Ict@innovation: Free your IT Business in Africa/6-3
Module 6.3: Organising Trainings
Course Design and Curriculum Development
- Explore curricula for equivalent software (e.g. Open Workbench, OpenProj and MS Project) and use these as a benchmark (aim higher)
- Provide a benchmark for comparability
- Tailor the curriculum to what is termed as the unit standards (smallest element of learning – a case of South Africa)
- Develop lesson plans
- Curricula should have clear learning objectives
- Adapt where feasible from existing commercial curriculum
Course Material Development
Professionally designed and pedagogically sound course material will be important. Some of the issues that should be considered are:
- The course material should be peer-reviewed by placing it on a wiki for comments and input.
- Exercises should be relevant
- The course materials should be graphically-rich and be of a step-by-step nature
- The layout of the course material should be done in FOSS desktop publishing (DTP) or graphic design program
- The licensing of the course material depending on the available types of licenses
- The continuous updating of the material in relation to new versions of the software being released
- The course material should be translated in the mainstream languages in Africa.
- A facilitators guide should also be developed
- The development of the course material should take lessons from existing courseware for similar types of software.
Licensing of Course Material
Creative Commons [http://www.creativecommons.com]
The Creative Commons licenses provide everyone from individual authors and artists to large companies and institutions a simple, standardised way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work such as the development of course material. The Creative Commons licenses enable people to easily change their copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”
For example, a developed training manual could be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial reasons, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to free software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.
GNU Free Documentation License (GNU FDL or simply GFDL)
The purpose of this License is to “make a manual, textbook, or other functional and useful document "free" in the sense of freedom”: to assure everyone the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifying it, either commercially or non-commercially. Secondarily, this License preserves for the author and publisher a way to get credit for their work, while not being considered responsible for modifications made by others.
This License is a kind of "copyleft", which means that derivative works of the document must themselves be free in the same sense. It complements the GNU General Public License, which is a copyleft license designed for free software.
We have designed this License in order to use it for manuals for free software, because free software needs free documentation: a free program should come with manuals providing the same freedoms that the software does. But this License is not limited to software manuals; it can be used for any textual work, regardless of subject matter or whether it is published as a printed book. We recommend this License principally for works whose purpose is instruction or reference.
Using the above two URLs and your experience, compy and complete the table below:
|Type of creative commons Licence||Usefullness for|
|FOSS business||FOSS Training|
Preparing Yourself for Class
Preparations can be the most important part of your instructional day. Time spent before trainees arrive often has a direct effect on all aspects of the day.
As a trainer, you should prepare in three keys areas:
- the classroom, and
- the trainees
As you prepare yourself for a class, consider the following areas for preparation:
Checklists are an excellent way to guarantee that you have all of the necessary materials for the day. A checklist contains two types of items: The first category includes obvious items that you’ll never forget, such as your trainer's manual. The second category includes unique supplies, like extra kokis. When preparing to teach, trainers often forget materials from the second category.
There are two areas in which you should be prepared: knowledge of the content and presenting the materials effectively. The most common challenge that you will face is trying to learn the content fluently of the course is to focus on the material that must be learned.
To prepare yourself for a teaching a new course:
- Work through the course as many times as needed. Write any questions you may have about the content, but do not look for answers yet. Many of your questions may be answered later in the course.
- Networking with another trainer(s). Set up a time to meet with another trainer(s) who also teaches the course and bring the unanswered questions you have.
- Research. Even after meeting with another trainer(s), you might not feel comfortable with all the areas. Now it’s time to research those areas.
Work on Your Presentation
The following are four approaches to preparing your presentation. Unlike the steps mentioned above, these are not sequential order, but rather in order of effectiveness from least to most:
- Mirroring - Alone, observe yourself in a mirror.
- Verbal - Informally, with a friend or co-worker (preferably someone who is not familiar with the course content) as an audience.
- Desert Run - Alone, in an empty classroom.
- Dry Run - In a classroom with friends or co-workers acting as trainee.
You need to know your materials thoroughly before you start to train. A problem might arise where you focus on the training materials but not on how you are going to present it or how the trainees are going to use them. By looking at aims, objectives and purpose you will avoid this trap.
Timing is one of the main problems with new or inexperienced trainers. How long does it take? To some extent it takes as long as you have got - but this is an unsatisfactory answer. How then do you plan a day's training?
