Friday, September 16, 2016


Recently I took a course and while I was taking it I found some things that bothered me and I decided to try and focus them and document them and even some solutions. I have broken it down between the instructor and student because each of these people are impacted differently during a course.

  • Students ready to learn
  • Know the schedule that is to be followed – ideally ensure you have a copy of the schedule available when you are teaching the course.
  • If videos are part of the course, have viewed them prior to students seeing them and just prior to students viewing them not over a year or longer – ensure you know what the video is saying so you don’t contradict it
  • If you promise some information on a schedule you keep the promise or at least let students know if there is a delay – students especially mature students are relying on the answers when you said you would provide them so if you can’t keep that promise ensure you communicate that.
  • There are requirements in at least Quebec that mandates best practices for training and they are a good process to follow even in other locations – being able to follow the sections of the course to ensure that you have a lesson plan and are following it is very important. It keeps you on track and if you get sidetracked it is a way of knowing what you should be teaching.
  • If doing an online course know what the students are seeing (use a second machine logged in as a student) – being able to ensure the students are seeing what you trying to show is important.
  • If a consultant and doing on behalf of another company ensure you are representing the company well both your own company and the one you are presenting -- ensure you represent both companies well and don’t complain to the students if something goes wrong because you weren’t given everything you needed.
  • If software requirements know them and don't change them – if a person has signed up for a course being told that they need specific software don’t change it once the course starts especially if there is a cost in acquiring the software that is required.
  • If viewing requirements/schedule know them and remember them don't change them
  • If doing webinars read the questions to yourself prior to reading them to students as you could make a fool of yourself – sometimes the questions or comments are just for the instructor and not to be read out loud so remember this.

  • An instructor that is prepared – knowing that the instructor is ready to teach the course is key to ensuring that I am engaged as a student.
  • Instructor comfortable with the material – I don’t want to hear my instructor say that they aren’t prepared for a session especially when I have given up some of my personal time for the course.
  • Knows the schedule – I want an instructor that knows when things are due and will follow the same schedule that I have been given.
  • Material is all working and available when it is needed – I want to know that all the material is available when promised so that I can do the work when it is scheduled.
  • The instructor answers questions and keeps their promises – if the instructor says that they will reply within two business days that is what I expect. If they promise to provide extra material or answers to other questions after a session I expect that to happen on a timely basis.
  • Objectives of the course easy to locate – I want to know what I am going to be learning and what the overall objectives of the course are before I start the course.
  • If online course, have the material covered easily based on what I have been required to have completed on a specific week – if there are things that are to be completed on a schedule ensure that is what you are teaching and not things from a week or two back. I spent my time to ensure I was on schedule and I expect the instructor to do the same. If someone asks a question and it requires a bit of a refresher that is fine but don’t do the ensure session this way.

Of course each course either online or in a classroom will provide a different experience and that is something that you have to be prepared for going into them.

I wrote this up from both perspectives as these are things that I have seen. I understand the instructors position as I have my Certificate in Instructing Adults. Adults do expect a different type of training that someone in school does. An adult is limited time and they are normally giving up some personal or family time to complete a course and that needs to be taken into consideration.

When taking a course or giving a course remember to be prepared and follow the schedule as it really does make things a lot easier.

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