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Using Theme-Based Training to Teach Computer Skills to the Public Instructor: Cheryl Gould An Infopeople Workshop Fall-Winter 2006 This Workshop Is Brought to You By the Infopeople Project

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using theme based training to teach computer skills to the public

Using Theme-Based Training to Teach Computer Skills to the Public


Cheryl Gould

An Infopeople Workshop

Fall-Winter 2006

this workshop is brought to you by the infopeople project
This Workshop Is Brought to You By the Infopeople Project

Infopeople is a federally-funded grant project supported by the California State Library. It provides a wide variety of training to California libraries. Infopeople workshops are offered around the state and are open registration on a first-come, first-served basis.

For a complete list of workshops, and for other information about the project, go to the Infopeople website at

today s agenda
Today’s Agenda
  • Why use theme-based training
  • Template for developing trainings
    • 1 to 1.5 hours
    • for the public
  • Skills for teaching computer classes
  • Planning and promoting your class
why teach computer classes
Why Teach Computer Classes?
  • Computer literacy is critical
  • Many library resources available online
  • Library as lifelong learning institution
  • Keep the libraries relevant in the minds of our customers
training staff versus the public
Training Staff Versus the Public
  • Staff
    • need to learn to perform better
    • can require learning
    • possible consequences
  • Public
    • no idea why
    • needs to be fun
    • needs to be relevant to a wide audience
use themes to create interest
Use Themes to Create Interest
  • High motivation to learn
  • Fun
  • Can interest learners of all ages
  • Serve different library users
themes from hibbing pl
Themes from Hibbing PL
  • Go to:
  • Click on Hibbing Public Library
  • Click on Computer Classes
  • Click on Lesson Plans
what are your objectives for public training
What are Your Objectives For Public Training?
  • Improve computer competency
  • Use Library resources
  • Love the library
  • Love you
competencies to teach
Competencies to Teach
  • Vocabulary
  • Use the Internet
    • Bookmarks
    • Navigating
    • Evaluating websites
  • Copy and paste to Word
  • Save a file
  • Print results or save to disk
  • Use libraries digital resources
advanced competencies
Advanced Competencies
  • Evaluating websites
  • Use keyboard shortcuts
  • Searching tips
  • Using library databases
  • Search for e-books/audio/video on topic
  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
objectives smart
Objectives (SMART)
  • Specific
    • state desired results in detail
  • Measurable (observable)
    • use verbs that describe what trainees will learn
  • Action
    • describe an action that the trainee will perform
  • Realistic
    • achievable
  • Time frame
    • how long will it take the trainees to learn the skill?
print material to create
Print Material to Create
  • PowerPoint printout
  • Exercises
  • Annotated bookmark list
  • Checklist to evaluate websites
  • Cheat sheet/How to
  • Evaluation form
find appropriate web sites
Find Appropriate Web Sites
  • Start with who you trust
    • Lii
    • Library website
  • Google Search
  • Yahoo Directory?
  • No more than 10
how will they get to the websites
How Will They Get to the Websites?
  • HTML file accessible on the Internet
  • Word file with clickable links on:
    • floppy/CD/USB drive
    • library website
    • Internet
  • Preset bookmarks on each computer
  • Printed list for them to type in addresses
  • Create a blog at (it’s free)
create exercises for individual work
Create Exercises for Individual Work
  • Let people go at their own pace
  • Help them be successful
    • Do you need screen shots?
  • Tell them what they are doing
  • THEN tell them the steps to do it
  • Use outline numbering
  • Have bonus question
bullets or numbering
Bullets or Numbering?
  • Choose File > Save As
  • Type yourname
  • Click OK
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Choose File > Save As
  • Type yourname
  • Click OK
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint

thinking vs following steps
Thinking vs Following Steps
  • Click on File > Open
  • Select abc.doc from the list of files
  • Go to the end of the document by pressing <Ctrl><End>


