Does the use of the electronic book change how instructor led training is given? There are some pit falls to training with e books as well as some amazing benefits.
If your business is instructor led training, then the use of e books seems like a step in to the modern world – and if you have the right partner to ensure the right security or DRM then all is good.
1) The Download
Delivering the training starts to feel a little different at the start of the course – has everyone downloaded the material? We always recommend that materials are downloaded before a course because of the issues of downloading in the training room – is the Wi-Fi working? Will the Firewall allow a download of an encrypted file it does not recognise? If the trainer is in a setting he or she is unfamiliar with this can be problematic. A little investigation and pre-course planning is required.
2) Pre-Reading the Material
Whilst sending any genuine pre-reading for a course can be done electronically – indeed highly recommended. Having course attendees download all the material beforehand does create the issue that people will naturally go through the course before the start. Material therefore that contains questions and answers, the surprising, the puzzle etc., be warned, these may need to be presented separately. There needs to be other ways to create impact.
Often printed materials are organised and prepared to minimise the costs – restricted use of colour and having 6 power point slides per page etc. etc. An electronic file does not present such restrictions – the price is independent of colour or number of pages. This means that you can tune the layout to the instructor needs rather than the price considerations of production.
4) Note Taking
A good system of eBook (like the PDI Onsecure system) allows for notes to be captured within the electronic book. However, you may find that many individuals are either unfamiliar or just slower with making electronic notes versus the scribbled note in the margin of the printed book. The trainer thus needs to be cognisant of this and aware, so as to keep the group together.
5) Sharing Notes
Something that never happens with the printed book but can happen with the electronic books is the ability to create Groups for the course, who can share notes. This interaction between delegates is different and can aid the learning experience – encouraging this sharing is something new. The instructor needs to be guided through this process and perhaps a tweaking to the materials and presentation.
There is nothing more frustrating as a trainer than the feeling that they have lost the audience to a screen. Whilst no one would hold up a printed book during a course – most feel comfortable flicking through a screen whilst someone is presenting – this does not necessarily mean a lack of engagement but trainers need to be aware of this and try to maintain control.