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A Guide to Concept Training Methodology

Feb. 19, 2018
Mark Peterson

When Global Knowledge and ctc TrainCanada joined forces in August 2017, Global Knowledge added Concept Training, an innovative and industry-leading training methodology, to course deliveries. Going forward, when you take a Microsoft Office course with us, you’ll get to experience our Concept Training methodology. But what does that really mean?

What is Concept Training?

It is productivity training

Almost without exception, our clients sign up for training because they have the need to be more productive with the software tools they have. Because our students have specific productivity needs, we focus on what you can do with the software, not what the software can do.

EXAMPLE: If someone is taking Visio training because they need to develop flow charts, we don’t need to show them how to make floor plans. Showing them how to make floor plans is showing them what the software can do, not what they need to do with the software. Concept Training focuses on the productivity needs of the student—it’s not about showcasing features.

It is NOT based on a curriculum

Traditional training is often curriculum-based. Curriculum-based training is structured. The instructor follows a set path through a workbook and exercises build one upon the other. This makes it difficult or impossible to customize course progression.

The advantage of curriculum-based training is that all students will receive the same training and different instructors can be utilized, with a predictable outcome.

The disadvantage of curriculum-based training is the time wasted on topics that are either irrelevant or already familiar to the student.

Concept-based training is not bound by a set structure. Exercises don’t need to build on each other, and topics can be added, removed and altered on the fly to meet the individual learning needs of the student.

This does not mean the course lacks an overall guiding structure. Be assured the instructor has a plan but will also be flexible throughout the training to change the content and pace to meet your needs.

EXAMPLE: A course may be introductory level, but the student has a need to learn something normally covered at a more advanced level. In Concept Training, it’s never a problem to include a topic covered at a different level if it will meet the students’ needs. Conversely, it’s never a problem to skip over a topic that has no relevance to the audience.

It is student driven

The needs of the student outweigh the needs of the curriculum.

The main goal of every Concept Training course is to understand the students’ expectations and needs. This is the focus for the instructor and the examples and exercises used reflect that focus.

EXAMPLE: During a PowerPoint class, every student can be working on their own unique presentation. One student could be building a presentation on HR policies while another could be building a budget presentation. We are still teaching both students how to add images, create charts and apply transitions, but they’re each doing it in a presentation that’s uniquely relevant to them.

It is thinking outside the book

In Concept Training there is no courseware in the classroom. Instead, we want to give real work-related assignments that students then solve on their own or in a group, using the knowledge they’ve gained in the classroom and through software experimentation.

We do provide the students a significant amount of post-course material, including thousands of pages of digital references, how-to videos and step-by-step exercises. These are strictly for post-course support, not in-class teaching.

It can be version-independent

In many instances, feature sets within software do not change significantly between versions. As a result, we’re generally able to teach different versions of the same software at the same time. When there is a significant difference in versions, such as between PowerPoint 2010 and 2016, we would not mix versions in a classroom. But for Introductory Excel and Word courses, the version does not matter.

It empowers the instructor

Concept Training galvanizes an instructor to teach using their own style. Each instructor is free to customize the exercises, examples and demonstrations to fit their style, and more importantly, their real-world experience with the software.

Experience the benefits of Concept Training
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Related courses

Microsoft Excel- Level 1/ Intro (2010, 2013, 2016)
Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 - Level 1 / Intro
Microsoft Word - Level 2 / Med (2010, 2013, 2016)
Microsoft Project 2016 - Level 1 / Intro


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