I'm in a long training course for my new position. There's about 30 people in the class and we sit in a computer lab with multiple rows. The first day we chose where to sit, but at seemingly random times the instructor changed the seating arrangement and told us where to sit.
The way the class is taught I find very hard to learn. It's 8 hours long with 1 break and it's all listening to the instructor speak and his slide show. There's no interactivity and we never get to use the programs we are being trained on. We do have tests and quizzes.
I've been lucky enough to always sit close to someone, named Bob. Bob and I sometimes chat to each other about the material and I find this extremely helpful in learning. Should I let the instructor know that is what I'm doing? When and how should I let him know? Is it ok for me to continue these chats with Bob during class time? I don't want him to think I am messing around or taking a break with Bob. Usually these chats are just a few seconds long about. Sometimes the instructor and his assistant get mad at people when they're chatting, but I think this is because they're joking around and not focusing on work.
Preemptive response to comments :
Can I wait until the end of the lecture to speak with Bob?
No because we go for several hours with no breaks. Also quizzes are frequent and I find I get lost if I don't understand certain concepts before others.
Why don't I ask the instructor when I don't understand something?
He's not good at explaining things. His background is sales and he's teaching tech support. For example I asked him if our phones run over the internet and he started giving a sales pitch about how are phones are much better than VoIP and never answered the question. He's also a jerk. Some other students were asking lots of off topic questions and the class was falling behind schedule. Now he makes fun of people in front of the class when he thinks they are asking a bad question. This part doesn't bother me as much as I already know he's an ass but if he's not going to properly answer anyway why bother asking.