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Gardian of the Month: Tracy Koenig-Poches

Q & A with Tracey Koenig-Poches, director of instructional design for Event Garde.

Q: Learn: Let’s say you’re helping your child or friend with some homework. What’s your strategy for helping them learn a difficult topic?  

A: The first thing I would do is find out what he or she already knows about the topic. Then, I would chat with the learner to determine what he or she doesn’t understand. Often, just having the learner talk through difficult material is quite helpful. Finally, I would break up the information into workable chunks; then find a way to relate the small pieces of information back to what he or she already knows.

Q: Network: How do you help a wallflower, who’s not comfortable networking at a professional event, loosen up?

A: Every person has something about them that is unique and interesting. So, after I introduced myself to this person and before I would start introducing them to other people, I would seek to learn what uniqueness that person is bringing to the event.

Q: Transfer: Mentorship -- How do you think mentorship aids in knowledge transfer?

A: Mentorship is crucial for knowledge transfer for many reasons, but two immediately come to mind. First, when someone who is new to a working environment learns new skills or information meant to impact the way he or she does the job, it is often hard for the mentee to really understand how the training or information will practically play out on the job. However, authentic experience truly is the best teacher, and a great mentor can explain and show the practicality in the theory while providing great insight into daunting undertakings. Secondly, mentors can give the mentee a sense of confidence as he or she works to put the newly learned skill or information into practice. A mentor is like a private tutor for the mentee as he or she makes the new knowledge or skill part of their everyday experience.

Q: Please share with us a resource you can’t live without.

A: As an instructional designer who uses Articulate Storyline to author e-learning courses, I think it would be very difficult to live without the Articulate E-learning Heroes website. It is full of practical information, expert advice, storyline examples and tutorials.  

Q: What’s your favorite summer vacation spot?

A: My family cabin in northern Wisconsin. We have a 200-acre lake, a boat and no internet access. That’s the good life.

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