User Generated Training© Models

The Challenge

A couple of years ago we were involved in a project to solve a problem that had existed in the digital technology training space for some time. The problem was that, with the increasing churn of digital technologies and practice, traditional training techniques were seen to be woefully inadequate – a fixed and outmoded form in an increasingly agile and flexible world.

Two examples of this would be:

  1. The teaching and learning taking place in colleges and universities – degree courses had to be unlearned by graduates entering into the fast moving digital workplace.
  2. Technology training that typically trains from the product vendor’s perspective and not from that of the end-user. The typical complaint here being that – “that three day course was ok, but I could have got what I wanted from it in a day”.

It is partly because of this we see the emergence of on-line support groups and peer-to-peer learning amongst the developer community. Developers don’t have the time, inclination or resources to be able to update their knowledge formally and therefore resort to the auto-didacticism that has served them up to this point.

The problem here is that this is usually reactive rather than proactive, leaving little space for innovation, risk taking or benchmarking of best practice.

Our Solution

Our answer was a new concept we called User Generated Training (UGT©). By establishing an iterative dialogue with the end users, often enabled by Social Media, UGT closes the gap between the emergence of new technology and its effective take-up in the workplace.

UGT is able to fundamentally change the relationship between the trainer and the trainee. By engaging with the end-users at the earliest opportunity, assessing their current knowledge and working practices, whilst at the same time introducing them to the possibilities of new Ways of Working, UGT disrupts old notions of ‘technology training’ as it becomes more like agile ‘facilitated learning’.

A process of constant engagement with our end-users allows us to address and respond to a dynamic business environment, technology and training needs. We deliver collaboratively developed programmes, informed by continual feedback from the end-user, and a blended delivery using the most appropriate formats. This could be a seminar, workshop, on-line, interactive video, or hands-on practice based.

Design - UGT actively engages the users in the design and process in order to ensure accurate assessment of training needs, optimum engagement and buy-in through the co-creation of detailed user stories.
Develop – The creation of content and learning materials required for the programme and test the key elements through simulated trials. We also develop the capacity within the host organisation to enable them to be part of the delivery team.
 
Deliver – We chose the appropriate form of delivery to get the best results for the client. We always delivery with the client invariably using host Super-Users as part of the delivery team.
Renew – Iterative and modular course development together with a close working relationship with the end-users allows us to refresh and renew aspects of the course should the technology or operating procedures change.
 

 

Customer Quotes

“Wonderful. Better and more intensive than any other training course I’ve been on.”

Dan, Creative Lynx

“In a word, fantastic. Excellent programme which was very well executed.”

Algy, Conker Media

“The training was invaluable….the groups were so small and hands on. You got a real sense of involvement, which in turn accentuated the learning….I thought the format was spot on. Don’t change a thing.”

Billy, Lamp Digital

“Thought it was excellent as I never stopped learning from start to end, conversations in between and after the workshops were a great way to help further absorb the information I had just been given.”

Mark, Creative Lynx

Thanks for organising this. A new training concept that works really well.

Peter-Paul Koch Javascript Trainer (Javascript guru, lead mobile developer for Vodafone and creator of www.quirksmode.org)

Andy Lovatt's picture
About the Author

Andy Lovatt is Founder of The White Room.

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