"Just provide a room and the students, and we'll do the rest" So we say in our marketing material, and we mean it; we have the facilities and equipment to set up in a wide variety of venues and run proffessional courses there. In the last few days, I've set up in three different venues
taking about 45 minutes in each for a network of around 10 machines.
Setting up a training course is rather like taking over a paint job that's already been started. Sometimes, you can just drop your systems into place but at other times a certain amount of reorganisation is needed. What are the factors I consider as I do the setup?
* Give all the trainees plenty of space - not only for computers but also for notes, notepads, etc
* Arrange the room so that all trainees can see the projector screen, whiteboard and other aids, preferably at the same time as their computer screen
* Allow somewhere for the tutor to sit or stand (prefereable both) so that he does not block the students views
* Give the tutor plenty of space too, and a seat where he can type during a demo.
* Set up so that the tutor can interact with the students - good eye contact, etc
* Leave enough aisle space for the tutor to visit each student to help during practicals
* Lay out the reference books so that students are encouraged to use them during the course
* Clear excess chairs, but leave one or two so that the tutor can pull up a seat beside student he's stopping to chat with.
* Set up cabling so that all the students can get to their seats without stepping over cables
* Set up cables so that students don't run over them as they roll their chairs back
* Don't use a cable that's JUST long enough unless you have to; allow a little slack so that things won't pull if
a student moves a laptop by a few inches.
* If running a multi-operating system course, ensure that the systems are mixed around the room so that trainees who are using Linux can look across to the person beside them with Windows, and vice versa
* Learn the lighting of the room so that you can dim when you're projecting
* Adjust the tilt and swivel and zoom of the projector. Use a smaller display size if the lighting can't easily be reduced.
* Have a spare machine at hand "just in case" - preferable quietly on the network
* Check all machines are up and networked via our tkpingle script
All of this is second nature to us; it's the first time I've formally written it up and I hadn't realised just how many things I do automatically!
(written 2005-01-27, updated 2006-06-05)
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