A Guide to Computer User Support

CTS 217: Computer Training & Support
Training Computer Users
Learning Objectives
 Goals of the training activities
 Steps in the training process
 How to plan a training session
 How to prepare a training session
 How to present a training module
 How to progress toward higher-quality
What Is Training?
 Training is a teaching and learning process
that aims to build skills that are immediately
useful to the trainees
 Related to, but different from, education
 Is expensive; try to instill self-reliance
 Much work involved for successful training
 Education aims to provide conceptual
understanding and to build long-term thinking
 Provides basic vocabulary (concepts)
 Provides an understanding of general principles
 Intended to have long lasting effects
 Test by ability to explain concepts
 Focuses on performing activities and building
 Often tested by measuring a trainee’s ability
to perform specific tasks
 Can be short term
 Education (school) vs. training (industrial)
 Actually have a blend in most settings
The Training Process
 Step 1: Plan
 Gather information about training objectives
 Step 2: Prepare
 Gather and develop materials
 Organize them into modules
 Step 3: Present
 Deliver training modules
 Step 4: Progress
 Evaluate and improve training
Step One: Plan the Training
 Determine trainees’ backgrounds
 Determine trainees’ content needs
 Determine skill levels trainees need
 Determine what trainees’ already know
 Define the training objectives
Determine Trainees’ Backgrounds
 Skill level
 Novice, intermediate, advanced
 Age
 Adults, young people, seniors
 Adults: personal experiences, tie things together
 Something in this program like familiar program
 Motivation
 Required vs. voluntary
 Convince them of benefits to lower resistance
Determine Trainees’ Content Needs
 Jobs or tasks they need to perform
 Basics or expert?
 Discover content needs from
 Employee position descriptions
 Interviews with trainees and supervisors
 Example: Access reports
 Wizard vs. custom
Determine Skill Levels Trainees Need
 Concepts: ability to use basic vocabulary
 Understanding: ability to explain concepts
 How it works and why; relationships; analogies
 Computed field in DB is like formula in SS cell
 Skills: ability to perform a basic task
 Basic tasks  mistakes  proficient
 Expertise: ability to perform a task effectively
and efficiently
 Concepts, level 1, is lowest level
 Expertise, level 4, is highest level
Determine What Trainees Already Know
 Measure prior knowledge with
 Trainee interviews
 Supervisor interviews
 Pre-test
 Don’t cover what they already know – saves time
 Trainers can adjust for differences in prior
knowledge with
 Background materials
 Introductory session BEFORE regular session
 Need basic KB, mouse, Windows skills for Word 2010
Appropriate Level for New Materials
 Level of instruction alternatives:
 Teach to “average” of trainees
 Target instruction somewhat below “average”
 Use demonstrations and examples trainees
can relate to
 WP: memos and letters
 Be aware of trainee diversity in cultural and
language backgrounds
 Basic vocabulary for ESL
Define Training Objectives
 A learning objective is a statement of the
knowledge and skills trainees need to learn
 A performance objective is a statement of
what a trainee should be able to do at the
end of a training session
 Use Google to find Word 2010 tutorial in 5 minutes
 Training objectives
 Usually start with an action verb (see p. 451, 452)
 Should be measurable
Step Two: Prepare for the Training
 Specify topics to cover
 Organize the topics
 Select an effective training format
Specify Topics to Cover
 Possible sources of topics
Trainer’s knowledge of what is important
Training objectives (defined in Step 1)
Topics covered by other trainers and writers
Examples of successful training materials
 Decide what not to cover
 Avoid
 Copying training materials verbatim
 Covering too much information
 Fewer topics covered adequately = more beneficial
Organize the Topics
 Progress from lower level skills to higher level
 Introduce concepts and terms first
 Then provide explanations to build understanding
 Focus on building basic skills and abilities next
 Finally, build expertise
Generic Template for a Training Session
1. Introduce trainer
2. Review previous topics
3. Introduce new topic
4. Establish motivation
 Why there
 What will accomplish
5. Present new material
 Concepts
 Explanations
6. Perform training activity
 Teach basic skill ability
 Build skills and
7. Summarize and review
main points
8. Describe next steps
 Resources
9. Obtain evaluation and
What to tell them| Tell them | What you told them
Select an Effective Training Format
 Classes (15-25 trainees)
 Small groups (12 or fewer trainees)
 One-to-one training
 Self-guided tutorials
 Advantages
 Cost-effective
 Single trainer for many trainees
 Potential use of special training facility
 Social learning among trainees
 Disadvantages
 Discomfort asking for help in a large group
 Different learning paces & varying skill levels
Small Groups
 Advantages
 Greater availability of individual assistance
 More trainee-to-trainee interaction and social
 Disadvantages
 Higher cost
One-to-One Training
 On-the-job training: supervisor is coach or
mentor to new employee
 Advantages
 Close monitoring of learning curve
 Availability of immediate help and feedback
 Disadvantages
 Highest cost
 No social learning among peers
 User support workers
constantly in “training mode”
Self-Guided Tutorials
 Advantages
 No trainer cost after
materials have been
 Individualized pace of
 Disadvantages
 Assistance and feedback
may not be available
How Learners Learn
 No one, single learning style works for every
 Each trainee has a preferred learning style
(how learn most effectively)
 Motivated: self-guided tutorial
 Formal training structure
 Information retention and learning
performance improves with activity and
Learning Styles
Survey Sites on p. 459
 Visual learner is a trainee who learns most
effectively by seeing new material
 Reading
 Looking at picture or chart
 Auditory learner is a trainees who learns
most effectively by listening to someone talk
through new material
 Listening to lecture
 Experiential learner is a trainee who learns
most effectively by performing a task
 Also called kinesthetic learning
Learning Methods and Retention
More likely to retain (active vs. passive)
Bloom’s Taxonomy
1. Knowledge: fact recall; list data
2. Comprehension: understand meaning; summarize
and paraphrase
3. Application: use info in new situation
4. Analysis: break down info into understandable
parts; draw inferences based on facts
5. Synthesis: reconstruct new pattern from facts and
data; compile data into information
6. Evaluation: judge ideas or info; critique, select, or
defend procedures
 See examples of each level on p. 460.
