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There are three kinds of students in corporate education. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, I call them learners, vacationers, and prisoners. Read the rest of this entry »

A common practice in the EDA industry is to assign the task of teaching classes to applications engineers. At first blush, this makes sense, since the job of the applications engineer is to deal directly with customer engineers. However, there is a difference between dealing one-on-one and being in charge of a classroom. Read the rest of this entry »

Technical training is often created by people with technical expertise but little knowledge of teaching and adult learning. At times it seems as if it is put together for the convenience of scheduling and management with little regard for how successful it might be at imparting useful knowledge to the student.  Read the rest of this entry »

The secret to creating a good class is to develop it “backwards.” What the student sees first is the PowerPoint slides, then the instructions for the lab, and then the lab itself. Put most of your effort into creating the lab exercise along with an automated script that runs the whole lab. After you have that, insert comments into the script explaining why each operation (step or series of steps) is being performed. At that point, it is possible to translate the lab into a workbook format. Only after the lab and the workbook are done should you create the PowerPoint foils for presentation, based on the lab and workbook. By working “backwards” in this fashion, the class will appear seamless when presented “forwards” (presentation, workbook, example). It all seems to naturally flow together when the student sees it.