Teach your class to fish, and they'll have food for a lifetime.

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Accepted Session
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Scheduled: Thursday, June 3, 2010 from 2:30 – 3:15pm in Steel

Excerpt

You have so much you want to teach, how do you structure it so that your training course is both interesting and challenging? How much theory can you squeeze into an hour before your attendees have forgotten where you started? How do you structure your course to account for classes which move slower or faster than average? This talk will cover all of these answers and more.

Description

You have so much you want to teach, how do you structure it so that your training course is both interesting and challenging? How much theory can you squeeze into an hour before your attendees have forgotten where you started? How do you structure your course to account for classes which move slower or faster than average?

Whether you are designing a class to be presented in person, a tutorial to be worked through on-line, a practical book on how to do something, or even if you’re writing extensive user documentation; correct structure makes a huge difference to how memorable the information is.

Burn-out and full brains are a major problem for anyone attending any intensive learning activity. At university, a student attends many classes all on different topics, but only has to learn one hour of material per class per day. At a conference, an attendee may sit through many hours of interesting talks, but they have the freedom to choose how much they participate in each. In an intensive training course, a student has to learn, understand and fully absorb 6 hours of material on the same topic, every day for several days in a row. Worse, each of these hours builds on the one before; requiring a level of alertness and participation not usually needed at educational institutions, conferences or in the workplace.

Make your training experience truly stand out by structuring it to help alleviate burn-out. These techniques are essential for a multi-day training course, but will provide you with a solid background for single or even half-day sessions as well.

This talk will describe what Perl Training Australia has learned about course structure for technical courses involving lots of hands-on programming exercises. We will cover answers to the questions above, as well discussing other issues such as cognitive load, learning fatigue and ideal classroom set up.

Speaking experience

Speaker

  • Jacinta Richardson

    Perl Training Australia

    Biography

    Jacinta Richardson is managing director of Perl Training Australia, with
    more than a decade of experience in teaching, software engineering and
    technical writing. She maintains the very popular Perl Training Australia “Perl Tips” newsletter and course notes, and was a technical editor for Dr Damian Conroy’s Perl Best Practices book and Kieren Diment and Matt Trout’s The Definitive Guide to Catalyst. Jacinta has been instrumental in the organisation of the Australian Open Source Developers’ Conference 2004-2009, linux.conf.au 2008 and the Australian System Administrators conference 2008-2009.

    Jacinta is an internationally acclaimed conference speaker, and a regular presenter at Perl Mongers and other technical user groups throughout Australia. Jacinta is passionate about increasing the participation of women in Open Source Software.

    In 2008 Jacinta received the prestigious White Camel award for her outstanding contributions to the Perl community. In her spare time Jacinta enjoys scuba diving, cycling, and baking.

    Sessions