Have ever asked your class; what do you want from me?
It's a very different question than; do you like my class? or; do you like my music? or; what could I do better/different?
Challenge #6, of the ICI/PRO 28 Day Instructor Challenge, was pretty simple:
#6 Ask some of your participants to fill out the feedback form after your class.
The PDF download we provided asked just one question:
Getting honest feedback from people can be maddeningly difficult. Mostly it's because people will often lie to you when they are concerned the truth could hurt your feelings. So we designed this question to get a response that indicates a preference vs. a response that would be a critique. Consider how you would respond to these two questions, asked from your mother when you still lived at home:
#1 - What would you like for dinner?
#2 - Would you like my meatloaf for dinner?
Question #1 asks for your preference and you wouldn't feel a bit concerned by responding honestly with; I'd like your lasagna tonight Mom.
But question #2 is very different and most of us (if Mom's meatloaf is better used as a doorstop) might have a difficult time answering honestly 🙁
So if Mom's intent is to cook a meal that pleases you, she'll take your suggestion and do what she can to make you lasagna for dinner tonight. Then you'll be happy (you feel valued as a son or daughter) because Mom delivered based on your preference. And, because pleasing you makes her feel like she's a good Mother, Mom's happy as well!
But consider what happens when Mom asks question #2 (or doesn't ask either question) and just decides what you want/need for dinner... you show up for dinner and your first thought is; doesn't she know how much I dislike her meatloaf? Followed with; I love her lasagna, why doesn't she just ask me what I would like for dinner and I would tell her.
Now I realise that this is a pretty simplistic illustration, but does that sound anything like your role as an Instructor?
So what happened? What were the responses our challenge participants received from their classes? Here's a few:
So, how would your class respond?
Click here to download the survey PDF. Print a bunch to get your class responses and then report back here with your findings.
- My Life Time Instructor Teach Back - May 24, 2023
- I'm Fine, Thanks - May 21, 2023
- Schwinn AC Performance Plus Improvements - May 18, 2023
Great post, John … I love it!
Hopefully this article will inspire other instructors to ask the question.
It would be EASY to conduct this survey with ConstantContact. Hmmmmm…..
WOW – very insightful stuff! Perhaps this is why my classes are not sold out as often as some of the other instructors. I definitely put knowledge and education at the top of my objectives when I teach, but apparently most people find that the least desirable attribute. Very interesting.
It’s crazy what you can learn by asking questions in a way that brings honest responses Gene. This is in part why I completely stopped referring to my class participants as “students”, which infers your role is to educate them.
Karen I’ll be posting the results from your survey soon – based on responses I’m seeing on the 28 Day Challenge, I’m thinking that this survey would be better if we attached some demographic info to the stated preferences.
For example we’re both parents and know young people will probably respond with FUN as their #1.
Your 9:00 am housewives class may appreciate an instructor who is inviting = social.
But older folks may need (and be seeking) motivation as their primary desire from you/us Instructors.
In any event, I don’t see any demographic wanting to be “educated” during class, but they do want to perceive their Instructor is knowledgeable.