Next month, users who would like to take their degree audit encoding proficiency to the next level are invited to participate in the uAchieve Intermediate Encoding Workshop. Normally hosted at our Cincinnati training facility, this intensive workshop will be fully virtual—though this will not be our first time at the rodeo in regards to taking our advanced training online.
Our first virtual encoder training occurred this past month, in July. Originally slated to be on campus at California State University, Fresno, this intermediate-level workshop was to take place on-site to provide easier access for institutions in the surrounding states. Although we were very excited to offer this regional format to help in lowering travel costs for many nearby attendees, we decided as a safety precaution to postpone the training from May to July, and ultimately transitioned to a virtual delivery rather than cancelling the workshop based on the feedback of those signed up.
Virtual Workshop Q&A
We asked Kristen Patrick, Implementation Specialist at CollegeSource who guided the lectures and exercises, to give you an inside look at how the virtual workshop went.
First, please tell us about your role.
KP: I assist new functional users of uAchieve in setting up their encoding environment, help current clients with any questions or issues using their system, as well as deliver training for uAchieve software to institution staff which we mostly host onsite at clients’ schools. I have been delivering the Basic Encoding, Intermediate Encoding, Transfer Articulation, and Planner trainings for almost four years.
How was customer interaction in the new space?
KP: Virtual interaction was certainly a new type of experience when it comes to in-depth training. Most attendees did not have cameras, so I never got to put a face to the name. But after chatting, you learn the voice and personalities shine through. I came to know the attendees just like I would have in the onsite workshop.
How was the teaching in the virtual environment?
KP: I was nervous at first. I had never before delivered our training virtually, so this was totally new to me. I was worried I wouldn’t be engaging enough for the clients and they’d lose focus, as it can be hard to remain attentive after hours of watching/listening to a screen and small-boxed video cam… But, it went well! It took us the first day or two to get into a groove, but then we achieved a familiarity and pattern for using the different software tools needed for the training.
Of course, because each attendee is on their own computer and internet, there’s a bit more chance of technical “hiccups.” However, our tech person at CollegeSource, Mike Wedzikowski, was amazing and responded with fixes very quickly. The attendees also had a good humor about it and we’d just pause or take our break until we were ready again.
Many attendees shared that they appreciated our switch to virtual and found the digital environment still nurtured plenty of connection and focus. Jenni Robinson from Humboldt State University said, “It was great – thank you Kristen for your expertise and patience, and thanks to Don Dudley [moderator] for the support and the LOLs. The virtual format is different for sure, but I felt like I got just as much out of it as I would have in person, and in some ways it was actually easier to just focus on the material this way, in my usual surroundings.”
Registration is Open for Fall Workshop
If you are interested in advancing your encoding skills from the basic to intermediate level, we hope to see you at the upcoming uAchieve Intermediate Encoding Workshop taking place September 21-29 (minus weekend days) from 11:00AM – 3:00PM ET. Chris Starkey will be running the workshop and is eager to meet you virtually. If you have any questions, please reach her at ChrisS@CollegeSource.com.
Sign up soon to receive your learner guide in advance. To have a physical copy of the learner guide mailed to you in time for the workshop, please register by August 31. Registrations received after August 31 may have to work from an electronic document for part of the workshop.