News story

Transforming evaluation: from hopeless smile sheets to performance-focused data

LondonLearning NewsLearning Technologies

Learning Technologies has invited the world-renowned learning evaluation expert Will Thalheimer to identify how to assess the impact of learning on business performance.

Will Thalheimer to help learning professionals focus on business performance at #LT19uk
Will Thalheimer to help learning professionals focus on business performance at #LT19uk 

“Possibly one of the most contentious areas of modern learning, evaluating its effectiveness and impact continues to be a hot topic. How do we determine if the content and resources we provide affect behaviour change? What do we measure to track the impact of learning on business performance?,” poses Donald H Taylor, Conference Chair, Learning Technologies.

“Leading us through these stormy waters, Will Thalheimer brings his unique experience and research to Learning Technologies to tackle these and other critical questions on learning evaluation.”

In this session, Dr Will Thalheimer reveals how to take the much unloved (but widely used) evaluation form (known variously as 'smile sheets', 'happy sheets', 'reaction forms', etc.) and turn it from a lacklustre generator of vanity metrics into a performance-enhancing data machine. Drawing on his book 'Performance-Focused Smile Sheets', Will explains that the performance-focused smile sheet shifts the focus of question from participant reactions to their workplace performance, providing invaluable data to help you improve your training and learning interventions.

Will Thalheimer’s session, “Transforming evaluation: from hopeless smile sheets to performance-focused data” takes place at Learning Technologies 2019, day one, 13 February, 11:15.

  • The science behind smile sheets (clue: currently, they don't work)

  • Three key improvements in evaluation form design

  • Wording your questions for maximum effect

  • Evaluation within the Learning-Transfer Evaluation Model (LTEM)

  • Putting your evaluation data to good use

Learning Technologies 2019 takes place on 13 and 14 February at its new home, ExCeL London. The full conference programme along with conference booking and early-bird rates is available via the Learning Technologies Conference web pages.

About Will Thalheimer
President, Work-Learning Research, Inc.

Will Thalheimer, PhD, does research-based consulting focused on learning evaluation in workplace learning. He’s available for keynotes, speaking, workshops, evaluation strategy, smile-sheet rebuilds, and research benchmarking. Founder of The Debunker Club (Debunker.Club), author of the award-winning book Performance-Focused Smile Sheets (, and creator of LTEM, the Learning-Transfer Evaluation Model (