In the last post I talked about the fact that we thought we had a problem, but didn’t know, and didn’t want to publicly hint that there might be a problem, so what what could we do?
I chatted it though with our Admin team. They are the main point of contact for the organisation – and they actually have a lot of good ideas between them. Anyway – they suggested that we should run some sessions for people to come and see how the system works.
I’ve always been very against this idea – to be honest, I could never see the point. I think the VLE is so easy to use, I can’t really understand why anyone needs to have it demonstrated. But anyway – numbers were down – so I’d try almost anything. We scheduled 7 dates to run over the next three weeks (of which two weeks are Easter holidays – which are historically quieter times).
Session one came around and we had booked the only room available, which happened to be the large lecture theatre – and seven people turned up (in a lecture theatre which can hold two hundred people) – so suddenly my reluctance to run these sessions seemed to be right.
Session two arrived a few days later and we had fifteen people attend. It was starting to seem a bit better, but still not likely to change the organisation. But then from the third onward, we started to get at least thirty people turning up. By the seventh session, we had in excess of fifty people attending – and we’d now had over two hundred and fifty people attend (which is a good percentage of the organisation – who are all attending a non-compulsory session to find out about the system).
These sessions aren’t anything complicated – all I did was talked about the background to the system, then showed how it worked. The best part about the sessions are the people who come in frustrated and sceptical – but then leave happy having seen just how easy we’ve made things, and how beneficial the changes are to them.
I’m sure I’ve talked before about the vision to empower our staff to take control and responsibility for their own education – and the fact they can book their own classroom training with a log in and three clicks of the mouse (whereas they used to have to fill out pages of application forms, then wait a few days for it to be processed by an administrator) – all users are now seeing just how easy it is – and they go away happy!
We’ve now booked another four sessions (to run one a week for the next four weeks) – combined with the fact we’ll have a stand at the upcoming IM&T Showcase day – and I look forward to running these sessions – as the staff still react to well to it!
…..and better than all of that – the classroom bookings are now back up again – so the sessions have clearly had the desired effect!!