For the past few months we’ve been exploring different avenues of providing software training online. For those of you who have experienced in-person ProQA®, AQUA®, or Sys Admin courses at your initial implementation or as a refresher, these are the courses we’re working toward making available to membership. At this point, we aren’t necessarily working to replace our on-site software instruction. Rather, we’re looking to augment it.
I am one of a handful of software trainers at Priority Dispatch® who was mandated to think outside the box and move beyond our current scenario-based on-site training program that has been in place for more than a decade. I’ve often wondered where that expression came from—think outside the box. I taught a great deal of Total Quality Management courses in the Air Force during the 1990s, and I believe that’s where the popularity started. Same with the term paradigms. Pair of dimes? I thought they sounded pretty cool at the time, but now they’re just overused. The concepts are good ones, but the terminology is getting a little stale. (By the way, the expression “reach out” is slowly making me crazy.)
Back to software training. We’ve tried a number of different approaches. Some of us don’t necessarily believe that students absolutely must have their hands on our actual software during training. Others of us believe the opposite. So we’re exploring, discussing, and experimenting. We are evolving and will continue to evolve, but as of this moment, we have delivered a ProQA class online with great success and are routinely providing monthly Sys Admin courses completely online with the same success. The training is instructor-led, and we even turn on our webcams. I’ve been a classroom instructor in various subjects for more than 20 years and need that visual with my class. We really need to see each other, although that might be one of my “pair of dimes.”
I’m excited by what we’re doing. Although I really do enjoy traveling to an agency and giving instruction in person, this web-based training is also a great deal of fun. As I said earlier though, this is not meant to replace our on-site formal training classes but will provide other options and flexibility in the future. I don’t ever want to completely give up the joy of flying in a middle seat in coach between two other big guys or have someone projectile vomit through the gap in the seats immediately behind us. Yes, that actually happened, and it was Linda Blair style. My two seatmates got blasted with it while I remained fairly dry.
If you’d like to learn more about what we’re doing and/or sign up for one of our scheduled training classes, please REACH OUT to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll point you toward our online training registration site.