Delivery Methods for Training Materials
 Delivery method is a choice among several
instructional technologies, media, or
approaches to presenting information
 Lectures and readings are popular delivery
methods, but are they the most effective?
Select a Delivery Method
Lecture Method
 Advantage
 Effective use of
instructor’s time
 Disadvantage
 Passive learner role
 Often used in
combination with
other delivery
Reading Assignments
 Materials
 Textbook
 Trade book (not user friendly)
 Vendor manual (vocabulary, concepts)
 Usually reference instead of SBS tutorial
 Find USEFUL supplemental materials
 More active learner involvement than lecture
 Amount of reading must be reasonable for
given time available
 Need to match level of materials with reading
ability of trainees
 Trainers need to evaluate organization and
effectiveness of materials
Online Reading Assignments
 Materials
 Online help systems
 CD-ROM manuals
 Internet manuals (PDF files)
 Tend to be better written
than many printed vendor
manuals, but online doesn’t
guarantee accuracy
 Enables increased trainee
interaction and flexibility
with hyperlinks
Group Discussion
 Actively involves trainees
in peer-to-peer learning
 Most effective when
shared experiences are
beneficial to learning
 Help desk call handling
 Design issues
Visual Aids
 Materials
 Pictures
 Charts
 Diagrams
 Graphic images
 Visual information tends to be retained more
effectively than auditory information
 Should be large enough to be visible to entire
 Use simple designs with careful use of color,
fonts, art work for emphasis
Multimedia Materials
 Multimedia materials are
combinations of
Still images
 Each form of media can reinforce others
 Can increase amount of material learned
and ability to recall
 Cost
 Prohibitive for single use (training session)
 More cost-effective – multiple training sessions
Handouts and Reference Sheets
 Training is a one-time event
 “Take-away” information from a
training session is useful
 Handouts
 Reference Sheets
 Sometimes called “Cheat Sheets”
 Contain just enough information that
users can recall important facts or
steps in a procedure
 Simple vs. comprehensive
Product Demonstrations
 Hands-on demonstration of hardware or
software products
 Lack of equipment
 Time
 Insufficient number of copies
 Effective on LCD or DLP projection devices
 Cost of projectors is now more affordable
 Visible to large groups of 50-75 trainees
 Important to adjust pace, especially in a GUI
 Tutorial is an interactive learning technique
 Self-guided, self-paced, step-by-step
 Interactive or just watch it
 Effective for introductory materials
 Opportunity to repeat difficult lessons or take
a refresher course
 Costs
 High for initial development
 Low for each additional user
Hands-on Activities
 Sometimes called lab exercises
 Let users
 Try out what has been learned
 Practice what has been learned
 Build skills and expertise
 Learn to become independent users
 Most effective when trainees receive
immediate feedback on performance
 Start with basics  more complex
Case Studies
 Encourage the transition
 from artificial environment of training room to
realities of business world
 Based on real business situations
 Will encounter on the job
 Require trainees to apply skills they have
Role Playing
 Role playing: trainees participate in a
rehearsal of a work environment situation
 Help build skills for situation
 Experience emotions of situation
 Have them in chapters in this book
Collaborative or Group Learning
 Collaborative learning involves
 Group discussions
 Collective hands-on activities
 Group problem solving
 Participation in a joint case study team
 Recognizes that learning is often a social
 trainees can learn from each other as well as from
a trainer
Computer-Based Training
 Computer-Based Training (CBT)
includes a combination of
 Tutorials, multimedia, product
demonstrations, hands-on activities
 Uses a computer as an automated
training system
 Cost
 Expensive to develop
 Cost-effective for large numbers of trainees
Web-Based Training
 Web-Based Training (WBT) is similar to CBT,
except the Internet replaces CD-ROM as the
delivery media
 Cost
 Expensive to develop
 Cost-effective for large numbers of trainees
 Trainers need to carefully evaluate the quality of
Web-Based materials
 Not all Web-based materials are high quality
 http://www.techsmith.com/learn/snagit/9/getting-
 Digital Think web site
Changing Role of Trainers in Online, SelfGuided Training World
 Less trainer time spent on preparation and
presentation of training materials
 More trainer time spent to
Assess trainee needs
Plan and design training programs
Evaluate and recommend training materials
Motivate trainees
Help with transitions between modules
Assess training performance and effectiveness
Assist trainees
Develop Specific Training Materials
 Most trainers do not develop training
materials from scratch
 Existing resources:
Vendor manuals
Trade books
Industry training packages
 Respect copyrights
 Selected materials related to trainee interests
 Real world examples for that group
Design Training Evaluation Methods
 Training assessment focuses on
 Trainee evaluation: How well did the trainees learn
the material?
