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Why most training fails ...

"Why most training fails ..." ... a headline from a newsletter / newsfeed which comes in to me each morning. [article] And most of what the article says is true.

To quote from the article: "While these methods may get high marks from participants, research (ignored by many training professionals) shows they rarely change behaviour on the job. Knowing isn't the same as doing; good intentions are too easily crushed by old habits."

The methods being discussed / listed include "lectures ("spray and pray"), inspirational speeches or videos, discussion groups and simulation exercises".




We're very much aware that a critical aspect of training is that what we teach is retained by, and used by our delegates once they get back to their place of work / onto the job. And we make an effort to ensure that the subjects learned are indeed subsequently applied. Mind you, we're very lucky in that the subjects we teach, and the roles that our delegates are in, leave those delegates little choice but to apply what they have learned in their job roles.

So ... how do we, consciously, attempt to ensure that the use of technologies and skills learned on our courses are used into the future by as many or our delegates as possible:

• Our training is subject rather than concept base. You come along to us to Learn to program in Python and if you have to program 'back at the office', you'll have little choice but to apply these skill. But we help that along ...

• We ask each and every delegate about their background, and what they will be doing with the subject being learned, and we encourage each of them to bring their own data, tell us what their data looks like, do practical exercises which are relevant to them and are the first step of what they will be doing with the subject back in their office.

• We lecture. Then we demonstrate (and the demonstrations vary to be relevant for the particular delegates), then we set a practical. There's a cynical saying in training. "Tell them what you will tell them, tell them, then tell them what you have told them and they may remember it." But perhaps it's not all that cynical - it's reinforcement. There's no way that even the brightest of people can remember every work said throughout a 3 to 5 day course!

• We follow up. All examples from the notes are published on our web site, delegate's work is emailed back to them, and they can visit our forum or archived previous forum or email me later to ask questions. We even provide a web site form for ANYONE to use to encourage people. The 'stiff British upper lip" style of "I won't want to trouble you" sometimes clicks in, and we remind delegates that we want them to ask; it's in our interest that they apply the subject and recommend others to us later, rather than forgetting us.

• We keep group sizes small - no more that 8 on a public course so that there is plenty of time for the tutor to deal with individual's specific needs in terms of subjects and pace.

• we encourage people to keep in touch via our blog and my Twitter feed. And to drop in and see us at the Hotel / training centre.

With our infectious enthusiasm, our reinforcement, our real-use examples and our follow ups, we seem to do pretty well in the 'effectiveness' stakes, but we're always looking to improve on that. And I am humbly grateful that our topics are not 'blue sky concept' ones but things that are really useful and used by our delegates when they get back to their own desks. We're in an area of training which is naturally very effective indeed in the first place.
(written 2009-03-30, updated 2009-03-31)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G310 - Well House Consultants - A better class of course
  [4583] Back in the saddle again - excellent open source course from Well House Consultants - (2015-11-26)
  [4558] Well House Consultants - Python courses / what's special. - (2015-10-28)
  [4280] Making use of huge data, object orientation, unit testing and frameworks - (2014-06-07)
  [3587] C++ Courses - do I get official certification at the end of my Well House course? - (2012-01-20)
  [3419] Data that we use during our training courses, and other training resources - (2011-09-04)
  [3385] Do university courses teach the right things for life at work later on? - (2011-08-10)
  [3271] The importance of feedback - (2011-04-30)
  [3001] How will we present courses over the coming years? - (2010-10-17)
  [2762] Well House - Mission and Policy summaries - (2010-05-13)
  [2633] Why do I teach niche skills rather than mainstream? - (2010-02-13)
  [2187] Are we IITT (Institute of IT Training) members? - (2009-05-17)
  [2084] Books and distance learning from Well House Consultants? - (2009-03-15)
  [2074] Weekday or Weekend PHP, Python and Perl classes? - (2009-03-10)
  [2049] Why Choose Well House Consultants for your course? - (2009-02-20)
  [2010] How long should a training module be? - (2009-01-27)
  [1933] Learning to Program in C - (2008-12-10)
  [1645] Seeing how others do it - PHP training - (2008-05-17)
  [1576] Making PHP and MySQL training relevant to the course delegates - (2008-03-15)
  [1488] New trainee laptop fleet for our Open Source courses - (2007-12-30)
  [1453] What makes our courses special? - (2007-12-02)
  [1035] Longer hours and better value courses - (2007-01-15)
  [726] In praise of training course delegates. - (2006-05-20)
  [646] PHP - London course, Melksham Course, Evening course - (2006-03-14)
  [579] Short Linux and Perl courses for small groups - (2006-01-27)
  [577] Learning to program in Perl or PHP - (2006-01-26)
  [559] ''I don't know'' is sometimes a good answer - (2006-01-09)
  [554] What backup is adequate? - (2006-01-04)
  [497] I have a river to cross - (2005-11-16)
  [394] A year on - should we offer certified PHP courses - (2005-07-28)
  [371] The training team that's looking out for you - (2005-07-07)
  [350] Want to be one better - (2005-06-17)
  [292] Elegant languages - Perl, PHP, Python - (2005-04-26)
  [230] Course sizes - beware of marketing statistics - (2005-02-27)
  [224] YOUR application and YOUR data - (2005-02-22)
  [219] Some unusual features - (2005-02-18)
  [215] Open Source becomes mainstream - (2005-02-14)
  [211] Look after your staff and they'll look after you. AOL. - (2005-02-12)

G907 - Well House Consultants - Recruitment and Career Development
  [3740] Looking and Learning - even on Holiday - (2012-05-22)
  [3594] Back to Uni - (2012-01-26)
  [3490] How not to call when job seeking ... - (2011-10-20)
  [3440] Research is exciting. But should routine be automated? - (2011-09-14)
  [2294] Can you learn to program in 4 days? - (2009-07-16)
  [2255] Past PHP delegates / others - coding help needed for next 3 months - (2009-06-23)
  [1967] LinkedIn - Thrice Asked, and joined. - (2008-12-30)
  [1963] Best source to learn Java (or Perl or PHP or Python) - (2008-12-28)
  [849] Staff Meeting - (2006-08-30)
  [759] Watch your Google profile - (2006-06-13)
  [751] Want to be a technical trainer in the UK? - (2006-06-08)
  [729] Career development advice - (2006-05-23)
  [722] I'm answering a job applicant - (2006-05-16)
  [587] Job vacancy - double agent wanted - (2006-02-02)
  [585] Looking for Python staff - (2006-02-01)
  [503] 10 years C# knowledge please - (2005-11-23)
  [408] Can an older person learn a programming language - (2005-08-10)
  [389] Tough Love - (2005-07-25)
  [285] What career opportunities for web designers - (2005-04-20)
  [253] Finding the right holes - (2005-03-21)
  [198] A new skill may not be quick and easy - (2005-02-02)
  [116] The next generation of programmer - (2004-11-13)


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Business Networking for Melksham - 23rd April
MySQL - looking for records in one table that do NOT correspond to records in another table
Why most training fails ...
Funny Amusing, Funny Amazing and The Smarts
How to tweet automatically from a blog
Learning to Twitter / what is Twitter?
Hire Car, from Atlanta Airport
Ruby Programming and Rails - 4 different courses in one
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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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