Personally I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.
~ Winston Churchill
Our language is a fragile thang, er I mean thing.
In the epitomous 21 Reasons Why the English Language is Hard to Learn we are reminded that it is a small miracle that we can ever convey even the simplest of thoughts. For example, “Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.” Really?
I recently completed a course that was required by a client, dealing with a rather dry topic involving lots of federal regulations and such. I could listen to Screamo music longer than sitting through another minute of that ear-bleed-inducing training. Why you ask? It wasn’t the content, however dry … it was the delivery. Laced, no, submerged in acronyms, $22 words when an $8 word would suffice and an ad nauseum recitation of the same thing all blanketed in an unapologetic air of elitism. In case you are not fond of my subtlety: the course was an awful, wasteful use of my afternoon.
Simply, there are steps to better training.
As a professional instructor with over 20 years of experience delivering dozens of topics to thousands of students from every walk of life, I deem this training a failure for three (3) primary reasons, that I will offer in a positive way for us to benefit:
Course creators / Instructors must:
- Understand the needs and expectations of their audience. Maybe they get up and walk out or maybe they engage but it is a basic form of respect (and classroom management) to know and understand each other’s needs and expectations.
- Course creators / Instructors must have an investment in their students actual learning outcome. I will likely devote an entire post regarding training versus testing but suffice to say if it is training, then we must make sure our students receive actual training and not a series of tests cloaked as training. Testing reinforces and validates what is learned, it doesn’t provide the actual education.
- Course creators / Instructors must never believe or act like they are the smartest person in the room nor feel compelled to demonstrate it at every opportunity. Should be a no-brainer but boy do I see this play out a lot. Arrogance is unattractive in any setting but when you are locked in a classroom for a week with a Spoiler, this can create its own level of pain and discomfort. And the desired learning never occurs when a student is in pain.
Reminds me of an old saying …… “The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.”