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The Online Trainer Site: Planning Your Online Training

About This Classroom Special  
The Online Trainer Site
is designed to be used by a staff member or group of staff members who are responsible for training others and want to do some or all of it online.
The Online Trainer Site is maintained by Buzz Eyler, Director of Educational Technology at the Orcutt School District (CA) and a Teachers Network web mentor.  E-mail Buzz.

Planning Your Online Training

Before the training begins.
Before your first meeting, get to know your class. You may be giving a training to people on your staff or from your district that you know or to a group you have never met. Develop some type of form and ask your students to fill them out before the first meeting. This may be in an e-mail message or paper flyer.

At a minimum, find out their reason for taking the class, their experience level, their job placement (teacher, office staff, etc.), and their Internet access. Remember, you are going to be providing at least some of this training on-line.

Plan Your Content
Initially, you must decide what learning will take place as a result of your instruction. Define clearly what you want the students to know when finished.

Secondly, decide the best method for delivering the content which will lead to those objectives. Is it better for you to demonstrate, let them discuss among themselves, complete assignments at home, etc.

Lastly, decide how you will evaluate whether they learned the information. Will it be by demonstration, on-line test, hours of seat time?

Develop the materials.
Creating content for on-line learning is not easy. There is much more to it than typing up a series of steps on paper and having the students follow along.

Rather, on-line content allows for repetition, practice and review, branching, demonstration, and interaction with others, to suggest a few advantages. Your method of deliver is important to make sure it flows correctly.

Where Will the Lessons Be Placed for Access by Students?
This is probably the biggest hurdle you as an instructor will have to clear. If your district provides you with space on its server for on-line curriculum content, you are set. Your task will simply be to let your students know the address of the server.

However, if that is not the case in your district, you may have a few problems. Namely, will your materials fit on a floppy disk for distribution?

How about a larger storage device such as a Jazz Drive or do you have access to a CD-Recorder  so you can cut your own CD to give each student.

At the least, if your students have e-mail access, you can attach documents to their e-mail for viewing on their own machines. But that's next week's topic.

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