Member Since: 11th Jun 2007
I am a Trainer/Instructional Designer for Bird & Bird in London. I hold a TAP Diploma in Learning & Development and have been a trainer/facilitator for 14 years.
Instructional Designer/IT Trainer Bird & Bird
My discussion replies
5th Feb 2013
I used to be one of the founding members of the dyslexia support group for the fire service; it appears that more firefighters are dyslexic than the UK average (possibly because of the nature of the job). In the training centre, we ensured that slides were presented on neutral background, handouts were printed on cream coloured paper and the font was more than 12pt and sans serif. More importantly, we had started a culture of being "open" about dyslexia; so much that myself and another member the DSG ended up screening colleagues for dyslexia (after taking relevant qualifications). If they were found to be leaning toward a specific learning difference, they were sent for a professional psychological assessment and reasonable adjustments were then made from that report.
I have taken all the good practice from this experience and build it into all my training delivery - after all, if the material is suitable for those with dyslexia, then everyone will benefit. I feel all trainers, whether they are in-house or freelance, should be aware of dyslexia, which is called the "hidden" disability.
31st Jan 2013
I think you can blog by clicking on My TrainingZone (top right corner area of the screen) then clicking "Make a Blog Post".
Not having blogged since the new version of the site, I haven't test it, but it looks like the most promising option.
20th Dec 2012
Yes, I have. As I have already mentioned in one of my posts to a question regarding training rules, I was bullied and harassed by a client whilst I was training surgery staff. This particular "professional" twisted my words and tried to make me look stupid in front of his colleagues. He constantly interrupted me with pointless questions and statements and told me "you're not very good at training, are you?". I left the surgery in tears and felt humiliated and angry by his behaviour. When I reported this back to my manager(s), they were reticent about dealing with the situation. In fact, the whole episode was quietly brushed under the carpet and, from my view, nothing was actively done about it. I refused to go back to the surgery to complete the further two days' training and one of my colleagues took my place.
The whole situation was badly handled, with no resolution (for me anyway).
19th Dec 2012
I love the assumption that you should "treat people like adults and they will (usually) behave like adults". Doesn't always work like that unfortunately.
I have worked for both a public sector organisation as an in-house trainer and then in the private sector where I trained external clients. Unfortunately, in the former, there were "professional" people (people who were in charge of massive budgets of taxpayer’s money) who took great delight in being as disruptive and awkward as possible. For instance, on my very first training delivery session, my then line manager plonked himself at a desk, listened to me for 10 minutes, then proceeded to text and email from his business phone, between walking in and out of the room. All this from the “Head of Training” – what a laugh! I can only conclude that this behaviour was displayed because I was not “uniformed” and a woman to boot (bear in mind this was an extremely male-oriented organisation who paid lip-service to E&D).
In the private sector, I have endured behaviour ranging from being bullied by a person in front of their colleagues, to verbal abuse from receptionists who didn’t want to work. My then managers didn’t bat an eyelid to resolve the issues.
Now I know this sounds like a moan (and it is) and it sounds like I’m a walkover (believe me I’m not!) but if we don’t have reasonable “ground rules” at the beginning of courses then how do these “adults” know what is acceptable behaviour or not? I say get them involved in the process of making these rules. Some people are out of their comfort zone and therefore believe that bad behaviour in a training environment is totally acceptable. At least if they are consulted at the beginning of training, there is some emotional “buy-in” to the course.
20th Nov 2012
Thanks Jon - I'll keep my eye open for others!
20th Nov 2012
The last post is nothing to do with the discussion - can the Editor remove it?
14th Nov 2012
These both work well - I've tried it and tested them before!
To start with, get them to think of a time when they were learning (as an adult). Then ask them to reflect on the best training they've received and the worst and why. Ask them to flip the worst learning experience into something good - this encourages them to think as a trainer.
Also, at the end of the TTT course, ask them to deliver a 15 minute training course - they choose the topic. They have to start with an introduction (housekeeping and H&S is a given), aims and learning objectives. They also need to provide learning materials like handouts and activities, etc. At the end of the "course", they recap and provide ways of evaluating the learning.
If you need anymore info, feel free to contact me
7th Nov 2012
.....Johnny Depp and a big win on the lottery! :-)
4th Oct 2012
I have used this website in the past and found the questions to be very useful, especially if you want to base it on Kirkpatrick level:
Hope this helps
5th Sep 2012
Thanks to all of you for your help and advice. I feel more confident about asking the right questions now - I might even be "knocking on your door" soon!