Do you use safety training quizzes as part of your training program?
Many organizations do. However, there’s a difference between using quizzes as a documentation tool and using them to enhance the overall training experience.
When used effectively, quizzes reinforce and summarize key safety concepts. Taken one step further, the completed quiz can serve as a platform for group learning and facilitate a productive Q&A and discussion portion.
Making Safety Training Quizzes an Intentional Teaching Tool.
Quizzes used only as a form of documentation aren’t effective and can create a negative view of the training process. Alternatively, quizzes used as a foundational tool for summarizing the training concepts and promoting discussion facilitates interaction that supplements group learning.
If you take the time to create and administer a safety quiz, the goal should always be to maximize value. A simple signature page or statement of training is much more efficient if your goal is ONLY to produce a form of documentation.
The following concepts highlight ways to increase the effectiveness of your safety training quizzes:
Dedicate Adequate Time
Don’t keep trainees beyond the allotted time.
Unless you encounter an unforeseen delay (e.g., a fire alarm or other emergency), always make sure to end the training on time. This means allowing time to accommodate the full training, questions, and the safety quiz administration and review period.
Starting the quiz with two minutes to spare or keeping the audience beyond time promotes clock watching and frustration that will impact engagement and information retention. It also risks creating negativity toward safety training in the future.
Don’t pass out the quiz and tell people they can leave as soon as they hand it in.
When this is done, the goal shifts from answering the questions accurately to answering them quickly. Trainees who rush through the quiz don’t spend much (if any) time thinking about the underlying concepts and how they relate to their day-to-day responsibilities.
Reinforce Key Concepts
Put as much thought into the quiz generation as you put into the training materials.
When constructed well, a safety training quiz covers important concepts and encourages trainees to think about how the material relates to their own responsibilities. Doing this effectively, requires time to develop relevant, thought-provoking questions.
The best safety quizzes serve as a comprehension and application exercise, rather than requiring trainees to simply regurgitate statistics that don’t directly impact day-to-day safety. This reinforces and expands upon the key training concepts.
Don’t be afraid to create difficult or tricky questions.
When used solely to fulfill a “documentation role”, quizzes tend to be designed for everyone to get an easy 100%. However, these types of quizzes ask very basic questions, many of which could have been answered before the training itself. In these cases, the quiz is simply a time-wasting documentation tool.
Quizzes that are thought-provoking and tricky are more effective. Furthermore, the most successful quizzes require trainees to think about how the concepts apply to the workplace, not just the training room.
Review and clarify incorrect answers.
When you take the time to review the quiz, it allows for discussion and clarification of incorrect answers in real time. For many in your audience, this review may end up be the most important component of the entire training. You want everyone to leave with a firm understanding of the material, and few things are as impactful on understanding as explanations of incorrect answers. I’ve taken thousands of quizzes and exams, and I always remember the questions I got wrong far longer than those I got right.
Invite Questions and Summarize
Use the quiz to break the ice for a dedicated Q&A section.
Most trainers include a slide or statement at the end of the training asking for questions. However, we’ve all encountered groups that are hesitant to ask questions. In many cases, this is due to embarrassment or fear of judgment, rather than a lack of questions.
Due to the limited number of opportunities to interface with at-risk employees in a training setting, it is important to make sure that any questions or ambiguity is addressed. In my experience, attendees are more likely to engage in discussion as part of a quiz review than when asked to raise questions at the end of the training.
End with a key concept summary.
Repetition is an important part of retention, so before you declare the end of the training (and tune out the last remaining listeners), take the time to summarize the key concepts one last final time. A quick 15-30 second summary can really drive home what each person should carry with them out the door.
Bonus for Safety Trainers:
Group review helps trainers assess the effectiveness of their training.
As a safety trainer, you should always be looking for feedback and ways to improve your training. Reviewing the safety quiz as a group is a great way to get this information without overtly asking for feedback.
If everyone in your training struggles with the same question, it’s possible that your delivery of that concept needs improvement. Make use of this feedback when you’re looking to “freshen up” new employee and refresher training materials.
Everyone should be on the same page before they leave.
The ultimate goal of safety training is for audience members to leave with a clear understanding of how to be safe in the workplace. By reviewing answers as a group and ensuring everyone leaves on the same page, overall value is maximized.
If you have any questions about how to implement or improve post-training safety quizzes, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or by using the contact us form at spotlightsafetyinc.com.