In our training centre we opted to use Computer Based Training (CBT) for the Basic Computer Skills and Microsoft Office courses. CBT was pretty new in South Africa at this time. Each person sat at the computer and worked through a course screen by screen, listening to an American voice explaining the concept and then a multiple choice quiz to see what had been absorbed.
I mention the American accent purely because as South Africans many of our clients battled to understand the communication. Self motivation was also a major issue. Computers were still relatively new and the training programmes didn’t have all the interactive features such as videos, audio clips, forums, chat rooms etc where you could interact with others on a course. Online training has come in leaps and bounds these days with all sorts of training being offered online. MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) which offer a huge variety of free training online still have up to 85% dropout rates.
The Pastel Accounting and Payroll courses were instructor led using specific, one size fits all, training material. Here I had even more difficulties. In a class you could have a Chartered Accountant who was computer illiterate, a computer literate person who knew nothing about accounting and everyone in between. In addition as most of my clients were small businesses the training material far exceeded their needs.
These experiences led me to focus on doing specific one on one training with a company where I could assess there particular needs and train accordingly. If necessary I would teach them computer basics and then help them set up their accounting systems to meet their needs.
The image shown here is from my training centre back in the late 1990s.