Over the years, I’ve gotten pretty good reviews of my training. People say I communicate clearly, understand the material and am even somewhat entertaining. (Go figure.) But I also know that even though most people like my training, they often don’t remember much. I think it’s because I’ve been following the standard methodology of software training, which means covering as many features as possible. This satisfies the goal of completeness – but not necessarily of learning.

But of late, I’ve changed tack. I think a better approach is to cover a few key points several times. Don’t just create one parameter, create multiple. Don’t immediately move on to the next concept, repeat the basic one several times. Most people won’t “get it” the first time. And even if they do, they won’t remember what they’ve learned unless it’s repeated.

I’ve been thinking about this while preparing new Crystal reports training sessions, which I’ll be delivering soon. The question arises – do I recommend one of the many “complete” prepackaged training materials available, or do I recommend using just a few short “cheat sheet” pages. These cheat sheets aren’t nearly as comprehensive as the prepackaged materials – but they’ll help us get down a few key points.

Of course, changing training methodology is only a starting point in helping people learn software. For example, I’ve posted before about how training is wasted if people don’t use what they’ve learned shortly after learning it and over an extended period of time.

What’s your experience? If you’ve taken software training, did you like it? Do you remember any of it?

 

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