Start with a page of A4 paper and put the start time at the top and the end time at the bottom.
Then you need to work on the following estimates; depending on the size of the group:
- Allow 15 - 30 minutes at the start for introductions and housekeeping
- Allow 15 - 20 minutes for expectations and fears
- Allow 15 - 30 minutes at end for final review (and evaluation).
- Slot in TEA, LUNCH and COFFEE BREAKS.
- Examine AIMS and OBJECTIVES.
- Write these exercises and allocate approximate timings. Do this by doing the exercise yourself and multiplying the time you took by 5 to get to a realistic time for your trainees
- Prepare a spare exercise for every session (for those who go faster than everyone else)
- Fit exercises and handouts (including reading time) into plan.
- Fit topic/content explanations into "missing" gaps!!
- Set one exercise per objective.
Tip: For training sessions of less than one day use the same technique but reduce the introduction and review times. Obviously you may not lose so much time with breaks, but remember that everyone needs to have a break every 90 minutes!
With a carefully written aim, objective and purpose for every session you will be able to rehearse your sessions in advance.
Ensure that you have brief notes on pages or card that you can refer to where necessary. Do not write out a total script: unlike an actor you are in control of what you say, not merely repeating someone else's words.
Materials and Props
Just as an actor has materials and props, you too need these as a trainer. Ensure that you specify what equipment you need in advance and that you have back-up if something fails.
Always get to the room 30 minutes before the trainees arrive. You will need to set out the training manuals, check if the equipment works, write up some flip charts, find out where the toilets are and about fire drills and emergency exits, lunch and break times and to settle yourself before your 'performance'.
Additional props that most trainers carry are such things as:
- Flip chart pens
- White board pens
- Spare exercises
- Tent card with the trainees names on it
- Pair of scissors
Preparing Your Training Room
How you arrange the furniture in your classroom can effect both the learning environment, and the type of interaction that can take place among the trainees. Seating can affect the availability of an instructor to a trainee, and can also influence the effectiveness of media, such as overheads or trainer screen. Instruction can be facilitated or hindered depending on the amount of interaction allowed between trainees.
An effective classroom setup and tear down checklist helps guarantees a successful classroom for the next class. Trainees and instructors expect occasional hardware problems, but a trainer should do everything possible to control the classroom environment.
Beginning the Training Session
Addressing Trainees Expectations
It’s important that you address trainees’ expectations as early in the day as possible. What you do in those first few moments of the day can have significant impact on the rest of the day. The following are sum of examples on how you can begin your day.
- Discuss the facilities - This lowers trainees anxiety about the new environment bar outside pressure (phone for outside calls, rest room and so forth). Be sure to discuss the environment both outside and inside the classroom.
- Write your schedule on board - This allows trainees to see a direction for a day and to get feel that they are in the right place.
- Preview training manual - This shows trainees the backup support materials for the information about to be taught and can lower anxiety. Be sure to review the topics to be covered as well as the way in which the training manual is to be used.
- Introduction - These help to create an open environment. Encourage the trainees to introduce themselves by sharing such information as their names, the schools they from, the grades they are teaching, their computer experience and their expectations. This will also help them to relate to their peers who come to class with similar abilities.
- Take this opportunity to encourage questions and to establish a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Indicate whether they should take notes or move ahead in the course manual, and hat their primary focus for the day should be.
- You might also suggest your preference about how the equipment is treated and whether it’s appropriate to bring refreshment to the workstation. Indicate when it is appropriate to interact with another trainee.
Ending Your Training Session
Your training day should not just stop; it should be end with closure. Just as your initial statements set the tune for the day, your closing statement should complete the impression of the successful day of training. In addition to exiting from the software, answering final questions, and complementing the evaluation form you can:
- Discuss “What’s next”. Encourage trainee to arrange practice time and recommend that they find a job-relevant task to practice with. Review outlines for advanced-level courses.
- Advertise continuing support service, if available. Encourage learners by reinforcing the use of books and online services as effective help system.
- List some of the steps involved in the design of a course/curriculum
- List and discuss two licenses available for course material
- Why should the development of FOSS training content take cognisance of the commercial world for proprietary software
- Why is it important to have course material in indigenous languages?
- Discuss how you should prepare yourself for class.
Participants will brainstorm in groups of 4 preparing a checklist for organising training. The responses of the participants will be captured on a flipcart, which they will put on the wall.