Saturday, May 18, 2013

On Training Content

Over the last few months, I have been busy creating learning courses, attending some courses and watching people teach - this will continue to be a big part of my own learing and I strongly suspect that what I have seen so far is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. And this has led to some interesting thoughts in my head.

One is that, I dont think we emphasize enough on getting content right. Content has to fine tuned every now and then to
a) meet the needs of the audience
b) to reflect contemporary reality and research
c) updated with relevant pedagogy.

I have found trainers sheltering under the argument that goes that fundamental stuff does not change, hence our course does not need to be updated. But that is a fallacious argument. The underlying content may not change, but the language has to reflect the reality. For example, if you are showing a video in which the conversation and look and feel is distinctly 1990, the language used and the settings are a distraction from getting a thorough learning experience. On the other hand, if your content is up to date, the learners definitely have a better experience than the case mentioned before that. So, as a trainer choose what you want the audience to experience. A feel that you have not updated the content since Halley last visited or if they feel that you have respected their time/industry/work profile and made changes to the content.

Second, I saw a trainer using an old powerpoint slide with some atrocious formatting. Sure, he was facilitating a technical course, but even a technical course can be taught with so much passion  - and surely that passion can be reflected in the way your material appears? And surely you have read those 'Headfirst' that are a far cry away from those old text books?

Your training content reflects the passion with which you have put it together. It is not about slapping a few slides together. It is way more than that. If you see it from another perspective, it is all about curating content - getting stuff that excites your learners. Anything less than that is an injustice to those who spend their time in your class.

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