Let’s face it: all of us need training. It’s just a fact of life for those in any professional industry. And for the AV industry, it’s the way we stay relevant. This industry is constantly evolving to keep up with the demand of the users and managers of technology, so training on new content—new products, software, platforms, standards, etc.,—is not just something we need to stay ahead of the game. It’s what we need to be in the game. Because training is so critically important to our industry, it’s essential to get the approach right.
As an AVIXA staff instructor, I travel across the U.S. teaching a wide-range of AV courses, such as AV Design, Project Management for Live Events, and Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) Prep. I spend a lot of time thinking about my students’ classroom experience. Before I teach a class or present to any group, I try to put myself in the student’s shoes and ask these questions from their point of view:
How do I feel about the class itself? Was it a necessary evil that I just had to “grin and bear it” because I need that piece of paper? Was it something I’d recommend to friends or coworkers? Was the room too cold or too hot? Did the chair hurt my butt? Did I sleep through some of it? Was finding lunch a pain (if food was not provided)? Did they have breaks or did I miss some content because I went to the restroom? Did they have coffee? Did the instructor hold my attention? Did I actually ingest knowledge that would help me solve a problem? Did I interact with the class or just sit at my desk? Did I have a chance to really get to know my colleagues or was it just an information dump? Did the instructor or facilitator know the material? Did the material make sense? Was the materiel flawed?
If I answer any of the above (and many more) questions unfavorably, I will adjust my schedule, content, presentation style, and environment, to correct what people will take away from the experience.