The Last 2 Business Trips of the Year!
Last week I was in Austin and had a terrific time. I saw old friends, new babies (well, only 1 baby, really) and got to go biking with SpiderStan. Which was cool. Mom made a pilates certification video at her (used-to-be-before-it-went-bankrupt) gym and that was also fun. I was sad to leave.
While there I taught a 2-day class which was a mixture of how-to with some software, basic statistics review, and advanced statistical topics overview. The basic stats review wasn't deep enough for someone without a stat background to grasp, and it was just plain boring for people with a stat background. The How-To was most useful for people with no background at all, and the advanced topics overview was only useful for statisticians. So who was in the class?? 20 people, 5 or 6 with strong statistical backgrounds, about 10 who had seen our software before and fancied themselves statisticians but didn't understand the basic review material, and another 4 or 5 who I'm pretty sure usually sweep the parking lot or run errands or do stuff in Excel. Almost every single person in the class said, on the evals, something like
Great class, but it would be a good idea for you to discuss the level of the class and the students ahead of time-- try not to mix so many different levels of experience for a single class-- this should be split into 2 classes, one basic and one advanced. You should pre-screen the students...
ummmmmmmmmm yeah. We did that. We do that every time. The person who arranged your training for you specifically said that the trainig would have to cover basic, intermediate and advanced topics to suit everyone, and it was OK with them if at any given time, SOMEONE in the class was banging their heads against the keyboard because of boredom or frustration. Do you now that this is the rule, not the exception? WHY? Because no one believes that we, the people who provide the training, who do it for a living, who see this kind of thing ALL THE TIME, would know what is best for their employees, because, well, THEIR employees are DIFFERENT. Ha. Nope, your employees are no different than anyone else's.
Other than that, though, the students did seem to all take away something from the class that they could use. Which was nice. And I got an excellent free trip to Austin out of the deal.