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Posted by Julie Delazyn
To use assessments effectively, it’s important to understand their context and uses within the learning process.
Last week I wrote about needs assessments, and today I’ll explore reaction assessments.
Typical uses:

  • Determining the satisfaction level with a learning or certification experience
  • Gathering opinions from learners about course materials, instructors, learning environments, and so forth
  • Identifying shortcomings of a learning experience in order to help improve it for others
  • Aiding the planning process for revising a course and/or the way in which it is delivered


  • Level 1 evaluations (as per Donald Kirkpatrick)
  • Course evaluations
  • Smile sheets/ happy sheets
  • Opinion surveys

Stakes: low

Answers to Question 8, analyzed below, reveal at that respondents feel they have sufficient time for the training they need to do their jobs well. But their answers to Question 9 — indicating that many people had problems with the timing of training courses — prompted their company to revise its training schedule.

For more details about assessments and their uses check out the white paper, Assessments Through the Learning Process. You can download it free here, after login. Another good source for testing and assessment terms is our glossary.
In my last post in this series, I will take a look at summative assessments.