PGS Training specializes in compressed gas safety certification. Whether on-site at their Cheshire, UK location or online, PGS Training offers e-learning courses, webinars, and on-site training for a variety of UK-based businesses. PGS Training needed a way to increase audience engagement, and thus opted for OMBEA’s ResponsePads. As COVID hit, and training moved online, they incorporated OMBEA’s Anywhere module to capture specific, anonymous feedback on every aspect of their offering. Combining OMBEA Response with the OMBEA Insights Anywhere module, PGS Training can continuously deliver a rich experience while uncovering areas for improvement.
PGS Training initially approached OMBEA looking for new ways to engage audiences, mainly by asking participants to answer questions during a training session. While they had tried other clicker-based audience response systems, all fell short of expectations.
PGS training needed a system that could:
- Seamlessly integrate with PowerPoint.
- Be continuously supported by the vendor, even as time passed.
- Be easy to use for trainers.
- Keep a record of participant responses to see how they performed on the course.
- Easily capture post-training feedback from participants.
PGS Training’s sessions are conducted using PowerPoint presentations, which made PowerPoint compatibility a must. Because they conduct multiple training sessions simultaneously, the system needed to handle concurrency without issues. Previous systems malfunctioned in the middle of training sessions, which led to problems in delivering promised services. Setting them up was also fraught with issues, and many trainers considered them difficult to use.
Since PGS Training offer training sessions across multiple channels, changing to new systems is difficult, hence the need for continuous vendor support. Previous systems PGS Training used became legacy products, meaning the systems were not being maintained and any troubleshooting had to be handled in-house or improvised. Also, it was difficult and time-consuming for trainers to learn a new system from scratch.
To certify a participant, PGS Training need to track each participant’s performance through different courses. Previous systems only recorded answers temporarily, or didn’t offer a way to uniquely tie an individual participant to a specific set of answers.
Because these systems had no built-in way of capturing participant feedback, this had to be done the old-fashioned way. Instructors would ask participants directly how the course was, but there was no way to control for bias. Were participants being truthful? Were they just telling the instructor what they wanted to hear? The validity of this information is critical for PGS Training, as it is the only way they can identify and act on areas of improvement.
- “OMBEA is easy to manage and grows alongside your business.” - Rebecca Miller, Director at Proactive Gas Safety Ltd.*
After a quick Google search for “interactive tools”, PGS Training found OMBEA Response. It took them just thirty minutes to get set up with the system. They also received training on how to best use the ResponsePad clickers, and were provided with a library of online resources.
PGS Training opted for OMBEA Response for a number of reasons.
The first is because OMBEA Response is specifically built for PowerPoint. This increased trainer confidence in the system, which helped them provide a stellar training experience. And if it ever was necessary, OMBEA support staff were available over email, phone or chat.
The second reason is OMBEA’s focus on audience response and feedback. Previous providers didn’t prioritize feedback as a core part of their business, meaning their systems went out of date and PGS Training were left to fend for themselves. Because OMBEA’s focus is audience response and experience management, PGS Training know that support won’t disappear overnight.
Third, OMBEA Response provides a simple way to compile a record of what a participant did in a given course. It helps PGS training track not just real-time responses, but also responses across multiple sessions. What’s more, PGS can gather immediate, anonymous feedback on the training by asking “How was your experience today?” and having participants click their response. OMBEA presents this information in easy-to-visualize reports, making it easy to spot trends and make changes if necessary.
The onset of COVID19 forced PGS Training to prioritize online offerings. During this time, PGS Training focused on e-learning services such as self-paced courses and webinars. Using the ResponsePads was no longer a viable way to capture participant feedback.
PGS Training was quickly set up with OMBEA ResposeApp, where participants could use their own devices instead of clickers. They were also set up with OMBEA Insights, particularly the Anywhere module. With it, they can gather participant feedback either by email, SMS, or QR codes. PGS Training specifically places the Anywhere link in training presentations, on quizzes, and in direct email communication with participants.
Other than gathering feedback from multiple channels, they ask a variety of questions, including smiley-face questions and open-text questions. For example, they ask questions like “Was the training useful?”, “What would you improve?” or “Did the training relate well to your job role?”
- “(The participants) are not telling us what we want to hear. They’re telling us what they actually experienced” - Rebecca Miller, Director at Proactive Gas Safety Ltd.*
A seamless training experience. Because OMBEA is built for PowerPoint and easy to use, PGS Training don’t need to worry about catastrophic failures right when a session is happening. Instructors are confident with the system, and OMBEA’s online resources and support staff are always at the ready should any issues arise.
More specific feedback. PGS Training can still gather traditional sentiment feedback with smiley-face questions, but they can also dig deeper with open-text questions. They can draw a trendline of course feedback and improvement ideas. This is how they discovered that, for example, the voice of the narrator in the e-learning courses has a big influence on participants' experience.
Better quality feedback. When using OMBEA’s ResponsePads to capture feedback, there were concerns that participants were not truthful in their responses. participants were afraid that the trainer might identify them based on their ResponsePad number, or were just impatient and thus answered the questions to get it over with. Because OMBEA Anywhere is anonymous, participants are more confident in leaving feedback and actually share their genuine experiences.