As an intern with the College of Dentistry at OSU, I was responsible for developing a training manual and presentation to teach biweekly staff, student workers, and supervisors a new electronic timekeeping and leave system. I completed the entire project independently from analyzing the needs of the college to evaluating the training materials for effectiveness. I still continue to train new staff and supervisors so I have been able to make small adjustments to the training manuals.
One of the challenges of the internship was that I had to learn the new time system myself before I could start. I was given very basic instructions on how the system worked and those instructions only applied if everything went as it should. I was given little information on handling mistakes or when something did not go as planned. It is hard to plan for every scenario but I think that I was able to train the staff and supervisors on the most common mistakes they would encounter.
I did have an advantage because two years prior, I implemented a different electronic timekeeping system. I also work with the staff and supervisors frequently because I currently oversee the time and leave process for the college. This gave me a good idea of what concepts the staff and supervisors may have more difficulty learning and what they were already familiar with.
It is helpful to know your audience when designing a training program. I also decided to test a pilot group of staff and supervisors to get their feedback before I printed the final staff and supervisor manuals. This allowed me to get real situations that will likely occur so I could plan for those in advance.
If I had to do it over again, I would expand the pilot group to incorporate more staff from different types of positions. I think this would have presented more mistakes and unusual circumstances for me to prepare for. I’m not sure if I would still present full-blown instructions on every situation they came across, but I could already have the instructions prepared to go over one-on-one if needed.
This internship was beneficial because it gave me a good look at the entire process from start to finish. I learned that each part of the process is important to the success of the entire training program.