The Accidental Public Library Technology Trainer

Course Syllabus

This online course will be offered on the Moodle e-learning platform by instructor Stephanie Gerding. The course will include weekly readings, discussion via an online forum, assignments, chat sessions, and two interactive webinars. Please note: Some times may change based on the needs of  the students and/or instructor.


The course is divided into four weeks. We will cover all seven steps of the Training Cycle, proceeding through the steps sequentially as they appear on the syllabus. The content for each week will be posted by Monday of that week. All content will be available from the day it is posted through the end of the course.

Weekly Content Outline and Course Assignments
Week Content Assignments

Week 1 
September 8–12

  • Overview
  • Training Cycle
  • How we Learn
  • Week 1 Reading
  • Edit your profile
  • Post to the Introduction Forum
  • Set personal learning goals
  • Attend the Introduction to Training Webinar
  • Locate Training Plans for Next Week

Week 2 
September 15–19

  • Training Plans
  • Needs Assessments
  • Competencies
  • Workshop Planning
  • Learning Objectives
  • Week 2 Reading
  • Post to the Training Plan Forum
  • Decide on a training topic and post objectives to the forum
  • Review Your Library’s Training Plan or the Sample

Week 3 
September 22–26

  • The Learning Experience
  • Learning Activities
  • Week 3 Reading
  • Attend the Workshop Planning and Interactive Learning Webinar
  • Prepare a sample workshop using the Workshop Plan Template and submit it for review by April 26
  • Post to the Workshop Planning Forum

Week 4 
September 29–October 3

  • Evaluation
  • Best Practices
  • Solving Difficult Situations
  • Week 4 Reading
  • Post to the Best Practices Forum
  • Post to the Difficult Situations Forum
  • Review personal learning goals



At the beginning of each week readings will be posted that cover the content for that week. Please complete this at the beginning of each week and ask any questions about the content during the week using the Discussion Forum for that week.

Discussion Forums

The forums are where you interact with the instructor and with each other. This is a great place to learn and ask questions of each other about the topic of the week. Every week you will be asked to post to that week’s forum on a specific topic and to respond to other postings. There is also a General Discussion Forum for questions, comments and discussion on topics that don’t fall into the weekly discussion topics.


Each week you will have a skill to practice or an assignment to complete. You will be asked to submit some assignments and your instructor will review them, providing feedback. These assignments are not graded; however, we recommend that you complete and submit them on time because the content in the next week of the course will build on the knowledge you acquired by doing the previous assignment. You will learn more from this course if you practice skills and complete assignments. Your final assignment is to submit a draft workshop plan, which will be reviewed with feedback provided to you.

Interactive Webinars

There will be two hour-long webinars. These will be archived, so if you cannot attend you can view at a later time. Webinars will be:

Wednesday, September 10
Introduction to Training Webinar

  • 1:00–2:00 PM Eastern
  • 12:00–1:00 PM Central
  • 11:00 AM–12:00 PM Mountain
  • 10:00–11:00 AM Pacific

Wednesday, September 24
Workshop Planning and Interactive Learning Webinar

  • 1:00–2:00 PM Eastern
  • 12:00–1:00 PM Central
  • 11:00 AM–12:00 PM Mountain
  • 10:00–11:00 AM Pacific

Recommended Text

Stephanie Gerding (2007). The Accidental Technology Trainer. Medford, N.J.: Information Today, Inc.

This text is not required for the course but it will provide you with more information about each step in the Training Cycle, including examples, templates and recommendations from expert trainers.

The book can be purchased through and Information Today, Inc.

Office Hours

You may interact with your instructor and other students during office hours and training chats in virtual meeting rooms. A poll will be provided to determine convenient times for the class.