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The Importance Of Teaching With Integrity And Passion

Written by Tim Bushnell, PhD

Flow cytometry education has grown phenomenally in response to more sophisticated instrumentation, growing demands for more sensitive, high-speed and multi-parameter flow. Specialized training is critical to any flow lab competing in today’s global marketplace. The key is to find the right trainer. As a core director or lab manager, how can you tell if the training course you’re interested in is both credible and relevant in today’s fast paced and constantly evolving market?

Some tips and tricks:

1. Ask for references.

Ask for names of people who teach the course. Are they in a modern and competitive lab or business? Are they current in the flow field or long retired? Is their company or institution recognized as being a good flow facility?

2. Ask to see the student surveys.

These surveys are usually anonymous and so will not compromise the identity of the students. If the classes are normally 20 students, ask to see all 20 surveys so they aren’t cherry picking the surveys.

3. If you know someone who’s attended training recently, ask them how they liked it.

Were the instructors passionate about teaching? Were they knowledgeable about current day issues and the latest advances? About all areas of flow and the biology of flow. The software, hardware, current protocols.

4. Does the company offer students any follow-up?

How about accessible resources to ask questions, discuss flow issues, and answers to questions? The class shouldn’t end when the bell rings.

5. Is their teaching material original, created in-house, relevant, and up to date?

Or is it something lifted from the web, ‘borrowed’ from other lectures? Too often, flow material is simply thrown together by those no longer active in the field.

6. Find out if the instructors are not only knowledgable but positive.

Do they enjoy the material? Are they encouraging? Do they communicate well and help connect the flow community. Do they cooperate or do they compete?

Are you satisfied with your answers? If so, great, you are in a positive and productive learning environment that will keep you on the cutting edge of flow cytometry. If not, our instructors and affiliations are handpicked and listed on our website, we share our student survey information and are consistently rated as excellent, extremely knowledgable, and passionate about the field. We offer free, private follow-up education material through the private Google+ ExCyte group. And we are constantly creating fresh material in-house. ExCyte updates each course based on the evolving needs of our students. Like you, we are dedicated to serving and improving.

Tim Bushnell, PhD


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