a learning adventure


Know Your Student

I was once running a train-the-trainer course and one of the trainees was having difficulty in choosing a suitable training project. As he was an engineer I suggested he teach the resistor colour code. (The resistor colour code is a numbering system where numbers are represented by coloured rings.)

When I was coaching him on 'Describe the Students' I emphasised how important it is to describe the physical characteristics of the students — including colour blindness. I then heard laughter and chattering from the rest of the class. When I asked what was causing the laughter, I was told that the student himself was colour blind. I had made the incorrect assumption that engineers would not be colour blind. There's nothing like being hoisted by your own petard.

Use this anecdote to illustrate the importance of not making assumptions when understanding the characteristics of your participants.

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