Thanks for joining me today to talk about how to deliver great training sessions.
We try and make the training we do interactive, creative and fun. In this presentation, I’m going to use the Acquia training materials and program as our base example, but I hope even if you’re teaching with your own materials or even another topic that you’ll get something out of this.
First, before we really get into the nitty gritty. I want to tell you something: The only way you’re going to improve your own training skill is through practice. And feedback.
Pop quiz!! If you expect to get feedback from a follow up email you will be disappointed with the return rate. Ask me how I know!
Feedback is a gift. I think it’s one of the few professional practices in our sector where you can get immediate response on your performance, make specific changes and see drastic improvements quickly!!
We have prospective partners teach hello drupal, or run community events before they join the program. Global 30 may.
Use surveys before the training to ask WHO is coming. This helps trainers prepare. Use surveys AFTER the training to capture their impressions.
Over the next part of this presentation I’m going to go step by step through how to prepare and deliver training.
even before u step in door. You need to prep. I want to talk briefly about the materials – and HOW you’ll go about teaching Drupal.
Our course catalog is made of modular courses grouped into tracks. If people have taught before they join us, they probably do have strong opinions about the right order to teach DRUPAL in
So let’s take the quiz… Once you get the basics aside, where’s the best place to start hands on training? The best place is all those places.
Drupal has a the chicken and egg problem. Where is the best place to start? Many things so interconnected. You can’t REALLY understand fields until you understand display, but you can’t display anything until you have content you can’t have content till you have content types, with fields.
We use a spiral approach generally in the materials. Starting broad, then getting details in an area, and going into practice. Increasing in independence.
Earlier exercises have all steps written out. Later ones might have a table with recommended settings.
If a trainer isn’t well familiar with the materials you will see that they have trouble keeping on the schedule. The presentation materials have advice about what to say and specific points to highlight, but we encourage the trainers to share their experience and cases.
Don’t let logistics get you!
Common issues in feedback are about the venue.
chair and table configuration to make it easy to move around.
if you like to give out prizes. Seems juvenile, perhaps, but it’s fun! Rewards for coming up with great questions, or coming up with interesting ideas.
Rod records these in his own home studio. He offers advice if you have to travel a lot like he does.
People remember the beginning and ends of things really well.
Welcome people as the arrive. Write names and even phonetic if you’re not sure on pronunciation, get it sorted at the start.
But not TOO much info. They don’t want to hear about your famous clients. If you find YOU”re speaking more about your experience than the learners. Check yourself. Stop.
We often advise if the weather is nice to get outside, go out together for lunch.
Tell them at the start of the class that their feedback is really important, and that you'll be asking them for it at the end of the day.
As a subject matter expert you actually run the risk of overloading novice Drupal users. You may veer beyond the subject area, and add extra jargon, unrelated concepts and ideas in lengthy lectures. While it may feel to you that you're imparting your great wisdom... it can overload the learners and be potentially harmful.
The sad truth is, many people in our industry really undervalue their knowledge. The painful thing is: YOU CANNOT EVER KNOW EVERYTHING SO GET OVER IT.
Each new learning activity is a drama - there’s a crisis and the hero (your learner) can now solve it with their new tool: Drupal. Ask yourself: WHY about every topic you introduce. Then, answer it from the perspective of the actual people in your audience. You should have a pre-training survey and know the backgrounds of most of your attendees.
The exercises are not always “technical” in the sense that they are
Wear comfortable shoes
By the end of Day 1 of the site building course, people should be able to ‘reverse engineer’ major brand sites
B. Especially with our course materials, we do see that partners think there is “too much” content to start. Once they become familiar with it, they have no trouble with it in the classroom. They know what to expect.
Sometimes people are very tuned into the natural flow of the course. They ask questions about topics you will be covering very soon. It’s tempting to respond. This is the kind of thing you should hold off on, park and save. Then they might be able to answer their own question soon.
Make a column on the whiteboard.
Learning is sometimesunomfortable and emotional. You could say tat in order to learn you need to be at least a little confused at one point. You’re solving a problem, your brain is activated.
Education sparks a learner’s imagination. Latin educo“draw out”. Trainign is on the other hand very specific, process focused. Sometimes learners need permission. This can also be cultural and age specific.
Apply learning to novel situations.
But it’s NOT about the content. It’s about making connections. Learning is like a bridge from what you know to what you don’t know. Build on background and prior knowledge. This also shows you value learners’ prior experience.
Does what you’re talking about match the slides behind you and the exercises before them? The demo you just did?
How to Deliver Great Training Sessions
Deliver great training sessions
Technical training tips for Drupal trainers
• Heather James
• Manager of Learning
• Ben Ortega:
• Prasad Shirgaonkar
• Peter Manijak:
• Started in 2010
• Partner delivered
• Classroom, online live
and self paced
• Public and client
a) Email right after the
b) Prompt survey 20 mins
c) Email one day after the
d) Take 5 minutes at the
end of the day?
It gets better
• Experienced trainers with less Drupal expertise
get higher ratings.
• Subject matter experts with no training
experience initially get lower ratings.
• Training skills can be improved with experience.
• Feedback is essential!
• Run free events
• Community training
• Global Drupal
speaking experience != teaching experience
Surveys and Feedback
Before the training
• What prior experience?
• Some experience with
• Current role?
After the training
• Value experience?
• Would they recommend
• Specific comments and
Let’s go step-by-step
1. Get prepared!
2. Don’t trip on logistics
3. Strong start and ending
4. Technical training that works
5. Practical teaching strategies
Spot the pitfalls
a) I won’t have enough
b) I’ll have too much
c) People will be bored
with the content
d) People will want other
What is the most
Stay on schedule
• Resist rabbit holes
• Park debates and
• Reward prescient
questions, but don’t
get ahead of group.
Reward good questions!
• Divide whiteboard
• “Park” really good
• Use them as
examples or prompts
Don’t give away the answers
• Confusion precedes a
• Give nudges
How to elicit
• What does this do?
• What happens if I do
• What does this mean?
• How would you do that?
• Try that out!
• Sounds like a good idea.
• Let me watch you while
you try it.
• What do you think you’d