  • Open the Word document abc
  • Move to the end of the document by using a shortcut key
formatting handouts in word
Formatting Handouts in Word
  • Lots of white space
  • No less than 12-pt type
  • Use bullets and numbering
  • Indent for readability
  • Bold headings
  • Borders
  • Clip art/graphics/photos/Wordart
skills for teaching computers
Skills for Teaching Computers
  • Promote proper use of terminology
    • use correct names of screen parts while you point to them
  • Use cursor correctly
    • point to what you are talking about
    • click a menu and highlight the choice you want them to make; don’t move on until they’ve gotten where you want them
    • narrate what you are doing WHILE you do it
skill learning
Skill Learning
  • People need to:
    • drive
    • know why they care
    • see a demonstration of complicated tasks
  • Show most efficient way – not three ways
    • teach universal skills when possible
  • Allow individual practice
  • Encourage questions
  • Have group follow click by click (if you get good at keeping the group together)
who should teach
Who Should Teach
  • Someone who is excited when people learn something
  • Patient
  • Not necessarily the computer expert
  • Flexible - good at responding to how the learner is doing and able to change course
  • Remembers what it’s like to learn something new
use questions
Use Questions
  • Get people involved
  • Check understanding
  • Move from passive to active brain
  • Wait for 10 seconds for an answer
  • Ask questions that provoke thought
    • What are the pros/cons?
    • How would you use this?
    • What would you try?
training the public
Training the Public
  • Be positive
  • Use universal examples
  • Teach in small chunks
  • Give them time to explore
  • They don’t have to learn anything in particular, so anything they learn is a plus
find out who s in the room
Find Out Who’s in the Room
  • Mini Needs Assessment
    • questions answered by show of hands
    • raise your hand to show them you want them to raise theirs
  • Find out experience level
    • for you
    • for them, too!
  • Have them self-rate on scale of 1-5
    • computer experience
    • Internet experience
    • use of library resources
      • databases
      • e-books
      • other?
plan time for sharing
Plan Time for Sharing
  • Adults like to share what they know
  • Often what’s most valuable is what they learn from others in the class
  • You don’t have to be the expert
follow the template
Follow the Template
  • Introduction
    • self, class, material, length of class
  • Mini Needs Assessment
    • figure out what your learners know
  • Teaching Point
    • exercise
  • Teaching Point
    • exercise
  • Teaching Point
    • exercise
  • Opportunities to Learn More
  • Evaluation
handling a variety of learners
Handling a Variety of Learners
  • Let people know what you expect them to get
  • Give permission to forget by having handouts to support learning
    • tell them about handouts at beginning and refer to them during training
  • Have bonus questions on exercises
  • Pair people up when necessary
  • Help slower learners during individual exercise time
  • Teach to the middle of the class – not the fastest, not the slowest
difficult learners
Difficult Learners
  • I’m afraid I’ll break it
    • try, try, try – discuss rebooting as last resort
  • It’s not working – I can’t do it
    • slow down, deep breath, read the screen, try, learn Ctrl Z and cancel
  • Know it all
    • give advanced tips, bonus questions, have them help slower learners
planning a training event
Planning a Training Event
  • Timeline
  • Checklist
    • room setup
    • equipment needed
    • advertise
  • Class size
    • to share or not to share a computer
  • Prerequisites
  • Sign-ups?
day of training
Day of Training
  • Room setup
  • Equipment working
  • Sign in sheet
  • Install your PowerPoint
    • flash drive
    • CD/DVD
    • networked drive
  • Test crucial sites
  • Have evaluation form
promoting training
Promoting Training
  • Flyers
    • in the library
    • outside the library
  • Your website
  • Inform library staff
  • News releases/radio/TV
  • Partner with groups who share your theme
use evaluations
Use Evaluations
  • Don’t take bad ones too seriously
  • Learn from every evaluation
  • Make changes
  • Try new things
    • different Intro
    • icebreakers
    • exercises in pairs
    • use more questions