE.
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One thought on “Great, but did anyone learn anything?

  1. I agree. Test the attendees on their retention and understanding of the topic! Anyone can rate a speaker and trust me I’ve seen some ratings on speakers that had nothing to do with the topic. One person said they didn’t like the speakers voice so they gave her a low score. Umm but did you gain knowledge of the global tax laws she was discussing? sigh SMH

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