In today’s world, you stand a high probability of taking one or more computer classes to improve your skills. Whether you take the class on your own or because your boss sent you, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before you choose a seat. Check out these little exercises and see how you rate as a student.
1) You know most of what this class will cover but you need to show you completed it. So you: a) Sit at the front of the class to make a quick exit. You can always check your email or play an online game if you get bored. b) Sit at the back of the class so that you can surf the web during the parts you know. c) Pay attention anyway. There may be something you can learn to do more easily or some trick that you’ve forgotten. 2) There are slow students in the class and you’re sure you know where the instructor is going with this, so you: a) Click over to some other application to kill time while you wait. b) Go on ahead of the instructor. Why let slowpokes hold you back? c) Wait for the instructor’s direction and take the time to study the screen thoroughly. Wow! You’ve never noticed that option at the bottom right. 3) You’re expecting an important call that may come during the class so you: a) Put your cell phone on “Vibrate” and lay in on the desk. b) Leave the ringer on “Normal” in case the call comes through. c) Put your cell phone on “Vibrate” and slip it into your pocket. 4) You aren’t really fast on a keyboard but you need this class to do your job, so you: a) Sit at the front of the class and expect the trainer to stand there and work your keyboard. b) Call out every time you get behind the trainer’s instructions and ask for help. c) Volunteer to sit with someone who is more adept so that you can focus on the concepts you need rather than typing. 5) You like to have documentation for later reference, so you: a) Write down everything the trainer says and ask them to repeat everything you don’t get down verbatim. b) Browse the internet during the class to see if there are any books available on the subject. c) Ask the trainer before the class begins for documentation or a source of documentation. 6) Your employer insists you take this class even though you don’t want to, so you: a) Bring your attitude with you, and try to make everyone else in the session as unhappy as you are. b) You go and sign-in, but sneak out of the building at the first break. c) You figure if the company is willing to pay for, you’ll see what you can learn.
If you answered “a” to any of the questions, you’re the student I dread having in class. Odds are, your fellow students aren’t thrilled with your presence either. Don’t feel too smug if you selected any “b” answers-you’re not much better.
Why do I disparage those types of students? Because they make the session miserable for the instructor and the other students.
As I go through the class, I scan the screens to verify that everyone is with me. If your screen shows a different display, I have to check for the reason: did you hit the wrong key, get behind on the instructions or are you simply goofing off? That takes time away from the class material.
Worse, you may confuse other students because their screen looks different from yours. If you have no intention of staying with the instructor, please sit at the back of the class so you won’t disrupt others.
If you want written material, look around the classroom. If you don’t see any, ask the instructor about it before the class begins.
If your keyboard skills are a little weak, you may get a lot more out of the class by watching with someone else. That way you can concentrate on the commands and screens, rather than fighting the keyboard and losing the stream of the class.
As trainers, we want all of the students to benefit from the class. Take a moment to consider how you can get the most from the class without hindering others. Your instructor and your classmates will appreciate your kindness.