At work, my job involves helping to manage the Virtual Learning Environment, for which we use the Blackboard system. We are upgrading Blackboard this year and had a week-long training programme to get us up to speed on the new system. I’ve never done anything like this in a role before, so I thought I would reflect on the training in order to work out what I got out of it (beyond knowledge of the new system itself).
- The first thing I would say was that just having the training was itself really important. Before that week I was tasked with going through the new system, having a look at what had changed, what had stayed the same, any new features and so on. I developed a familiarity with the system that definitely helped when we had the training, but even so, the training was absolutely essential as lots of things were pointed out that I had completely missed.
- The second thing would probably apply to any training: I made minimal notes, preferring to watch as the trainer explained things and then try them out for myself. If I’d made too many notes I wouldn’t have concentrated on what he was telling us.
- The training involved a lot of practical work which was very useful as it gave us practice in doing the things we would need to do on the new system (which we already did on the old).
- There was a lot of discussion in the training which was really useful. We discussed problems and solutions and ways in which the new system features could help us. The discussions are ongoing and there is lots to think about, but it was really handy to have that space just to think about the implications of the changes.
- Finally, biscuits always help! Our trainer was Dutch and brought us some caramel waffles (stroopwafels!) which were delicious and definitely helped the training along!