The 6 R's of Teaching Revit: Resistance


The expert at anything was once a beginner.
–Helen Hayes (award-winning actress, musician)

I have been teaching classes to Architects and Engineers for over 20 years. Some were drafters making the transition from CAD to BIM, others had never opened CAD or BIM software before. Each had their own challenges to overcome in learning a new software. Over the years I started to see common trends at certain points during training, and on their first projects. They would have moments where they suddenly had a revelation about the software or workflow. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not.


I have since narrowed it down to six key revelations that staff go through when learning Revit. I like to call them "the Six R's of Teaching Revit": Resistance, RevelationRambunctious, Reality, Refinement, and Retrospect. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be writing about these six revelations and how I encouraged, or in some cases, discouraged, them in my office.

The first revelations are often rooted in denial, with common questions like “Why do I need to learn another software”? This may not apply to every situation, but in my office, I have dealt with it multiple times. As technology moves forward Architects, Engineers & Designers hardly use paper markups and rely more on the computer. I see this with staff that were asked, or told, they need to learn BIM to work on a project. This may seem obvious to a lot of us, but to others, it has been something they have been pushing off and trying to avoid. Usually, the people at this level don’t need to know all the nuances of the software. They just need the confidence to be able to get in and not mess anything up.


In my office, I have a class set up just for them. I have a detached project saved that we open, and go through the basics of navigating the project model. As they get comfortable navigating a project model (opening Sheets, Views, Schedules, and Details), other questions will come naturally. I have seen this process play out over and over and over.  I do my best to set expectations, but in the end, it is a process most people have to go through. 

Everyone has different environments that they work in. How have you handled similar scenarios in your own training experiences? Let me know in the comments!

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