posted on Mar, 24 2019 @ 10:12 AM
I just had a class on learning some industrial equipment and the instructor had been using this stuff for 30+ years. There were about 8 of us in the
class and the process wasn't that difficult to learn but I will have to say that the instructor seemed to make it much more confusing and difficult
than what it should have been.
The guy would explain the mistakes he made (many of which seemed ridiculous even to use newbies) and go into detail about what he did and why he
thought it would work - but the thing is, it made little sense to most of the students. Many thought we were being taught a different method, they
didn't catch on that it was incorrect b/c he would mix/match "do's and Don'ts" in the story.
Then there were all the self congratulation stories about how "in his day....." which had NO bearing on the class but ate up 25% of the time, which
made it run over by 45 minutes w/o 1/2 the class even being able to do any of the required work.
I had followed along pretty close and a lot of it was similar to other thing's I've done, so I picked it up quickly and when it came time for
individuals to do their projects (well people in the group helped each other, we were supposed to), I found it extremely easy to explain the process
so everyone could understand (but had the instructor butting in telling me I was messing up or was wrong, even though it was working correctly).
After a few students went through, with the instructor stepping back, we were flying through the process (about 1/4 the time it took the instructor to
demo it, even w/o explaining).
I talked to other members of the group and they felt the same way, after the instructor was done explaining, they were largely lost, they knew what
the process was supposed to do but no idea how to do it, and I think that was because he threw in so much personal stories (1/2 completely unrelated
to topic) and didn't explain some of the more detailed aspects and why things needed to be done that way.
I'm sure other people with similar backgrounds to me and the instructor would have been fine, but for people who are coming from a completely
different field, I wonder if having an "expert" teach these types of classes is the best thing, especially for "intro" classes. I'm wondering if
it might not be better for a person who just learned the process (learned it well enough to do on their own and a little experience/time working with
it) might be better suited, b/c they remember the questions they had, what they thought was confusing, etc.
I know I get the same way as the instructor when explaining some computer stuff, especially to my parents. It's hard to back down the level of
expertise to the "newbie" level again and even when you think you are helping them by explaining your past mistakes, or tricks/tips you learned or
telling them WHY this happens, etc, that might be info overload and counter-productive. So a "semi-novice" that has a decent handle on the topic
might be better suited to teach the beginners because this type of thing doesn't happen so much, it basically can't.
Now when it comes to the more advanced or expert levels, then I understand needing someone who has a lot of experience and then you would be able to
relate to the stories instead of starring at them like WTF...
Anyone else come across situations like this or have other newbies be better teachers than experts with years of experience? I know the tech world is
full of issues like this, and probably in the trades as well.