The top 4 factors to consider before you invest in software training

Professional training on mining software is a large investment. In addition to investing money in the training itself, you are also investing the time it takes to complete the training and attend any lessons or workshops.

Yet, an investment in professional training can benefit even the most experienced employees and reap significant rewards in time saved, skills learned, and workflows improved—regardless of mining discipline.

Despite the recent period of uncertainty in the mining sector brought on by COVID-19, training remains a top priority in 2020 and beyond with companies like Rio Tinto investing millions of dollars into skills development. And it’s not just companies within the mining sector who are renewing their commitment to training. According to the 2019 LinkedInWorkplace Report, talent developers, in general, have recognized their top focus as identifying, assessing, and closing skills gaps within their organisation. But the decision to invest in training isn’t the only thing that matters. Selecting the right vendor, instructors, and training type are key to getting a decent return on investment (ROI). So how do you make sure the training you invest in is worth it?

In 2020 alone, Maptek North America has trained 634 mining professionals on topics regarding geology, block modelling, mine planning, scheduling, and reclamation. These professionals come from mining companies big and small, with varying levels of experience, as well as unique training needs for their respective roles. Despite these complexities, we have a 98% approval rating for our instructors and glowing testimonials to prove that, when it comes to software training, we know a thing or two.

Here are the most important things to verify before you invest in software training to ensure an ROI.

  1. There are different styles of learning available to you. 
  2. The instructor develops your training program based on an evaluation of your learning style and previous knowledge.
  3. Flexibility and customisation options exist for your training.
  4. The instructors have practical technical experience and are proficient in training techniques.

1. There are different styles of learning available to you.

When you come to Maptek North America for professional training, we take the time to set up a training plan that works with your unique learning style. It’s vital to have different options available because everyone learns differently and teaching is rarely successful with a one-size-fits-all approach. Great training takes into account these differences and works to create an environment where learning is accessible to everyone. Take a look at the different styles we currently offer for both individuals and groups.

Classroom Training (Regional)

  • Live instructor in a group environment with a mixture of different learners in a regional setting. 
  • We provide computers, data, and reference material. 
  • Attendees can bring their own computers if they choose. 
  • Run through demonstrations, exercises, case studies, and group activities. 

Classroom Training (On-Site/Remote)

  • Live instructor in a group setting with only your company staff included.
  • We provide data and reference material. 
  • Optional to rent computers. 
  • Run through demonstrations, exercises, case studies, and group activities.

Customised Classroom Training (On-Site/Remote)

  • Live instructor in a group setting with only your company staff included.
  • We provide data and reference material. 
  • Optional to rent computers. 
  • Run through demonstrations, exercises, case studies, and group activities based upon a custom topic list.
  • Option to use your own data with associated course preparation time. 

Online Training

  • Self-paced, pre-recorded, training videos. 
  • Allows you or your staff to learn at your own pace.
  • Manageable lesson durations allow flexibility around other site responsibilities.

Field-Based Training

  • Training for field-based solutions such as the I-Site Scanner, PerfectDig, Sentry, and Vulcan tablet mapping. 
  • Verified and field-tested workflows ensure hardware and software training goes smoothly out in the field.

2. The instructor develops your training program based on an evaluation of your learning style and previous knowledge.

If you signed up to learn about block modelling as someone new to the software, and you were thrown into a workshop for advanced users, would you learn as effectively? Probably not. This is a simple concept, but something that many training vendors still get wrong by not getting to know you.

As the training program lead at Maptek North America, my main purpose is to work with our clients to create a training plan that meets the needs of the professionals in the course. This part of the process is always free, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because we view training as a partnership that should be mutually beneficial between instructor and participant while delivering the greatest ROI for the client. In order to develop a rewarding training session, an experienced educator must first understand more about the course participants. Without this important step, we risk poor knowledge and skills retention for the participants after the course is complete.

