Summation Training Classes

I’m done with my first attempt at doing some Summation training. Had one class yesterday afternoon, another this morning. The goal was to do 90 minutes on the very basics, what the program does, how to navigate around, do some basic searching, edit the summaries, add notes to transcripts, etc.

I’ve learned a couple of things, and naturally, I felt the need to share, and note them here for my own reference.

Probably the first thing I learned is that feedback is useful, but it’s hard to take. I don’t necessarily think the breakdown of what I covered in 90 minutes was all that good. I think it needed to be broken up more, so that the audience was broken up more. Unfortunately, we just sort of threw the attendance open to anyone who was interested, so we got a mix, in both classes, of people who had never even opened the program with people who have been using it, albeit not as an Admin, longer than I have. It’s impossible to satisfy both of those audiences, but yesterday I tried. That was a mistake. Luckily, or not so luckily depending on how you feel, our web developer built a beautiful application for scheduling and registering classes, that includes evaluations that can be sent to attendees immediately after the class is over, and are viewable by the instructor as soon as they are done. I saw the negative feedback about yesterday’s class before I even went home last night. Since I had tried to skim over the beginning to get to the stuff toward the end that would be more useful to the more experienced folks, I lost those new people completely, and their feedback showed that.

That was hard to take, but it did allow me to go home and think a bit about how I could do things differently today. I made some small tweaks, vowed to myself not to skim the beginning, in fact I added about 5 minutes at the very beginning to talk about what Summation is at it’s very core (a way to gather all the electronic discovery documents in one place, and electronically review them, summarize them, code them and produce them.), and just generally tried to explain more about they why’s of the program as opposed to just the how’s. The feedback from this class was better.

Naturally, one of the biggest suggestions was to slow down, which is why I don’t want to try to do this again in this exact form. Part of that is the nerves from not having been in front of a group like this in a few years, but part of that was trying to get through everything in the allotted time.

The other reason I want to change the format is that I want to try and do lunch hour sessions. Bring your lunch and we’ll talk about searching in depth for an hour, or transcripts, or tagging, or, back at that very basic level, what Summation does and why you might find yourself using it. I think that’s the better way to go. We’ll see if I get agreement on that. 🙂

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