I was thumbing through my notepad at work yesterday and came across some notes I had made on a course I had attended. There were eighteen pages of these notes (admittedly the notebook is A5 size) and, looking through them, I could not remember a single thing about this course that I had been on. There were a number of speakers – I had written their names and the title of their presentation. But I hadn’t written a title for the course or the date that the course took place. The information that I wrote down is now pretty meaningless. I can gather that the session was on metadata/cataloguing/harvesting data, etc. but it has no context.
When I was updating my CV last year, I had to send an email to staff development to request a list of all the courses I had attended, which they promptly sent me. And there were titles of courses in that list that I do not remember going to. In an attempt not to have a messy inbox, I deleted emails I no longer needed, which included the adverts for training sessions I had attended. I have since learnt to keep these but that isn’t really enough. A date and name of course isn’t going to help me in one year’s time when I have forgotten what happened. Once I leave the session, I don’t feel the need to act on the course I attended. It is still fresh in my mind but it slowly disappears without my realising.
What I should learn from this is to write a summary of the course I attended, what I learnt and how it will impact on my work. It wouldn’t have to be very long. Just enough detail to help me remember what I had been to and to refresh my memory. I don’t actually have any courses to attend any time soon but I must remember to conclude the next one that I go to.