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Confused? Read these.

What’s the difference between a face to face workshop and an online course?

Face to face workshops involve us coming to a venue of your choice at a time of your choice and spending time delivering training to you. Normally – but not always – we’ll do day-long workshops of 7-8 hours, but if you need multi-day training or for us to deliver the same content to more than one group of people, that’s fine.

Normally we also ask you some questions before the session – both about the content that you’d like us to cover but also the people you expect to be there. This helps us to properly tailor the session to your needs, but also means we can do some pre-workshop research on anything specific you may need.

We bring all the relevant course materials along with us on the day so each attendee has a pack to use and to take away. Sessions are fun, informal and hands-on, and often involve PostIt notes, scribbling, whiteboards, thought cards and group work.

Oh, we also provide sweets… 🙂

After the session we normally make ourselves available for an hour of post-workshop time either via email, Skype or phone so we can cover off anything you forgot about during the session. Finally, we follow up with a questionnaire to check we delivered what you expected and use this feedback to improve what we do next time.

Explain “online courses” to me?

The online courses are delivered using the web and only the web.

Unlike on-site training which generally happens in a day, you can take your time with these if you choose. A typical online course might be 8 hours in duration – you could choose to do this at your own pace – say do an hour a week for 8 weeks or cram through everything in a day. It’s up to you.

Why do people choose our online courses? Well, we think that although on-site training is great, we also recognise that cramming lots of stuff in to a few hours is sometimes problematic and that training sometimes works better if you’ve got longer to digest, think about what you’ve seen, and can come back with some questions.

For each online course you sign up to you’ll get a clear agenda provided to you which outlines exactly what will be covered during the course. The materials themselves are a mixture of web pages, video, quizzes, audio, worksheets – many of which are downloadable and provided with an open license so you can take them away, adapt and re-use as you need.

You’ll also get access to a course-specific forum so you can discuss real, practical stuff with us and other course attendees.

Finally – for many of our courses we’ll also run a weekly “drop-in clinic” – this is via a live chat / webinar / conference call where you can ask us anything that you need further help with.

An “online course” sounds a bit scary. How will it work in practice?

We try our hardest to make it anything but scary. Once you’ve signed up for one, you’ll get an email with your username and password and then you’ll be able to log in to your course area. Here you’ll be able to read, watch and download anything you need for the course. Each week you’ll also get a chance to ask any questions you may have – either via email or perhaps a live video chat or similar. At the end of the week you’ll get a summary email – and then as we move into the next week you’ll get a reminder email prompting you to come back.

What will I need?

Not much. A web browser, broadband (nothing particularly fast) and your brain. If you have Interet Explorer 6, things probably won’t work, but hey, you’ll be used to that anyway 🙂

Who are your courses for?

Well, to a certain extent it’ll depend on the course – but in general we think there’s plenty of stuff for the geeks out there, so if you’re looking for training on how to code you’re in the wrong place. But if you’re a person who needs support in – well, “doing the web better” in your day job and maybe aren’t naturally techy but more marketing, editorial or contenty in nature – then this is probably the place for you.

Cool. What about the stuff I look at during the course? Can I keep it?

Our plan is for almost all our course materials to carry a Creative Commons license, so yes – under certain constraints you’ll be able to download, share and adapt much of what you read. The exact license will depend on the specifics, but we’re fans of open and want you to be able to take what you learn and adapt it for use in your own workplace or wherever.

Nice.…why would people still pay you for your courses if all the stuff is free?

Well, if this goes anything like our training workshops we know that our value is in being a kind of over-seer who helps to knit all the resources together. There are a zillion guides, how-to’s, templates and so on out there for almost any topic you can think of – but the availability of this stuff doesn’t make universities, teachers, tutors and so on redundant. Far from it – the value is in helping people with specific questions, needs and contexts, and being the supporting people who can help (or point you in the direction of someone who can help) when you get stuck.