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Maximum number of trainees on a course

If I run a course for you, a big part of the cost is my time and travel; the incremental cost of each trainee added is relatively small. This means that a course of 12 persons is lower cost that two courses for six each. Thus the question gets asked "how many trainees can you realistically take on a course". There's no single figure answer to this ...

For PUBLIC courses, where each individual may come from a different background and have different detailed goals (e.g. sure they all want to learn Perl, but Boris is going to use it to maintain system admin scripts and Doris to write new web applications), we limit bookings to just SEVEN trainees. That gives the tutor plenty of time to spend with everyone during practicals and helps to ensure that each person leaves having covered the bases that they need.

On a PRIVATE course where the trainees all work for the same organisation, the warning flags start showing when the client wants to exceed TEN trainees. If each of the ten has a different role and background within the organisation, and has different requirements of the subject being taught, then each additional trainee beyond the ten leads to a dilution of focus, and potentially to trainees having to wait for the tutor to assist with their issues during practicals.

On a PRIVATE course where the background and roles of the trainees is similar, I've happily taught a group of SIXTEEN trainees, and we were able to provide one computer per trainee for the course ... it all went very well. Note that the particular group that I describe knew each other, interacted between themselves excellently, and made my life easy. It would have been a different story had the organisation been factional and / or playing company politics.

There are occasions when I address a larger audience - but that's not a class or course, rather it's a series of lectures or talks. Such occasions do not include the provision of equipment and guided practicals. Without the change of pace that's natural during the lecture and practical sections of a regular course, both audience and lecturer would find it hard to concentrate beyond five hours of sessions on a single day.
(written 2005-01-18, updated 2006-06-05)

 
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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