One of the responsibilities of my job is to create and conduct technical training courses. The subject matter covers a range of products and technologies that the company sells. Some of the products are simple, requiring little more than a few minutes to master. Some are quite complex, requiring a lot of hands-on and situational training to grasp.
My students, dealer technicians and some company employees, come from a very diverse background. Many of the dealer technicians have little more than a rural public high school education. Most can read, but perhaps not comprehend, and write, with rudimentary math and science skills. The company employees often have college degrees, but usually not in technical fields, so in some respects they’re not much further along than the dealer technicians.
A training course is usually a dozen or fewer people coming together in our lab to learn about a product, or a technology, in an intimate environment that we hope fosters discussion and interaction among the participants. We always try to draw out every participant so that they will feel free to bring up their experiences in their daily work environment for discussion by the group.
At the beginning of a course we always try to go through the learning objectives so that everyone is clear on what they should focus on and what they should come away with. At the end of the course we always have a session to review the objectives so that people can assess whether they met the objectives. One part of this session is a “What else did you learn” period, where we go around the group and give them an opportunity to share anything beyond the objectives that they are taking away. There are very few who don’t get something extra.
So, I know none of my students are reading this, but I just want all of them to know how proud I am of how far they’ve come in the few hours that we have had together.