This is the setup I used to deliver the SAFe for Architects course in partnership with Matt Hosking and agil8 this week.
The laptop at the back is a Dell that I use for Zoom and that takes care of audio and video. I use the Acer laptop in the foreground to manage training activities. On the Acer screen, you can see the SAFe slides being presented by the agil8 in-house Virtual Training Centre (VTC)
We have been asked why we don't use any of the established online collaboration tools for our training and the answer is very simple. There are some brilliant online collaboration tools out there with fantastic capabilities but...
...although we are teaching collaboration, our focus should be on the training and not on the tool. Although these tools are great at what they do, they are designed for a specific purpose and so trainers often have to use a variety of different tools for teaching or presenting different activities. When participants join a training course they are sometimes apprehensive about the forthcoming experience and presenting them with a whole list of new technologies can be a bit of a cognitive load and very daunting. We've heard some real horror stories of attendees being presented with half a dozen or so different technologies in a single day. Remember, that's on top of the new concepts they're expected to learn.
We've managed to build a tool that allows us to contain virtually all our exercises into a very simple web app, putting everything (apart from audio and video) in one place, thereby lightening the cognitive load and allowing participants to concentrate on the concepts we're trying to teach. We've tried to replicate the classroom experience as closely as possible online. This allows us to concentrate on our teaching rather than spending half the time teaching the nuances of a specific technology and we're not guilty promoting the use of any one tool over another (apart from our own.)
At the same time, as trainers, we want to lighten our own load and so the VTC allows us to design courses and exercises that can be reused and reset over and over again and the click of a button. Minimising the amount of housekeeping we have to do.
Please let me know your experiences of online training in the comments below and if you're interested in any of the training courses we provide then please come visit the agil8 website.
Better still, come join me and Matt Hosking on our Leading SAFe 5.0 course on the 18th-20th May
If you're interested in SAFe for Architects training click here