Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Establish a Training Program for Your CAD Users, Part 2

You've gotten the go-ahead from management; now it's time to gather supplies and locate the right training venue.

In the previous issue of the CAD Manager’s Newsletter, I advised CAD managers to start in-house training programs, and I provided some action items to that end. If you haven’t had a chance to review that column, you may want to do so before moving on with this installment.

In this issue, I’ll focus on materials preparation and training delivery. I'm assuming that you have already won upper management's approval for a training program, and that you’ve determined your training topics. Here goes.

Gather Your Training Necessities

Before you conduct any training, ensure that you have all the resources you’ll need to do so efficiently — including the following items. As we go through the list, I’ll explain the importance of each item and recommend a few of my favorites.

A capable projector. You'll need to generate output that can be seen clearly in the lighting conditions you’ll encounter in the training room. Old 1024x768 models are no longer good enough to project modern CAD interfaces with wide-aspect ribbon interfaces, and HD wide-screen projectors are becoming the norm.

A properly prepared computer. That means a machine that's set up for the screen resolution you’ll use with the training projector and recording software, with screen colors and contrast settings that make the screen easy to see. In addition, it's a good idea to:
  • Enable mouse trails for easy cursor visibility.
  • Turn down the mouse speed so users can follow you better.
  • Disable your e-mail and messaging to prevent interruptions caused by pop-up alerts.
  • Use large buttons/ribbons in CAD applications for easy visibility.
  • Hide the Windows task bar.
The goal is to make everything clear and highly visible, while getting rid of any potential distractions — prerequisites that are especially important when you're recording your training sessions.

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