Monday, 18 June 2007

My First REAL migration training session

Well I PREPARED for this session! Preparatory simulations, visits to the room, multiple emails to IT support and media services. And yet somehow, I feel like it was the most chaotic session I've run so far. I felt like all my prep and carefully structured lesson plan went out of the window the moment I stepped into the room.

There were only four staff, and they pretty much knew each other already - I didn't feel as if asking each member of staff to briefly introduce themselves would have made sense. So I just launched straight in with the overview of the hindsight, something that might have seemed overally formal would still have been useful - it would have been great if we'd had a brief chat about their experiences with WebLearn, which tools they were using, what they already knew about WL, where their main interests lay. Sometimes I feel like these formal intros are a bit formulaic, but I missed it the information it offers and the gap helped me more clearly recognise its value. Without it, staff felt that I might not cover the things they really wanted to know, I might not adapt to their speed or needs.

Equally, although my powerpoint slides also sometimes feel a bit overly formal. They offer structure and it's something participants like. I had a slide showing what I was planning to demo, and a bit at the end we'd have time for requests. without it the staff fretted. They didn't feel confident we'd fit it all in. Weren't sure of their progress. I mustn't feel uptight using these slides. They're helpful and I should stick to my original plan as much as possible when it comes to the main opening and closing sections of my training.

I've noticed that as soon as they're logged in, the majority of staff like to get going. They don't want to watch me do a demo, however short it may be, they want to click along. This can be a problem, as I discovered in my last session, because I can only demonstrate at the speed of the slowest attendee. Some attendee's like to make notes and then, they get lost and even further behind. More confident students lose the plot because at such slow speeds it's easy to lose sight of the original goal. More confident students also start asking questions because their minds are racing ahead, and in answering these questions, we're further losing sight of the one procedure we initially set out to complete. we were in a room where the stuent computers were at a ninety degree angle to the screen. Interestingly, the TLTC training room, which I've always thought was impractical, because computers screens face away from the screen, actually discourages attendees from tapping away whilst I'm demo-ing.

It's difficult when you've got an attendee who's loud, and wants lots of attention. Hard not to give all your attention to them. But since my last peer obsv when it became clear I had reacted to these demands and neglected my others students, I am more forthright. I will happily say, please wait, I'll come to you when I've finished with this student.

Tried a diff kind of feedback...the "start doing" "stop doing" and "keep doing". I am not entirely sure the feedback was any more constructive. In general the staff were really sweet. At the end of the day maybe there's just not that much to say about a training session. But I hope my future plans will leave them with more to think about.

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