For my technology training, I focused on my Excel skills, both with training in-person and through videos at Lynda.com. While both strategies have their advantages and disadvantages, I found that the in-person training kept me more focused and engaged with the material.
One of the differences may have been the instructor. I found the narrator of the Lynda videos rather dry, while the STS instructor was personable and easy to listen to. The STS instructor was also more in tune with how learners remember information—she made sure to repeat any shortcuts or unclear instructions every time they came up in our exercises. I didn’t have to go back and remind myself of things I had learned several steps ago the way I did with the Lynda videos. I came away from the class with some useful Excel shortcuts, like how to highlight all my data without dragging the cursor every time.
At one point during the in-person session, I did wish I could press pause. I realized that at some point along the way I had sorted or copied some data incorrectly. While the mistake didn’t make a big difference overall, the perfectionist in me wanted my calculations to match everyone else’s so that my graphs would look the same. I finally caught up, but it was a little stressful for a few minutes while I struggled to pay attention to the new information and simultaneously redo the last few steps. It would have been nice if I could have made everyone stop and wait for me, the way I could have done if the class was online!