Do you have trouble teaching students how to operate new software? You're not alone. People learn at different paces, and you don't want to leave some people waiting and others left behind. How do you make the learning experience enjoyable and productive for everyone?
Software training can sometimes be a hassle for learners and instructors. Here's how to make the experience run as smoothly as possible.
- Aim for a spacious environment. Although that's not always under your control, space allows for you to easily navigate the room and see what progress your learners are—or aren't—making. It also makes them feel less crowded together.
- Let it be known that this will be a social, collaborative environment. Everyone is here for the same thing: to learn a form of software. The quickest way to learn something can be by getting help, and that doesn't always have to come from the instructor, who can only be one place at a time—and may not be all-knowing.
- Employ the buddy method. Ask the class ahead of time who has experience with the program and who is brand new to it. Pair up a knowledgeable learner with a novice. You may opt to have them work together directly; at least have them sit near each other so they can easily collaborate.
- For learners who prefer to not work with a partner—or for a group that simply needs help at a given point—implement some form of visual cue. It can be a cup, a pipe cleaner, or even a handcrafted object. Have them place it on top of their computer if they need help. This eliminates the need for them to yell across the room or get up and come to you.
As great as these methods are for learners, they're equally beneficial for instructors. Bouncing all over the room can be physically and mentally taxing.