June 30, 2020
During the early days and weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic the course development team at the AMTA focused their time and efforts on transposing our existing instructional materials to the online course delivery environment – that was the easy part.
Our instructional team picked up where course development left off to review and plan how some of those activities and assessments would work in the distance delivery environment. Over the past three months more than 203 students have taken part in 25 distance courses, and this new model of course delivery is – for the time being – the new “norm”. But as with any new thing it is not enough to sit back and assume everything is good and our work is done. In fact, with so many changes impacting our instructors, students, members, and employers it is inevitable that something was overlooked or could be done better.
The AMTA has documented and follows a course evaluation and revision process; everyone needs to play their role within the process to ensure we have a curriculum “developed FOR the industry, BY the industry”.
An easy – yet tremendously important – way to engage with the AMTA’s course development and delivery process is for all participants to complete the training course evaluation form administered at the end of every course. In this digital era where seemingly every store, restaurant and call centre employ online surveys, requests for feedback are everywhere and, for lack of a better word, we have become desensitized to their value. The AMTA’s course development team does however highly value the feedback provided by course participants. It goes without saying the team cannot fix something they don’t know about, but it goes much deeper than that. Course developers rely on feedback to help them know:
- Is the course meeting the needs of students?
- Is the information in the course accurate, current, and relevant?
- Will the course help the student on the job?
Your AMTA education team wants to be able to answer with a resounding yes to all the questions listed above, but what happens when the feedback suggests something different? All course evaluation feedback – positive or not – goes to the Course Development and Delivery teams to read and review. In consultation with the Education Manager and Director, IRT (when required) decisions are made as to how and when the feedback will be applied. Urgent changes – content errors, legislative changes, or information that contradicts safety and/or best practices – is addressed as soon as practicably possible. Some changes, for example requests for additional content or further clarification, are cataloged, discussed, and addressed when the course is opened for its bi-annual review process. Feedback related to course delivery, such as recommendations to the instructor or the way technology is used, are vetted and resolved using a similar process. All course feedback is documented as well as the action taken, providing an evidence-based rationale for change aligned with AMTA policy and standards.
The best way for you to help improve AMTA courses and programs in order to make your business more successful is to participate in course evaluation thoughtfully and actively when given the opportunity, and to encourage your team members to do likewise. Your efforts + our efforts = better training experiences for everyone.