Training opportunities for the uAchieve® degree audit system (as so many other things) pivoted in 2020 into the virtual realm and I am not going to lie: virtual training for an extrovert like me is challenging on multiple levels. As an instructor, I miss meeting in person and getting to know you during breaks and meals. I miss feedback and laughter at my lame jokes. I even miss wearing work clothes.
But today I would like to share a “day in the life” glimpse of some of the truly positive aspects of virtual training.
1. Everyone is wearing pajamas.
While it is very helpful for a trainer to see you on camera—motions for questions, head nods/shakes for understanding, who is still working on exercises—it is not required. So you can do the training in whatever room, clothing, posture, etc., is most comfortable to you (please share pics if you do your training in lotus or handstand position). I try to look presentable (at least from the waist up) since I feel sharing my camera helps to convey emphasis and so learners can put a face to “the voice behind the curtain.” You will just never see my Mickey Mouse pajama bottoms or fluffy bunny slippers.
2. No receipts, weird restaurants, strange hotels, or dirty airports required.
There is no travel or out-of-office time with virtual learning. Some might consider this a downside—I personally love to travel and being away gives me a respite to really focus on learning (and lately, a little space from the family might keep us all sane!). However, after delivering 12+ years of in-person training, I know that few of you actually leave your work or families behind and are frequently on phones and email before and after eight hours of training to catch up. Our virtual format allows you to continue to work from your own office or home, be there for your family, and sleep in your own bed. Less cost, less muss and fuss—and virus-free. One of our recent learners apparently agreed:
“I really enjoyed it & the flexibility it provided!!! I’d recommend it to anyone.”
3. It is the new “Candid Camera.”
My 19-year-old son danced his way through the living room with our cat during an exercise not realizing that I was not talking because others were working and that he was visible on camera.
We are all in the same boat sharing “office” spaces with new “co-workers” who aren not always appropriate in dress, language, or volume. By now we have seen it all—if not in person, certainly via bloopers, outtakes, and memes—and are becoming more comfortable operating in the virtual world. I have also found that kittens walking on keyboards and children interrupting are also almost always welcome diversions fostering comic relief and kinship.
4. The virtual schedule can be less grueling than in-person training.
Our in-person workshops are intense! We pack a lot of information into 3½ days and try to balance this with breaks and meals together plus a fun evening outing. This can be a lot when you are jetlagged and time zone disoriented, and possibly new to the job. For the virtual workshops, we have reduced the learning time to four hours/day (with breaks) over seven days to prevent screen and brain burn out. We fit it in a spot to accommodate all time zones and other work/life needs. It seems to be working, as indicated by this comment from a recent post-workshop evaluation:
“I was very happy with the length of time and number of days. It felt like a good balance to stay engaged and not overloaded with new info each day. I initially thought having it in the middle of the day (11-3EST) would be cumbersome to plan around but I realized it was near perfect to get the most out of the training. Training didn’t start while I was still trying to wake up and was over before my brain began to fatigue. It was great!”
5. Your family will finally realize you are a GENIUS!
They will see you in a new light watching you nod studiously while overhearing snatches of scintillating sentences like, “System condition codes allow you to set up conditional elements in your encoding for real-life if-then-do loops.” At the end of the third day, my significant other said, “Wow—you sound so smart!” (Of course my son told me I sounded like a nerd.)
uAchieve Training Offerings Through 2021
Kudos to all who have persevered during these times, continuing your jobs and training to support professional development, caring for your families, home-schooling, and surviving. Until we are free to gather again, our plan is to continue offering uAchieve training in “no touch” mode throughout 2021. Our calendar below includes both virtual and online training options for uAchieve encoding.
2021 uAchieve Virtual* Workshop Schedule:
- Intermediate Encoding Workshop, March 8-16, 2021
- TA Encoding Workshop, April 12-20, 2021
- Basic Encoding Workshop, July 12-20, 2021
- Intermediate Encoding Workshop, September 13-21, 2021
2021 Online uAchieve Training Options:
- Online uAchieve Basic Encoding: April 5-May 7, June 6-July 2, Oct 4-Nov 5
- Online uAchieve Transfer Articulation: Feb 1-Mar 5, May 3-June 4, Aug 2-Sept 3, Nov 1-Dec 3
Registration for all uAchieve training is available on our website: http://www.collegesource.com/training/workshops/
*By “virtual,” we mean synchronous, interactive training over six to seven scheduled days with a lecturer, hands-on exercises, and a printed learner guide. By “online,” we mean asynchronous training you do at your own pace over a month with modules in read-only mode, hands-on exercises with email troubleshooting support, and no printed learner guide.