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Selina's design narrative - teaching a colleague to prepare data for telethon software H800 2018

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Selina Griffin
5 April 2018

Title  teaching a colleague to prepare data for telethon software H800 2018


I was the teacher; I had to impart learning to a colleague so that they could also run the process, which currently was dependent on me and my availability (single point of failure).


This was at work and involved several pieces of software - our CRM, excel and our cloud-based telethon software. The learner (only one) and I were co-located so we were both physically present and together..


The issue was I needed to explain and demonstrate the process to move data from the CRM, via excel to the telethon software as currently only I could do this, but I had set up a process and tools to do it which I needed to show someone else. Measure of success would be my colleague carrying out the task herself and the data being correct and presented properly.


I designed a process using queries, exports and macros to achieve the outcome.

I went through the process from start to finish myself, making notes on the stes i was taking.

I wrote the notes up and annotated with screen shots

I sat down with my colleague, with her at the computer and talked her through each step (with me looking at my notes to make sure i didn’t forget things and i was taking her through steps in a particular order). As we went I tried to explain the “why”.

On completion of the task, i gave her my notes and asked her to try again on her own using my notes as a guide and to ask if she needed help and to alter the notes so they suited her.

I reviewed her completed dataset.


My colleague was able to carry out the task successfully and she adapted my documentation notes by expanding sessions that she felt needed additional explanation. She grasped the concept quickly and became adept at adding updates to the dataset using a similar system; this meant that the data could be updated daily rather than once, so it was more dynamic than it had been previously.


I remember someone told me if you tell someone they will forget, if you show them they will remember some of it but if you allow them to do it, they will remember (or something similar). I always make sure my subject during 1 on 1 training does the “driving”, rather than me doing all the pointing and clicking for them. This can take some remembering because you often just want to get it done quickly and you know where all the buttons are!

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David Hayden
6:39pm 5 April 2018

I love the way you use this saying in your reflection - it is so true and I see it happen a lot where people reach over and press buttons rathar letting individuals experience and have a go themselves - really important I think....

Belinda Brown
11:35am 7 April 2018

I too like your reflection about how important it is to allow the learner to 'do it themselves' . I regularly do this with my learners, many of whom would rather be 'shown' the maths. I think what's important is that a learner needs to know its ok to make a mistake. I have a quote in my classroom - mistakes are expected, inspected, respected. By having a go, even if it doesn't go smoothly you can just try again.

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