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Training tip of the week


If there has been a time in your training career when you feel your training style has lost its panache. Your technique is becoming stale, your imagination has dried up and your confidence in your own ability is slipping – maybe you are just having a bad day, or perhaps you are experiencing training burnout. Read on to find out how to cope with this situation.

Ten tips for coping with computer training burnout
by Elliott Masie

  • Diversify content: Teach at least two or three different classes. When people start to get tired of pointing out the same old keystrokes, it is refreshing to switch content.
  • Diversify process: Have two or three different models for teaching the same content. One day teach a demo from the front of the room. Next week, teach the same concepts with an interactive lecture. If you cannot change the content, at least change your activity.

  • Diversify sequence: I have taught the same class, with the exact same modules, but in different order. Some content can be taught at any time during the class. Why not keep yourself alert & alive by changing the sequence. If you are really brave, try asking the learners to "bid" for the topic of each lesson. This is a really cool approach to learn engagement and just in time needs assessment.

  • Get a stool: teaching can be hard on the feet and back. Several years ago, I taught at a company that had a bar stool in every classroom. It gave me a rare chance to sit down when dialoguing with the class. I am now addicted to an occasional sit down. Your feet deserve a break and the stool can be a credible way of sitting down in class.

  • Be a learner: whenever you start to feel toasted as a trainer, get yourself to the classroom. Spending a few hours as a learner in someone else's class does wonders for morale and perspective.

  • Coaching helps: even the best baseball pitchers get visits to the mound by their coaches. Trainers that are observed by managers or peers have lower burnout. It helps to know that your manager cares enough to spend time in your class. Good coaching concentrates on ways that you can improve your is not about getting a grade.

  • Humour perks us up: humour can be a great way to add spice to your class. Nothing is as funny as people trying to master not ready for prime time technology. You don't have to crack jokes, just allow the natural humour of the learners to flow in your classroom. It is hard to feel burnout when you are laughing.

  • Visit them in the trenches: take a visit to the workplace to see the results of your work. The person that was a pain in class will often come up to you and tell you how much they learned. This is an explicit way to get positive feedback and also to help market your department’s future courses.

  • Play trainers bingo: I have a few silent games that I play with my learners when I am having a tough day. I might give myself 2 points if 3 people wearing blue all sit in the same row. Or, I imagine what the children of two random people in class might look like. I keep all this to myself, but it helps get me through the day.

  • Career vision: research shows that we can all tolerate a fairly high level of burnout, if we know that it will not go on for the rest of our lives. Computer training is often one job in a longer career. Trainers that can imagine the type of jobs that they might want to do in a few years have a better shot at staying fresh and current.

  • The above was derived from trainers corner, at computer ease, A collection of articles, poems, and links for computer training professionals and technical writers:

    Trainers Corner


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