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Seb Anthony

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I’ve never trained IT before-help!

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I am a soft skills trainer, customer service, communications etc and am just about to ad IT to my list! I know my way around Word, Excel (not Access) but have no idea how to put together a 12 day programme that will be interesting, challenging and garaunteed to enhance skills.

If any one would be happy to share some tried and tested ideas, I would be very grateful.
molly carey

10 Responses

  1. IT Dilemma
    Hi

    A 12 day programme in a new subject area is a tall order. Please consider further before embarking on this these few points.

    1. What risk is involved here if things go wrong? Is your reputation in the areas you do well likely to be adversely affected? Are you going to be considered professional over 12 days of IT training where customer expectations are high due to their past dealings with you?

    2. Have you considered strategically placing yourself within a joint venture so you say provide the coordination services and ‘front’ the operation and someone else provides the IT programme for you to use and assists you in delivery?

    3.Knowing your way around Word and Excel is a great start but to really train you also need to know what to do when things go wrong, this is one of the reasons when training in all our subject areas including IT we make sure that all our trainers knew in depth stuff. Far in excess of the needs of their group so they were always ahead of the game and could inspire confidence.

    We are careful of our reputation, we have been in business with TBDGloballtd for 4 years and our other business ventures for over 15. We do not undertake projects lightly and would not deliver a 12 day programme in any subject without months of preparation.

    We are not saying don’t do this to yourself just take care as to us starting with one or two days that goes well and developing that from a good foundation over time is much better than 12 days of possible hell.

    What ever you decide we wish you the best!

    Training By Design Global Ltd
    0870 241 3998

  2. How & Why?
    Molly, how and why have you arrived at 12 days. Is it the same course to delivered several times? Have you got definitive outlines? Information of target audience and timeframes? Have you reviewed the MOUS exams to see what they include. I do agree with the comments already posted. If I can help please email.
    Regards.

    valerie@merrillconsultants.com

  3. IT Programmes
    Hi Molly,
    I have workbooks for all of these subjects with support materials – If you are looking for some help with structuring your own programmes to maximise learning I can help you to do that also. Maybe you would like to contact me by email
    Joy

  4. New to IT training
    As an experienced IT trainer who also has some soft skills training experience, I would caution against trying to do such a big project as your first go at IT training. Generally soft skills training utilises the trainers personal ability to facilitate and lead discussion and other training techniques. With IT you also need very strong product knowledge beyond what you are teaching. In fact so called beginners training can be the hardest to teach because there are so many things that can go wrong and you need to know what has gone wrong, how to sort it out and explain what happened so they don’t make the same mistake again. IT trainees can be less forgiving than delegates on other courses if they don’t get what they want out of a course. You have to really enjoy training it too or your patience can be tested to the limit. The other major problem is varying skill levels and abilities on the same course, difficult even for trainers with experience and backup resources. Skill matching by some kind of TNA is essential for a smooth course that will achieve its objectives. If you are still going to do it yourself I would recommend you attend some courses yourself up to at least intermediate level, which would also give you a chance to see how an experienced trainer would do it and pick up some training tips. Or get a trainer in to help with the first few while you observe and then take over later. Or facilitate open learning where trainees learn at their own pace from workbooks etc rather than taught classes. If you want to contact me we may be able to do some kind of skills swap, eg you show me some of your courses and I’ll show you mine. Finally regarding content I would check out the syllabus for ecdl and or MOUS on microsoft.com as somebody else had already mentioned, as it makes a good checklist. Hope this helps.

  5. Quick IT Training
    I am an advanced IT Trainer and soft skills trainer and one solution – especially with the topics you have mentioned is following the
    CLAIT line of assessment (through OCR – Oxford and Cambridge Royal Society of Arts Examining Body). One topic per 4 days at this level would not be a problem. What level of IT Training have you achieved at the moment?

  6. New to IT
    Molly, First let me echo the other comments about partnering with an experienced IT Trainer, either to run the sessions in full or help you get started.

    If you are going ahead check the machines and room you’re going to use beforehand. Have a trial run through the course on a student PC. Check for any customisation you will have to work round e.g. files saved in different locations, shortcuts or features added / removed. Are all the templates and add-ins you require available, are the options within the package set the same way? Is there someone on-site who can help if you have technical problems? Ideally have a spare machine & copies of all files at different stages of completion.

    As you teach encourage students to read the instruction on screen: warning messages, greyed out /active features, tooltips on buttons are all there to help them along.

    Bear the same idea in mind when you’re troubleshooting why it doesn’t work. Often the simplest things will catch you out. e.g. being in wrong folder or not highlighting. Check the whole screen.

    Good Luck

  7. Loads of materials available
    Molly, if you wish to do this yourself there are loads of excellent materials you can purchase and customise (Word format). Or you can obtain CBT and base a course around the topics included. See http://www.coursesondisk.com for an example of inexpensive courses that will give you a considerable base of material including tests and exercises to work from.

    Contact me offline for sites that have written materials.

    Best of luck
    Kevin

  8. Caution
    Echoing all the words of caution from the other people who have added comments….

    This is a tall order ! One of the key aspects of IT Training is to know your subject well – very well, because its harder to ad-lib than with soft skill training and there are so many permutations of questions/problems/situations that arise during almost every training session. Its harder to call upon stories/examples/anecdotes (these can add emphasis and meaning to soft skills training)when some-one is asking you for help explaining how you calcualte a percentage for example, using a spreadsheet formula.

    12 days is a lot of training both for the delegates and the tutor, how much detail do you want to go into and at the end of the course what do the delegates want to have acheived.

    You may also want to think about the skill level of your delegates before you take on board any IT training session, as this will have a major impact on where to ‘pitch’ your training.

    Good Luck

    If you want to contact me offline I would be happy to offer any advice I can, I started out as an IT Trainer then moved onto soft skills and eventually Consultancy so I have a pretty broad view and I may be able to offer you some ways around this !

    But I would need more information because you don’t say whether this is for an in-house project or whether you are a freelance trainer.

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