Friday, December 03, 2010

Autodesk University 2010 - Tuesday Thoughts

I listed my schedule for this past Tuesday at AU2010 in a previous post and I'm just going to write about the session I led called Teaching the Reviteers, a session intended to discuss how a panel of people teach Revit. We started out by arriving to find the room didn't have a computer despite having filled out the classroom equipment needs form.

The session was conceived by Harlan Brumm of The Revit Clinic blog. He invited Jeff Hanson (Autodesk), Tobias Hathorn (Autodesk), David Fano (Case and Columbia University) and me. Originally Erik Egbertson and Greg Demchak, also with Autodesk, were going to contribute but they weren't able to travel to attend AU this year. Erik contributes to the Inside the Factory blog. Okay back to the session.

We raced through our slides to make sure we had plenty of time for discussion. We really wanted to make sure that everyone who attended would get a chance to ask questions and share ideas or concerns. The session was broken into 60 minutes - 30 minute break - 60 minutes (2.5 hours total). We were all a bit concerned about it but decided to go along with it despite our fears. About half the class returned after the break, which supported our fears.

We discussed the classroom configuration, technology, class size, techniques, dealing with internet browsing and mixing drafting standards or design standards with learning software. The attendees consisted of two year school professors, a few trainers with resellers, a couple freelance consultants, firm employees either responsible for training or just lucky to have it fall in their laps, community college, four year universities and even a couple people who worked for municipalities. There were a couple teachers from overseas too!

The session felt pretty good, was pretty lively and we could have run over easily. Despite this "feeling" the comments that attendees left behind in the surveys weren't glowing. I have a feeling that those who did comment negatively didn't return for the second half. One comment indicated they wished there was an example of a syllabus. We posted one on the class materials site but didn't mention that until the second session.

One comment that really rang true to me in particular was that we had heavy load of one kind of college teacher. True because the three Adesk'rs all teach at Boston Architectural College. The comment suggested that we'd have been fairer if a community college teacher was included. I also thought that an "in-house" firmwide trainer would have been a good perspective to include too. However we had quite a bit of input from attendees that represented those roles too. Seemed like we had a reasonably good balance.

We can't please everyone but it's nice to try. Perhaps next year an instructor who attended this session will propose a session that improves on where we were weak and takes it to another level!


Anonymous said...

I could not attend AU this year, but if you need a Community College teachers input I would be more then happy to help out.

Aaron Maller said...

Wow! I wish i had known that class was going on. id love to get yours- and the 'desker's- feedback on what weve started setting up at Beck, addressing these very issues.

Our training curriculum, materials, syllabus, and lessons are on our intranet, too.

The first iteration of ANY class never goes perfectly. If its there next year, ill definetely be in attendance!