Years ago (almost 4 years to be exact, a bunch of us were doing a training for techie-activists in Chang Mai, Thailand. One of the sessions that we had planned was on 'how not to be a bad tech trainer', and we came up with a list of The Top 5 Worst Trainers in the World*:
- The Mouse Dominatrix -- this one gets cranky with trainees who don't quite know where to point and click their mouse (or can't get command lines right) during hands-on session, and eventually takes over the mouse (or keyboard), missing the entire point of a Hands On session.
- The O.C. (Overly Corrective -- this one likes barking out "No, that's NOT how you do that!", and "That's wrong! I'm right! Do it my way!"
- The Powerpoint Reader -- the trainer who spent the last 48 hours pasting every bit of text about his/ her topic on his 73-slide long power point presentation, then proceeds to spend his / her session reading straight out of the screen.
- The Monologue-r -- the trainer who not only beats around the bush, s/he gets lost in the forest and misses the point.
- The Jargon Monster -- this one speaks in acronyms, weird words and culturally irrelevant references.
Very often, when we do technology-based training, I think we fall into these bad training models. I know for sure that I have been guilty of at least three of these 'offenses' and that I have attended workshops with trainers that have done all five.
It is definitely 'easier' for a trainer to be one of these five trainers. Instead of waiting for a participant to master dragging and dropping files into a folder, it is certainly more time-efficient to just do it yourself. Or instead of wasting time doing interactive exercises, it is easier to just present everything that you know in a 82-slide presentation. It is more convenient to use the technical terms that we use daily instead of thinking of metaphors to describe and define what you mean.
So why do we (as trainers / facilitators) need to go beyond these five models of (bad) training?
Because the point of training is learning. The point of training, in my opinion, is to get your participants to use and adapt technologies for their own purposes. To get them to a point where they understand the technologies to a degree where they can use it when they get back to the realities. Or at the very least, know what next steps they should take in order to utilise technologies strategically.
To me, none of the five kinds of trainers mentioned above get that done.
* Re-purposed from the old personal blog: http://c5.livejournal.com/66577.html