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I'm looking for an alternative to "hit the ground running" which is not quite so colloquial/informal. For context, it's about a two-day hands-on computer course. I want to create a similar sense of full-on practical experience.

(I'm attempting to convey that the course hits the ground running with material in the short 2-day time frame)

  • As I interpret the Q, you want a phrase that means that the course itself doesn't waste time at the beginning with administrative details or formalities, but gets right to the technical matter. Is this correct? – ab2 Mar 27 '18 at 2:13
  • "Applied" is a good word. "Applied learning" , "applied technology" - contrasts with the "theoretical" - "case studies" "working protyping" ? Just brainstorming a slightly different approach than looking for an idiom - – Tom22 Mar 27 '18 at 2:17
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immediately plunges into. The second definition of plunge into from Merriam Webster is:

2: to start doing (something) with enthusiasm and energy ·She plunged (right) into the assignment

We all know that immediately means without any delay.

The course immediately plunges into the practical details that you need to know to become more (knowledgeable about? productive in ?) X

where X is a phrase describing the focus of the course.

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  • "Gets off to a fast start" would be another option. "Hit the ground running" usually is said of a person who is well prepared for a task and doesn't require orientation or training. – Xanne Mar 27 '18 at 5:06
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get a head start TFD

An early start that confers an advantage.

As in:

Advertising a two-day hands-on computer course with full-on practical experience in X. Get a head start on the competition!

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tear into ODOL
phrasal verb

Make an energetic or enthusiastic start on.
‘a jazz trio are tearing into the tune with gusto’

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You might consider get down to something. (Oxford)

Since the definition of hit the ground running says “to start doing something successfully or without delay", I suggest get down to something successfully or immediately.

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A person "hits the ground running" if they begin new work and already know all the techniques and background information to be able to be fully productive almost immediately, needing very little training. I don't think that phrase is quite what you want.

For instance a course on R could start with the student sitting at the computer, launching R, and immediately making a script to type "Hello World". That's fully hands on right from the start, but it's different from a course, say in R where the first thing you do is download a dataset, import it into R, install some statistical software, and start doing analysis. A person in the second course would be expected to "hit the ground running" in terms of knowing the basics of R so they can jump right into learning the statistical software. A person in the first class might not be expected to know anything.

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