Trainers are not all alike; they have different approaches to their work, different ideas on how to work with the material and of course different backgrounds. I´m sure that most of them could argue for their approach to the work, there are of course different schools of thought. But no matter where you´re coming from, what you are working on – the following is always a good idea.
Explain the whole process to the user before you start.
The user is there to enhance his skill set, sure, but when the trainer starts talking about hotkeys and so on – it can be quite easy for the user to get a little distracted. Most of the time I use the following approach when planning training sessions and it has served me and the persons I train quite well through the years.
- Start of by going through what you will be working on. For example, let´s say you are working today on how to save a text document in a specific folder.
- Explain what the procedure will be, starting with the programs being used, which folder is being used and so on.
- Next explain if there are any specific functions in the AT that are called upon.
- How many times you will go through the process.
- And finally, that at the end of the session you will discuss how the user can train this on his own afterwards and what training material he can rely upon.
By creating this structure and following it you make sure that you cover everything and the user instantly recognizes that there is indeed a structure to the work you are doing. Of course, depending upon how quickly the user picks up the methods, you might add or remove some issues in the session. For example, the user might need more time on some part of the process, and of course one needs to accommodate for that. How you explain things, whilst in the actual process, is another matter.
Here I´m simply focusing on the structure. No matter what I´m working on with my users, I stick to this simple and easy to follow structure. It may seem to some like a: „Well of course! “type of thing. But to many times I´ve witnessed that AT trainers do not come prepared and thereby the user does not receive the benefit of a well-structured training session.