Class, pay attention! Today’s lesson is about classroom learning – one of the most important tools to help your team and your company get ahead. How can you become a better learner when it’s time to find your spot in class? Insights talked to some resident experts from the Microsoft Dynamics Training department to get you the learning low-down.
Timing is Everything
Is now the right time? If you’re a new employee you probably won’t get as much out of an application training session. “Brand new employees are at a disadvantage in a training course. If they’re not sure about how their company’s purchase order process works for example, they’re probably not sure about what questions to ask when it comes to functionality,” says Kevin Schimke, a Training Strategy and Content Manager for Microsoft Dynamics. Schimke advises organizations to wait a month or two before sending their new staff to class.
If the timing is right and the training’s a fit, make sure you’re prepared. “Familiarize yourself with the software’s basic navigation beforehand,” advises Schimke. “Check out the prerequisites. That way, you can pay attention during class – instead of trying to figure out, ‘How do I get to that screen?’”
Find Your Seat
“Distracters find distracters,” says Doug Whited, who tells students to make sure they’re comfortable. “Can you see the board?” asks Whited, a Microsoft Dynamics Content Project Manager. “Do you have enough room? Or, are you going to be bothered by fellow learners close by?”
Kevin Schimke begins class by going over the course objectives. Students should too. “What do you want to learn that may not be covered on the original outline? Write down your questions going into training, so you don’t forget.”
Engage in interactive discussion. It puts you and the instructor on equal footing and it stimulates commitment and thinking. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” says Whited.
Link Learning to Work
“It’s important for students to link what they’re learning to their business unit or how their company performs,” says Schimke. Connect training to your foundation of knowledge and work experiences.
Accommodate Your Learning Style
Everyone learns differently. “If you have trouble learning from the lecture portion of a class, take notes and break the content down during breaks or after class,” says Whited. “Find a classmate to review with or follow-up with your instructor to make sure you’re in-sync.”
Make yourself both student and teacher, participant and observer. At the end of each section or day, what’s the most useful thing you’ve learned? What’s the one thing that made you think? What are you going to do differently from now on? And, what will you learn tomorrow?
Without trust and connection it’s impossible to develop the kind of relationship that enables learning. Whited encourages training classmates to exchange e-mail addresses and interact with one another and with the instructor outside of the classroom.
Use it or Lose It
In the week or two weeks after your course has been completed, you’re sure to encounter questions. Ask them. Send an e-mail to your instructor or one of your classmates. And, keep your training manual handy as a reference and review tool.
Are you ready for class? Review Microsoft Dynamics course descriptions, prerequisites, schedules, and locations online at CustomerSource > Training & Certification > Instructor-Led Training.
Please contact your Regional Service Center with any training-related questions.