Initial training of users

Initial training of users typically lasts from 1 day for a simple two-dimensional drafting module to 5 days for a 3D-design module. Clearly no one comes away from such a course as an expert in using the system, but generally a sufficient grounding in system use is attained. In some cases, a few more days of training may be given a few weeks later to improve the user's ability with the system. Initial user courses are given by the system vendor, by an educational institution licensed by the vendor, or by the company's internal training team. It should be realized that such courses do not teach the user how best to use the system in a particular company environment, and that after such a course, many users will not be particularly efficient when using the system.

A typical course given by the vendor might include an overview of the system, some details on operating the system, an introduction to basic commands and functions, some information on designing and analyzing in two and three dimensions and on dimensioning a part drawing, generation of a few plots, details of data and drawing management procedures, and an introduction to macro and menu development. Within the company, some further basic training may be given. This could cover company standards and procedures for using the system.

Before sending people to such courses, some companies put their potential users through simple training courses to get them used to computers and keyboards. Some people find such acclimatization courses helpful, because they get used to tasks such as keyboard entry in a low-stress environment. It is much more cost-effective to learn how to use a keyboard in this type of course than during a 5-day vendor course packed with other, more important information.

Generally, only a small group of users will follow such a course at a particular time since it is important that the trainer be able to pay attention to each individual user's needs. Similarly, it is important that each user has reasonable access to a workstation. Ideally, there should be one workstation per trainee. Courses of this type are very practical; much of the potential benefit will be lost if it is not possible to have maximum hands-on access. Similarly, it is essential that the user be able to put the newly gained knowledge into practice as soon as possible after the end of the course.

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Page last modified on February 11, 2000
Copyright 1999, 2000 by John Stark