Thursday, March 12, 2009

Creds to the Classroom Trainers

Since the announcement of my bank's acquisition my e-learning projects have been cancelled. So, I have returned to the classroom to teach online professional networking, which has a focus on using LinkedIn.  I am not new to teaching face-to-face classes, but I have not done it on a consistent basis since 2002. Here are some of the great things about being in the classroom that either we do not have the advantage of in asynchronous e-learning or are at least a challenge for the e-learning designer.

  • Meeting and knowing your audience (I mean literally meeting them).

  • Measuring for prior learning and adjusting the learning on the fly.

  • Joking with the participants and hearing them laugh.

  • Joking with the participants and getting blank stares. Yeah that happens, at least to me.

  • Providing very specific scenarios based on what's relevant to individual participants attending the class.

  • Giving immediate answers to their questions.

  • Giving immediate and specific feedback based on their answers, application of skills, role-playing, etc.

  • Tapping into, and sharing, the knowledge of the participants. Participants always possess valuable knowledge that can and should be shared with the class. It also promotes confidence among the participants sharing their knowledge.

  • Getting immediate level 1 evaluation data. And getting anecdotal feedback.

These are some of the things that I enjoy and value about the classroom experience. And I am reminded that these are aspects of the classroom that I aspire to include in the online experience. I also am reminded how much I respect the classroom trainer. Teaching effectively and engaging the learner in a classroom setting takes a different set of skills and expertise than one must have to create e-learning. And it is more exhausting than I remember. So, "creds" go out to our classroom brethren, especially to all those wonderful classroom trainers in my own corporate university!

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