The Problem with a Prerequisite

13 Apr

This week I had a really good discussion with my team about creating a program for MS Office 2010 training. While we agreed on course outlines, we differed on the issue of how to enforce a prerequisite.

The idea behind a prerequisite is to ensure that learners have prior skills/knowledge before starting a course.

While we agreed that our training program needed a prerequisite (a “What’s New”), we disagreed on how to ensure that learners took the prerequisite.

The crux of the problem rested on the prerequisite course being classroom based. Classroom based learning has significant benefits when introducing learners to something new, most notably the availability of an instructor to answer questions. However, classroom based learning also has significant drawbacks, primarily a lack of flexibility for the learner.

If a learner can’t attend a course on a particular date, at a particular location, and that course is a prerequisite to attend other courses on a training program, we have problems!

So what is the solution? As a team we came up with a number of possible solutions:

1. Schedule the prerequisite course across different locations, over a wide date range.

2. Video the prerequisite course and make that available for those learners who could not attend the classroom.

3. E-learning – turn the classroom course into an e-learning module.

4. Virtual classrooms – run the prerequisite as a virtual classroom.

All four options have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, I believe that there isn’t a single solution. Rather, I think a blended approach would work best.

As we go forward with this training program, the problem of the prerequisite will need to be addressed. How that looks is still up for debate!

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