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Keep on time, stay on target for your instructor-led online course

You’ve got a course coming up. Yay! But things can go wrong, and we want you to have a smooth and fulfilling experience. There are some things that you can do to make your training better.

We all get delayed sometimes. Maybe your alarm doesn’t sound. Maybe your car won’t start. Maybe you finally got to work, and your entire team has been replaced by malfunctioning robot penguins wearing polka dot pajamas. Things happen. I get it, but let’s not underestimate the importance of being on time for a satisfying learning experience, not just for you, but for other participants as well. Based on some common (mis)behaviours I’ve observed, here are some tips to stay on schedule and be prepared for an Esri Canada instructor-led online course.

Connections and computers

Do you remember that time when you tried to clear three feet of snow from your driveway with a plastic children’s beach shovel? Of course you don’t! That would be ridiculous. Let’s make sure you’re ready for your course with the correct tools at hand, so you don’t start late or fall behind.

You will receive an important email directly from your instructor within one week of the course start date. This email unlocks all the mysteries of when, where and how your course will be delivered. Make sure to:

  • Complete the connection test using the computer and network from which you will be attending the course. We don’t want unexpected IT policies to keep you from the unbridled merriment your instructor has in store. 
  • Connect with a computer as your primary device. Don’t use a mobile phone or tablet. You’ll want a decently sized screen for interacting with the online classroom, watching slides and demonstrations, and using ArcGIS software. In fact, two decently sized screens would be best.
  • Watch this gripping video about the digital course workbook. Understanding how to view, navigate and mark up the workbook will make your life “easy breezy”, as one of our instructors put it. Download the workbook before the course begins to save time.

There’s loads more to read in that email, but even these few considerations will make sure you are not staring helplessly at that snow-covered driveway holding just a kid’s toy.  

Confirm the time zone in which your course is scheduled

The prime meridian still runs through Greenwich, so don’t assume your course begins in a universally coordinated time centred on your office chair. Esri Canada offers courses in time zones across the country, so you must be certain in which time zone your course will be delivered. You don’t want to join the call hours too late, but you don’t want to wake up hours too early either.

You can confirm the time zone for your course in several places. The Esri Canada training website where you registered for the course states the time zone. Upon registration, you will receive a system-generated email with the time zone emphasized in bold font. Also, the email that you will receive directly from your instructor clearly states the date, time and time zone, which you should already know by now anyway.

Sign in 15 minutes before the course starts

Picture this. You’ve arrived early at the cinema, purchased your popcorn and made yourself comfortable in the best seat you could find. The movie begins. You’re alert, engaged and excited. Then, suddenly, someone fumbles their way in front of you, forcing you to shove aside while their popcorn spills all over you. They utter meaningless apologies as they continue to disrupt every attendee in the theatre.

Don’t be this person.

Please join your course at least 15 minutes before the start time. Make sure your computer works, get comfortable with the online classroom and confirm your good-quality mic and headphones are audible. Please don’t show up late, stumble into the meeting with clicks and beeps, then fiddle with your headset shouting, “Can you hear me?” Everyone deserves a timely and respectful start. Don’t spill your popcorn on them. It’s not nice.

See you in class!

Please consider these things to keep you on time and stay on target for your instructor-led online course. I encourage you to thoroughly read the email that is sent to you directly from the instructor within one week of the course. Other considerations and actions to perform listed in that email will help you get the best out of your online course. You can always email or contact your instructor if you are unsure about anything. This will make the course rewarding for you and everyone else. See you in class!

Want to stay informed about all the latest training opportunities at Esri Canada? Visit Esri Canada’s Communication Preference Centre and select the “Training” checkbox to get a monthly roundup straight to your inbox.

About the Author

Nigel in an instructor on the National Training Team at Esri Canada. He has worked as a consultant on municipal and environmental projects. He delivers ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Enterprise and ArcGIS Online courses. Nigel has facilitated Esri courses across Canada and internationally and has presented at the Esri User Conference in San Diego, California.

Profile Photo of Nigel Pereira