Training & Consulting: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced courses?

Yes, and no. We teach people with all levels of experience, but we rarely use words like “beginner,” “intermediate,” “101,” or “level 2” to describe either the instruction or the people learning. We do use “advanced” just to help people with a lot of experience in a program identify the course outlines built specifically for them.

In formal, linear education such as a college course, when one starts out with no knowledge of a tool and no specific goal other than to learn the tool and then progresses toward mastery, drawing such distinctions in skills and ability levels makes sense. On the job, however, with real world projects to complete and paying clients to wow, all that matters is being able to get work done creatively, efficiently, and with minimal confusion and frustration.

In the middle of a project, racing toward deadline, no designer has ever uttered the phrase: “Holy cow! I’ve just completed an intermediary level InDesign task!”

Our instructors teach your personnel everything they need to do their jobs and reach your goals–be those so-called beginner, intermediate, or advanced skills.

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Who owns software purchases?

You do. As a convenience to our clients we are available to make software and hardware purchases on your behalf. If you ask that we purchase products on your behalf, we do exactly that, on your behalf. The money is yours, so the products it purchases will be yours. You will own the licenses and be entitled to any warranties, manufacturer support, and/or future upgrade incentives that accompany the products. In the future, when it’s time to upgrade, you can go directly through the manufacturer or other available sales channels without the need to involve us–unless you want us to help again.

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Do you offer open enrollment classroom training?

We do not offer open enrollment training or maintain our own public training classroom. Our focus is on improving real world creative and publishing workflows.

In an open enrollment setting, every student brings different goals, needs, and skill levels into the classroom. When all three of those factors vary–and they always vary in an open enrollment class–it becomes difficult for an instructor to fully meet the goals and needs of every student while engaging each student. After a certain number of students it becomes impossible. For those with specific needs and goals, those with jobs and projects already, open enrollment education achieves only a minimal return on investment.

If you’re looking at an open enrollment class of 10 or more people not from the same workflow, you should realize that no one with a job to do will walk away from that open enrollment class fully prepared to work more creatively and productively in a specific workflow. The training company will be happy, though, because you will have learned just enough in the class to realize that you’d learn more in another class.

At Pariah Burke Training & Consulting we like repeat business as much as any vendor, but we’d rather spend your time and money by giving you what you ask for the first time. That’s how we’ll earn your repeat business.

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In What Formats are Training Courses Delivered?

Different client needs–and different courses–require different approaches. That’s we offer classes in one or more of four different formats:

The Hands-On Lab is the most common form of instruction computer instruction. Students follow along with the instructor and learn by doing on their own computers. The focus in a hands-on lab is kinesthetic learning–“learning by doing”–the most effective method for adults learning software and computer-based processes.

BYOD, short for “Bring Your Own Device”, is a less formal hands-on training wherein students who want to follow along with the instructor provide their own computers, tablets, and other equipment.

In a Lecture presentation the focus is on providing lots of information. Audience members may follow along on their own devices, but typically just take notes. The lecture format enables our instructors to address a much larger audience than in a Hands-On or BYOD event–anywhere from a small group to several thousand people. As a format it is ideally suited for visual learners and subjects that don’t need full hands-on instruction.

Our Webinar or online, virtual instructor lead training sessions are ideally suited for one-on-one or small groups, educating personnel in multiple locations simultaneously, or for “maintenance” or follow-up training to augment one-site or classroom Hands-On Lab education.

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Do you offer on-site training and consulting?

Whether it’s a training class for boxed software or a complete workflow restructuring consultation, we customize every engagement to your unique workflow, aiming at–and hitting–your stated goals. Training on-site at your offices, using actual documents produced by your team as learning aids in hands-on instruction and is the most effective method of education comprehension and retention.

All of our training classes and professional services are available for on-site delivery. Some are even available for remote delivery via video conferencing and e-training.

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Do you offer remote training and online learning?

Thanks to mature remote meeting services and the high-speed Internet, our instructors and consultants can train and consult with you and your team anytime, anywhere. Using full-featured online meeting and instruction systems with integrated instructor and student screen sharing, streaming video, and audio conferencing, you and your team can receive training and some types of consultation at your own desks, without the need to bring an instructor on-site.

By their nature, some courses and services can only be delivered in-person, on-site. Each class and service page lists its eligibility for remote training.

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Your competitors say they “write their own books.” Do you?

Certain noble competitors make a big deal out of writing their own training books and materials, which is a funny thing to make a big deal out of because just about every training company writes its own material.

Now if you want to talk about the quality and authority of training materials, well, our instructors write books and materials that other training companies–and colleges and universities–use in their classes.

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Why is customized training so important?

No two workflows are identical. Each has its own unique details, goals, and needs. As such, no pre-written educational plan can be truly effective in improving or streamlining the workflow. The only way to maximize return on investment in training or consulting is to receive training or consulting fully customized to the specific objectives of your investment. For that, you need people with vast experience, deep knowledge, and nimble adaptability.

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Why are course outlines listed as “mal­leable and cus­tomiz­able”?

A syllabus or pre-written course forces learners into working toward the instructor’s goals, not the learners’. We don’t offer canned training.

Our instructors build a course fully customized to you, to your specific goals for the engagement, to your workflow and projects, and to your personnel and their learning style.

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How do you customize training?

During our initial conversations with you we’ll pose the following questions:

  • Tell us about your workflow.
  • Tell us about the projects you produce or want to produce.
  • What areas of your workflow do you find frustrating, inefficient, or tedious?
  • In addition to meeting the goals you’ve revealed by your other answers, what indicators will mark this training as a success for you?

Your answers define the education you receive. Along the way we’ll listen for what you don’t say, too, for the questions you may not know to ask, and the possible solutions and options you may not be aware are available to you. We will present your options and our recommendations, and together you and the instructor or consultant will finalize the goals for the engagement. This will become the foundation for the curriculum by which your personnel will be trained.

Once on-site the instruction and consultation will flow fluidly, adapting to any revised or newly discovered goals or needs. Because of our instructors’ deep expertise with the processes, concerns, and tools of a wide variety of design and publishing workflows, they can turn the plan on a dime, adapting it on-site without delay or confusion.

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I just need to learn Application X without much customization. Can you teach that?

Of course. Each class’s page includes a course outline. Our instructors can teach everything in that outline, in that order, if desired. How much the class is customized is entirely up to you. Use the outline as a menu–if you want everything, you’ll get it; if you want to choose topics ala carte, we’ll give you everything you order and nothing you say you don’t want.

For example, did you know that Adobe Photoshop includes features specifically used in video production? If you don’t work with videos, your instructor will leave those features out of your education, using the time they would have taken to go deeper into the features you do need in your work.

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What is “workflow-focused” education?

The difference between software education and workflow-focused training and consulting is a simple question: Is the instruction centered on the software or what you will do with the software?

Pariah Burke Training & Consulting is not a software training company. We will not teach you Photoshop, InDesign, or Adobe Captivate; we will teach you how to use Photoshop, InDesign, or Adobe Captivate to further your goals, to complete your projects, to be creative. That is workflow-focused education.

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