 Test or quiz
 Hands-on activities and exercises
 Trainer assessment: How well did the trainer
prepare and present the material?
 Trainee performance results
 Poor presentation or participants’ lack of effort
 Evaluation form or survey
Evaluation Forms
 Provide vehicle for trainees’ perspective on
strengths and areas that need improvement in
a training session
 Figure 10-5 on page 472
 Consistently poor scores in one area?
 Sample questions
 Were training objectives clear?
 Were terms used in training defined?
 Was training well-organized?
 Were training aids useful?
Step Three: Present the Training
1. Practice the presentation
2. Arrive early to check out the facility
3. Don’t read notes/slides verbatim
4. Don’t try to cover too much
5. Teach the most important skills
6. Use humor sparingly
7. Pause for comprehension checks
8. Monitor the training environment
9. Provide frequent breaks
10. Obtain professional feedback
Tips on Presentations
 Practice the presentation
 A beta test run is a practice training session to give a
trainer feedback
on training materials
on presentation
on timing
on transitions between topics
 Arrive early to check out the facility
 Do a dry run at the training facility
Computer equipment
Projection equipment
Move furniture
More Tips on Presentations
 Don’t read notes/slides verbatim
 In outline form – keywords only (practice!)
 Don’t read an entire presentation
 Cover too little rather than too much
 Most important topics thoroughly
 Avoid trainee questions that may get off track
 Off topic questions at end; offer resources
 Cover the important skills
 Needs of learners (NOT “bells & whistles”)
 Focus on education instead of humor
More Tips on Presentations
 Ask “quick check” comp. questions of trainees
 Direct question Key to press?
 Open-ended question Fastest way to locate file?
 Group discussion question Get in group to answer.
 Monitor training environment
 Read the “body language” of trainees to see if they are
comfortable, interested, bored, or inattentive
 Can you see the screen? Noise in hallway; shut door.
 Take frequent short breaks in a long session
 After a 45 minute session
 Get feedback from colleagues or a videotaped
Step Four: Progress Toward Higher
Quality User Training
 Purpose: improve the quality of training
 Review feedback
 Evaluate trainer performance
 Modify
 Presentation
 Materials
 ALWAYS room for improvement
Evaluation Resources for Trainer
 Results of training beta tests
 Results of trainee performance tests
 Analyze missed questions
 Trainee feedback on training
 Observations of training colleagues
 Videotaped training sessions
Tips on Training Quality
 Keep technical materials current
 Check materials against the latest versions of
hardware and software
 Office 2003 vs. Office 2007
 Join an online training group, such as
TechRepublic.com, and use their articles on
training improvement
Tips on Training Quality
 Learning management system: automates tasks
associated with running a training program
 Authoring tools for Web-based interactive MM
Training session mgmt (facilities, equipment,
Trainer access to libraries of instruction and ref
Exam mgmt
Progress tracking and record keeping
Chapter Summary
Training makes
more self-reliant
more productive
less likely to need
support services
 4 Ps of Training
Chapter Summary (continued)
Steps in the training process:
1. Plan learning and performance objectives to provide
the concepts, understanding, skills and expertise
trainees need
2. Prepare materials for delivery through classroom,
small group, face-to-face or self-guided training;
prepare lectures, readings, discussions, visual aids,
handouts, demonstrations, tutorials, hands-on
activities, case studies, role playing, group learning
and CBT or WBT materials that are appropriate to
deliver the content to the trainees
3. Present materials using guidelines for effective
4. Progress training by evaluating the trainees and
trainer to improve training materials and