Although difficult to connect with each participant, an experienced educator should make the effort, especially when working in remote learning environments. My background as a secondary science teacher and having to navigate learning disabilities has given me valuable experience that I put to use when connecting with our diverse participant base. This background helps me to understand what each participant needs in order to learn effectively, which in turn dramatically increases the successful completion of the course material and the application of new skills back on the job.

3. Flexibility and customisation options exist for your training.

Flexibility and the ability to customise your training program has never been more important. Let’s take this past year for example. For many professionals, regardless of industry, their personal and professional lives were abruptly changed due to a global pandemic. Individuals and families alike are still struggling to balance school, work, and personal responsibilities with stress now often at an all-time high.

When responsibilities start to feel overwhelming, it’s nice to know that your training vendor understands and is flexible. Here are some of the ways Maptek North America has added flexibility to our training programs to make your life easier, while still providing the quality professional development opportunities your career deserves.

  • Flexible training duration, times, and delivery methods.
    We found this to be key, especially for professionals who try to fit in development training during their normal shift schedule. Flexibility in training delivery methods also allows people to feel more comfortable throughout the learning process, which in turn helps them engage and retain knowledge. People are more likely to learn in an environment of their choosing rather than a one-size-fits-all experience.
  • Customisable and personalized training topics for your professional development needs.
    Everyone communicates and learns differently, so we make it our goal to accommodate unique needs or requests that make our training more rewarding. Some of these requests include adding scenario-based training to courses so that participants can more easily draw connections between their course work and the work they perform in their daily role.
  • Flexible payment options are especially important when times are tough.
    We also offer discounts for our training through Maptek Care. We know that ROI for training is always a high-priority, but now more than ever seeing results after training is essential to justify the money and time spent.

4. The instructors have practical technical experience and are proficient in training techniques.

Have you ever attended a training, only to leave unsatisfied with the knowledge you retained? When this happens, it’s most likely due to an instructor’s lack of technical experience or an inadequate understanding of practical adult learning techniques. At Maptek North America, our instructors bring years of technical experience and practical knowledge to every training. Each instructor is coached on how to identify and manage diverse learning styles, ensuring a learning environment that is engaging, fun, and creative for our clients. Our 98% instructor approval rating is due to a formal program every instructor completes, in which they are exposed to classical secondary and adult learning theories as well as practical techniques for education. When instructors understand these teaching methodologies, it ensures they are equipped with the skills they need to successfully instruct a diverse client base.

One of these skills includes out-of-the-box thinking. Open-mindedness during a training session can lead to greater ROI for the participant. Here is an example of a situation that took place during an underground ring design training course this year. As a participant was making their way through the course material, they realized an intriguing possibility; could Maptek’s ring design tools be applied to the automation of cable bolt layout? Although an unorthodox application of Maptek’s digital tools, the instructor explored the question further with the participant which resulted in them learning how to automate a process that they had previously done manually, saving them time in their daily role. These are the types of instructors that bring extra value to training courses and result in positive feedback. Check out some of the training testimonials we’ve collected this year.

When asked about her favorite part of the training experience, Sage Gandolfo, Underground Geologist with Nevada Gold Mines had this to say: My favorite thing about the course was the case studies. I loved working through the problems knowing I had help right there to get through it. I think most folks are hands-on learners like myself so this was the best.”

Maria Diaz Lopez, Resource Geologist at Nyrstar-Myra Falls Mine also expressed satisfaction with her training and says, “[The] fact that [the course] was customised to me” was the most important part of her experience. 

Jeremy Abbey, Mineral Resource Management Geologist at Nevada Gold Mines-Cortez, had this to say about the skills he took away from his training, “I enjoy seeing my data transform into something that will be used to predict the future.”

Are you ready to invest in software training that actually works and delivers large returns on your investment? Contact me to get the conversation started or check out the Maptek North American training page

Maureen Moore
Technical Services Manager & Training Program Lead
October 21, 2020

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