My current assignment involves some training on a deployable computer system that is different in nature to the system my colleagues work with on a day to day basis. Although there is a classroom based computer system available for the general training of the main computer system this is not suitable for the deployable system. The solution that I use is the server room / workshop area. This is a working area that the trainees don’t normally enter so a full health and safety brief is required before and training can commence. The adults that I have to train have a wide age range (early 20s to 40s) as well as both sexes and different military ranks. The trainees (normally only 2-3) know why they need to learn this new system as they are deploying away from their home base to be employed in a different location for a period of time. The training itself involves a number of different methods from a lecture, a demonstration, practical understanding and a question and answer session. The lecture covers a variety of information about the computer system.
It’s an evolving system and some of the trainees could be back for their second or third training session (the training is done before every deployment even if it has been done before). As an evolving system the set up and facilities on the system change hence a refresher/update. Items covered in the lecture include the history of the system, differences between the main system and the deployable system. Also covered is consideration to be taking in siting the set-up, setting up the system and functionality. Next there is a demonstration of the set-up of the complete system, including connection of cables, telephone systems and other pieces of hardware. The demonstration ends once the system is powered up and I have logged onto the computer and set up accounts for the trainees. Whilst the trainees have a break the system is packed away. Now with the visual knowledge of the system the trainees now unpack and set-up the system.
This gives me a good understanding of whether all the information required has been absorbed. Once they have a working system and have logged on I can then demonstration some of the functionality that is different. Understanding is backed up by a few tasks to check understanding. When I’m happy that their knowledge is adequate then the system is packed away. The last part of the session covers relevant legislation including manual handling (transportation boxes are heavy) and security (a military computer system handling classified information) and concludes with a question and answer session. The trainees are also part of the evolving system. They are the operators on a day to day basis and complete a log of any problems or improvements they encounter. On return the trainees come and de-brief myself on the computer system, how it worked, what can be improved, what part of the training was valid or invalid etc. Although not quite a full teaching cycle the way I train and follow up works well for this system.