How To Effectively Collect Feedback For Your Online Course
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4 Ways To Collect Feedback For Your Online Course As A Part Of Your Marketing Strategy

You’ve dedicated months into organizing and executing your online course, and once it’s over, you want to know how it went!

Since you’ve put so much time and effort into creating your course, it makes sense to put the effort into collecting effective feedback.

Feedback is an essential part of marketing any product. Though the majority of marketing efforts revolve around getting new people engaged, focusing on those you’ve already engaged is actually a much smarter tactic. Did you know, for instance, that it’s five times more costly to attract new learners than to market to existing ones?

By collecting feedback, you’re not only finding out what you can do better for future learners but how to retain those you’ve already worked with so that they sign up for the upcoming courses with you. Customer retention is key to a business’ success, and surveys can help guide you toward keeping your current clients happy.

Here are some tips on how to collect feedback most effectively at the end of your online course:

1. Decide How To Deliver Your Survey

You can use many different methods to survey your learners about the course they’ve just taken. Email is one of the most popular methods, and if the majority of communication throughout the course was through email, it would be the most logical way to reach out with a post-course survey.

You could also follow up with them via social media, especially if that’s the way they first got in contact with you about your course.

Data Wise Academy, for example, uses a survey that’s embedded on their website to capture feedback for participants in their courses.

SMS messaging is another great way to deliver a survey for a few reasons. 82% of text messages are read in the first 5 minutes of receiving them, so the survey will reach the learner fast. SMS also has higher response rates particularly because of the device people use for texting: their cell phones.

89% of people keep their phones handy at all times. And, it’s easy for people to respond to a simple survey through text when they’re waiting for their Uber or standing in line at the grocery store. If you plan to send one, make sure you have updated mobile numbers for your course’s participants to maximize its effectiveness.

2. Decide What Your Goal Is

You don’t have to issue a one-size-fits-all survey that asks only general questions about their satisfaction. Think specifically about your goals at the time, and design your survey around those goals:

  • If you’re growing your business and this is the first course you’ve given, you need to know if the basic structure and nuts and bolts of your course were in place, and those kinds of questions should be the focus of your survey.Things like registration, payment, the learning platform, and other details should all be highlighted (ex: how easy was it to register for this course?). When you can’t get the basics right, it doesn’t matter how well-developed the course content is if interested learners are unable to complete the registration or access the lectures.
  • If you want to grow your business and expand your learner base, the survey could focus on referrals (ex: would you be willing to refer this course to a friend?). Also, always keeping in mind the value of existing customers, questions such as 'would you be interested in taking the next module of this course?' are also key to be able to market effectively to your existing base.
  • If you’re thinking of revamping your content or restructuring the scope of the course, then the survey should be directed toward those aspects to see if there would be an interest in the new module (ex: Do you think the course would be improved by adding the X component to the course content?).

3. Pick The Types Of Questions To Ask

Here’s how to pick the type of questions depending on the purpose of your survey.

  • Scaled questions (on a scale of 0-10) are great for general satisfaction surveys. Ex: On a scale of 0-10, how satisfied were you with this course?
  • Yes or no questions are great when you want to know something without having to decipher the gray areas of the scaled responses. For example: Would you recommend this course to someone else? A yes or no answer will give you more definitive responses than if you asked this question in a scaled manner.
  • Multiple answer choices are another type of question that is easy for the client to answer and for you to get more detailed feedback. For example, you could ask: What did you like most about this course?

1. Content

2. Course length

3. Exercises

4. Instructor

5. Interactive multimedia

6. Platform

7. Other (with space to leave a response)

These and other question types make it easy for customers to respond and for you to parse their answers.

4. Leave Room For Criticism

Though the biggest part of the survey should be boxes that learners can tick, it’s also important to give them a chance to put things in their own words. Not everyone will want to, some might prefer more simple survey answers, but when you get a person who takes the opportunity to express something, that feedback is golden, especially if it’s criticism.

According to studies by NewVoiceMedia and ClickFox, when people are unsatisfied with a service, they often stay quiet but will leave their negative feedback on social networks or speak negatively about the experience to friends and colleagues without giving the business a chance to address the issue.

This means that negative experiences on the part of the client actually have an exponentially harmful impact on the business. So, it’s important to make every effort possible to resolve the issue for them. In doing so, you can turn a potentially negative impact into a positive one.

After all your hard work designing your course, make sure you take the time to get the feedback you need to improve your course, capture new learners, and retain existing ones.

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