This message popped up in my Twitter stream yesterday morning and I felt compelled to write up an answer immediately...
Edward Ricardo Braithwaite (born June 27, 1920), a novelist, writer, teacher, and diplomat, is best known for his stories of social conditions and racial discrimination. In this context, the quote makes perfect sense. Of course, we are result-oriented people and as long as we acquire the knowledge we need to accomplish a task, we shouldn’t worry about the teacher’s ethnicity, social background, upbringing or anything.
However, if we port this quote into our context of product development professionals and software training, I think there are a few more things to take into consideration about picking your teacher.
The goal for any training engagement is to get from state A – being “unaware” (or untrained) to state B – being an “informed” (trained) person. We would like to make this metamorphosis efficiently too, that is we would like to reach the highest possible result with the least investment. I believe there are three, if not more, factors you should consider when picking your teaching authority:
You want to make sure that the knowledge transferred to you is really the latest thinking. Often, there are several ways of accomplishing a task – in our engineering world, it could be about modeling a part or setting up an assembly with PTC Creo – but which is the best way that avoids running into downstream issues later? Is your technique really the fastest way of doing it or can the same result be accomplished more efficiently? I would want to trust that the person teaching me is really a subject-matter expert so that I can learn the best methods for doing my work.
Time is one of our most valuable assets. We often struggle to put sufficient mindshare into training. We would all like to advance our skills, but are so busy with our daily tasks that we tend to cut our development efforts short. Thus, the time it takes us to become efficient in using our software is a critical factor – we want to be fast to achieve maximum ROI on our training investment.
So when it comes to picking a teacher, we should put a lot of attention into his teaching skills to make sure we are not wasting time. Teaching skills depend on a variety of factors – the instructor’s communication skills, the ability to see things from others' perspective in order to teach exactly what they need to know, or the ability to ask the right questions to find out how much the student already knows. All this stems from experience, talent and subject-matter expertise.
Besides the actual skills of the teacher, a proven approach underpinning the course content and materials, will ensure the desired learning results are achieved with an efficient use of time.
Does the teacher bring knowledge and methods that are used in other countries of the world, too? Would I be able to transfer my knowledge to colleagues? Can I be sure to learn the same features that our engineering teams on other continents have been taught on? Especially in our globalized world, it is very important that our teacher is able to provide a consistent training program so that my personal knowledge will prove to be valuable for our teams or potential future employers abroad.
These are just a few points that came to my mind – I would love to hear about your thoughts, too!
If you would like to discuss training options with one of our Training Advisors directly, you can reach out here.
In the "Timing" section, I couldn't agree more and that is why PTC needs to step up on the way the training/tutorials are handled, because if a user cannot find what they are looking for in a reasonable amount of time the PTC Learning Exchange, after a few attempts, they are very likely to give up looking there because they are not getting the ROI that was talked about.
Ah, the commenting works for you again - great! As I had replied to you in the other thread, I am just linking to my earlier response.
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