May 6, 2015
My colleague, Pavel Matyasko, recently redesigned one of his technical training classes that covers the Vendavo Enterprise Pricing Suite. In large part, he kept the same content as before, discussing the same key topics. The change was to the structure of the class; moving to a more modular, more interactive format than the previous sequence. And, feedback from the first round in the new format has been really positive.
Pavel is the primary technical trainer at Vendavo. He has the tough job of compressing a large amount of material, condensing an array of topics and skills into a two-week course. Most of the participants come in with a fair degree of technical prowess and programming background since experience with SQL, XML, and relational databases are prerequisites. They are capable individuals in their own sphere, but come to Vendavo to learn the system architecture and installation procedure, as well as how to make OMI changes and manage user entitlement. When participants return from the training, their companies expect technical training attendees to support the application and business users in a lot of different ways, so it’s important that they come away with a firm understanding and increased capabilities.
Given the class participants’ technical skills and their organization’s expectations of them, they come into Pavel’s class chomping at the bit to start programming. Rather than waiting until the afternoon of the first day, Pavel has started to pull forward many of the hands-on exercises in the class agenda. He’s broken the content out into shorter steps with less theoretical preamble. Trainees get the chance to learn first by doing, before seeing a change in action and then hearing more about what they’ve done after the fact.
A recent cover of the New Yorker magazine, by Christoph Niemann, seems to have captured the learning process very astutely. The first few steps are often learned by rote. They are cumbersome, and sometimes frustrating, breaking a complex task into smaller pieces, occasionally without sight of the end goal. It can be difficult to fight through the first stages in the learning process, but eventually, you can get to the final stage of nuanced understanding and ability. As trainers, we’re trying to help you get there faster and more enjoyably. Bravo Pavel, nice work on the course redesign.