Frances Pigott's Design Narrative
Training library staff to use the circulation module of a library management system (LMS).
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26 March 2013
On site training in client's place of work, therefore no idea beforehand of the training space. Client would be advised that a pc would be required for each person receiving training, software was pre-loaded and tested before training commenced. Training groups of up to 8 people. No prior knowledge of individual's IT capabilities. The library staff would generally know each other very well, and it would often be a mixture of management and staff - which could affect the dynamics of the group depending what relationships were like eg. it could be difficult to communicate with some members of staff who were intimated by the presence of their manager. Some staff members would be hostile to the introduction of a new library management system, expecting their workload to increase or change.
To provide an overview of the circulation module, to enable staff to create, edit and delete user records, issue and discharge items, create, fulfil and remove reservation records.
1. Before training day, check the system was correctly configured, if data not loaded create some test user records and dummy bibliographic records so that items could be issued and discharged. This will result in a smooth flow to the training session - preferable not to display any glitches in the software!
2. Talk to customer over the phone to check whether there is any particular area of the circulation module they want me to focus on ie. if they follow certain procedures or don't want to use certain aspects of the system.
2. On the day of training, arrive at customer site and check that all the pcs have been set up properly and are logged into the LMS. You don't want people sidetracked right at the beginning of the session with problems logging in, especially if have any negative feelings to the training from the outset.
3. Introduce myself and short background info on the company I worked for. Quick overview of what we are going to look at.
4. Talk the staff through creating user records - they each create user records on their own pc - talk through all the available options and what each of the different fields within the user record is for. Deal with any issues/ questions as they arise. Once user record is created, practice issuing and discharging dummy records I created earlier, creating reservations etc. If users throw up any questions I can't answer there and then I make a note of them and will answer them in follow-up correspondence. Often the new software doesn't work in exactly the same way as their old system so use this opportunity to show how they can redesign their work practices to fit with the new technology.
At the end of the session all members of the group are comfortable with the creation of basic user records, they know how the circulation module operates in relation to the rest of the LMS. Objectives are met, although it is not always possible to get them to like the new software - often the choice of software is not a decision they have been involved in. However the opportunity to show off new functionality that will make their work proccess easier is always positively received.
The more prepared you are the better the training session. Talking with the client beforehand about particular issues, having a structure to the training and examples already set up, helps the session run smoothly. Having an idea of the IT capabilities of the people attending training would be useful, as very poor IT skills can be disruptive to the training session, equally very IT literate users could pick up the basics very quickly and want to move on to more complicated areas that you may not have prepared for. Being honest if you don't know the answer to a particular question, but promising to get back to them and following up on this, is perfectly acceptable.
PPC Designer - Customising Procedures – Learning Outcome – Application
To What End: Re-design a procedure or structure to cope with the introduction of change in the environment or practice
By what Means: Eliciting the problem and its context, collating own experiences of procedures or structures, Redesigning procedure or structure to take account of the change,
Total session time: 335 minutes.
TLA 1: Eliciting the problem and its context time allotted =45 minutes
Trainer discusses procedures with staff to identify how the circulation process will work with the New Library Management Software system (Produce - 15 minutes)
Trainer makes a short presentation on the software and workflow procedures for using the circulation module within the New Library Management Software system (Read Watch Listen - 30 minutes)
TLA 2: Collating own experiences of procedures or structures time allotted =200 minutes
Students work individually using the software to get a feel for how the circulation module works, and to get a feel for how their existing practices will need to be redesigned for use with the new software. (Practice - 180 minutes)
Each member of the groups gives feedback on issues they consider most important. (Produce - 20 minutes)
TLA 3: Redesigning procedure or structure to take account of the change time allotted =90 minutes
Trainer suggests solutions to identified issues presented on how workflow can be altered to fit in with the circulation module of the New Library Management Software system. (Read Watch Listen - 30 minutes)
Staff makes notes on changed workflow for using the circulation module to take account of the issues identified when using the New Library Management Software system. (Practice - 30 minutes)
Trainer facilitated group discussion, using the issues arising from the design activity, and guides discussion, feeding in any issues not covered by the staff, deriving from theory and practice of the effects of using the circulation module within the New Library Management Software system. (Discuss - 30 minutes)
23:07 on 10 April 2013