Corporate Training Day
Lately, I've been feeling a little bit discouraged in my instructional design job search. I've been receiving great reviews on my knowledge of the field, experience with technology, and work history in general. However, with my background being solely in academia, every compliment is followed by "if only you had a little bit more corporate experience." Yesterday, I had the amazing opportunity to spend the day at an instructor-led training on manufacturing process with people from all over the country! This ILT is a 2.5-day course and is for novices to experts. The way it is designed, even I was able to understand the material and participate! I was so grateful for this experience, and I'd like to share a few takeaways: Engaging content relies on variety. We experienced some lecture, discussion, hands-on demonstrations, problem-based learning, and more! We learned the definitions, and then, we learned how to use the machinery. We watched our instructor use the equipment, and then, he put us in charge. He shared his own experiences in the field with us, and at every turn, he reiterated keywords that reminded us of the learning objectives. There was never a moment where I felt bored or disengaged. For ILT, the instructor's personality is a key factor. Our extremely talented trainer was both serious and humorous, professional and laid-back, and expert and experimenter. He knows the content better than most in the field, but he never comes across as pretentious. He was extremely flexible and willing to deviate from his planned curriculum to answer questions and clarify information. There are endless reasons why people engage in professional development training. Some of the participants were new hires in the field and needed a working knowledge of the manufacturing processes discussed. One participant was taking this class so that he could teach it himself one day at his company. Some people came together from the same workplace. There were learners from different industries. There were machine operators, engineers, R&D, and quality analysts. The training had to be comprehensive enough to reach everyone in this audience. Phones are a distraction even outside of the college classroom. One thing I was surprised by was how connected everyone was to their cell phone throughout the day. I understand that they have stepped away from their 9-5 to be at this training, and many needed to stay in contact with their work. Most everyone's phone sat right on the table next to their pens and notebooks. If the instructor had not kept class so engaging, phones could have been a real distraction. The corporate world is not so different than academia. Our instructor's teaching style is very similar to mine. Adult learners in a training classroom share the same characteristics as adult learners in a college classroom. While there is a greater focus on profits and budget in the corporate world, the design and objectives for training are the same. Learners need knowledge to help them achieve their career goals. If you're a new instructional designer like I am, I would really think about asking around to see if you can drop in for a day of training like this. It is incredibly insightful to watch subject matter experts educate new people in the field. It's also very fun to get to use the machines and learn a new skill! Written by Heidi Kirby + Follow Heidi Kirby ★ Instructional Designer ★Learning Professional ★Writer/Editor ★Crafting Amateur ★PhD Student ★Let's connect!