Thursday, December 2, 2010

Notes from AU - Days 2 and 3

I would have posted last night, but it was definitely a bear of day. AUv has some promise, but with technical glitches in all four classes yesterday, (including the wrong video playing in the first session), I understand the frustration. There were two areas Autodesk has got to get right:

- make sure whoever is running the stream starts the sessions on time, and doesn't cut the video off until the presentation is actually finished. If it's the technology there were using that did that, then get other technology. It was embarrassing to me on behalf of the attendees. Also, the lack of good, consistent, real time communication with the attendees (aka Goto Meeting), where I'm not having to restart moderator panels, constantly refresh would definitely make this a smoother event.
- do a better job of QA on their own work - there's no excuse for editing in the wrong video. All I could do was laugh, because I was too big to crawl under the table.

Don't get me wrong - I love the idea of Virtual training, but based on the comments I got, and the fact that I had absolutely no control or ability to fix the glitches, makes me want to personally apologize to those that had to sit through it.

Back to AU live - what keeps me coming back and wanting to present are the people that attend, It's very humbling to see the same people coming back year after year, and taking the time to sit in on my sessions, Yeah, they can get hokey (one person said to lose the gimmicks), but the idea is to separate what you do from other instructors - and 99% of the students get engaged and participate. I never wanted to be the teachers I had - boring, dry, and detached - those classes drove me nuts. This stuff is not the most entertaining stuff to listen to - add a deadpan, monotonic instructor, and you've got students sleeping their way through your class.

So, with this year's scores on the Revit MEP classes and my highest score ever on a lab, those will continue to be my main focus for AU 2011 (if they'll have me back). 6 virtual and 6 live was too much, but I like one student's suggestion to run a progression series - I like that, so maybe next year we'll run a process stack of sessions. Also, I do take to heart the idea of breaking up classes by discipline, although the classes have to have enough to register to get them to make, so that's a reason why having just electrical or just HVAC only in a class may not work.

Some great tips that came from the students and other instructors:

- create an area schedule that sets program area versus actual area - if you get over, the schedule reports it (I'd add a conditional format to the data to make it jump out).
- Same instructor also uses areas in Revit Architecture to define cube names and numbers, as opposed to using rooms for these parts of a building. They use the room to define the overall area or conditioned area, so the space in the MEP links to that instead of hundreds of cubicle spaces.
- If you need to export parameters from a family to a shared parameter, you can do this from the family editor - parameters tab - there's any export option I hadn't tried, but I'm going to.

Got several others I'm trying out - as I can get some to work, I'll get them posted here.

Long day, but good event - and I'm excited, because we're headed back to the Venetian next year - woo-hoo!

have a great evening - David B.

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