Don't Just Sit There - Get the Most Out of IT Training
It might be tempting to think of attending a training course as a cure-all: you just go, listen and absorb information.
But there are several things you can do to make the course more enjoyable and more worthwhile.
A training course is one of those things (like life) where the more you put in, the more you get out.
Here are a few pointers to help you.
Find out from the training provider what the pre-requisites are for the course and do something about them!
You'll find it really helps as they often will introduce you to the important topics and the vendor's approach to the subject.
Review your current skillset for that subject and ask yourself "What are my weaknesses?" "What subjects do I keep having to read and re-read as I am struggling to understand it?"
Review your current infrastructure / software / configuration and note if there are current recurring problems which might be mystifying or confusing.
Perhaps there are features and products from the vendor which might help answer those problems.
If you are prepared in this way then you will also find that as the course progresses, your own IT infrastructure will start to become clearer – you have put the course material into a context you understand.
To action this, some delegates draw a diagram of their IT infrastructure on paper and bring it to the classroom.
This then helps them relate specific topics to their infrastructure and they update that drawing as the course progresses.
Ask questions. Ask more questions. Ask again.
Even if you feel you already know the answer, keep asking. The more clarification you get while in the classroom, then the more worthwhile the course will be.
Also, the more interactive the course, the more enjoyable it will be.
Very likely others will be thinking the same questions but are too shy to ask!
There's no such thing as a stupid question in a classroom – how could there be? You are there to learn!
Complete the practical lab work but don't just do so on autopilot, really think of what the objective is, what you are trying to achieve.
Make notes which are relevant to your workplace.
Keep thinking "how can I apply this to my workplace".
The more relevant the course material is, then the more enjoyable the course and the more value you have gained by attending the training.
This step will be mainly down to you – the instructor doesn't know your IT environment like you do.
Some delegates write copious notes, especially things that they feel they should check when they are back in the office.
This is all good stuff – making the learning relevant and thinking of how to apply it.
Stop looking at your phone!
Review the material and review your notes. This is likely to be the trickiest step. After a day in a classroom you're probably going to want a break.
But believe me, the more you review and the sooner you review, you will be more likely to remember what you've learned that day.
Back at work
Share the knowledge. If your company doesn’t have a formal process for knowledge sharing when someone comes back from a course, then think about starting one! "Sharing is caring!"
Back at work
Consider taking an exam and gaining vendor certification.
This can help consolidate your knowledge and give you encouragement – proof if you will, that all your hard work has resulted in an increase in knowledge and ability with that product.
Remember that some vendors give free exam vouchers when attending a course.
Back at work
Review the material and review your notes and discuss with your colleagues and manager how best to implement this knowledge in the workplace.
This is why you went on the course in the first place isn't it?
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