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August 2, 2002—In this issue:
- Adapting from C-Learning to E-Learning
2. NEWS & VIEWS
- Maker of Practice Exam Products Raided
- Coriolis Aftermath
- Questions for Exam 70-215
- Get Kudos and a Free Trip to SQL Server Magazine Live! in Orlando!
- Real-World Tips and Solutions Here for You
- CertTutor.net Live! Featured Thread: Monitoring CPU Usage, Disk Space, and More
Link of the Week: Google Answers
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Keep Current on Windows XP and Windows .NET Server Training
7. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Morris Lewis, firstname.lastname@example.org)
In my July 19 commentary "Changes," I talked about the ways that training has changed during the past few years and how e-training (i.e., online training) is becoming an alternative to c-training (i.e., instructor-led classroom training). What hasn't changed in 10 or 20 years, however, is the way that adults learn. Moving students out of the classroom doesn't change how they learn, and just because a particular form of training is less expensive or more flexible doesn't mean that it's better or preferable. Training has value when it effectively teaches the desired skills or knowledge. For online training to be effective, instructors and training providers must adapt c-training techniques to e-training.
Because e-training is still relatively new, little definitive research exists about what makes a course or an instructor effective. To date, e-training has taken so many forms that you might think training providers have tried every conceivable form of disseminating information to students in hopes of eventually finding the right format. Evaluating e-training options is simple, though, if you consider the basic facts of adult learning.
First, research shows that adults can focus fully on something for only 15 to 25 minutes. You're no longer a carefree student; your adult life is complicated. If you become disengaged, you start to multitask. When you multitask, your assimilation of information decreases rapidly. Taking an online class only increases the potential for becoming distracted because you're in control of when you sit in on the class. The very flexibility that's supposed to be the hallmark of e-training can be the biggest contributor to its failure.
With that in mind, look for e-training classes with well-written courseware that focuses on a topic that you find interesting. The instructor, if there is one, should do more than simply answer questions through email. However, expect to share the responsibility for seeking out his or her help. In the classroom, the instructor can read your facial expressions and body language, ask questions, and facilitate group discussions. All those techniques are impossible to replicate online (unless you have a two-way video feed, which is rare). You should, therefore, look for an instructor who makes the effort to engage you in the learning process.
Second, adults need to relate what they learn to what they already know. The retention rate for learning something completely outside the realm of prior experience is far lower than the rate for learning something that builds on well-understood concepts or frequently used skills. The amount of information an adult can assimilate at one time is limited, as well; therefore, entry-level classes must be less complex than advanced classes, and advanced classes must be shorter in duration.
In other words, don't expect to become a Microsoft Exchange Server expert after one 20-hour class if you have no experience with email server administration. The topic is too complex to learn in a month, much less 20 hours. The most you should expect of your first time through a class is a basic understanding of how the software works and perhaps information about where to look for answers to questions. Look for classes that offer long-term access to lectures, chat transcripts, newsgroups, and hands-on lab materials so that you can review sections as your understanding improves.
Third, adults learn what they discover, not what they're told. Lab exercises that reinforce the lectures or readings offer the most value. If those exercises are simply "click here, click there" kinds of tasks, they have little value. Simulations are of limited value, too, because they support only a subset of the possible ways that you can accomplish a task, and most simulations have only one correct solution.
If you don't have the freedom to make mistakes, you'll have a limited opportunity for discovery. In my experience, my students always learn more after they make mistakes in a lab. As Ms. Frizzle on "The Magic School Bus" says, "Get messy, take chances, make mistakes." Look for a training provider that offers a lab environment that's as close to the real world as you can get and the means for the instructor to help you if you can't fix your mistake yourself. Trial and error is a great learning technique, and you should only take classes that encourage you to use that technique.
These three facts cover only a small portion of the art of teaching adults, but they encompass what I think are the most important considerations when evaluating e-training. If you think about the good classroom instructors you've had, you'll recognize that they understood these principles. The challenge of making e-training as effective as c-training is in finding ways to adapt tools such as chats, streaming video, and teleconferencing to replace their classroom equivalents of verbal and nonverbal communication.
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2. NEWS & VIEWS
Police in San Antonio, Texas, raided TestKiller.com, a maker of practice exam products, according to CertCities. Microsoft prompted the raid, alleging that the site was selling Microsoft certification exam questions. For more information, see the CertCities Web site.
Coriolis, publisher of the Exam Cram series, is gone—but that doesn't mean you'll no longer find Exam Cram books at your local bookseller. To learn more about the future of this popular series, see the following thread at CertTutor.net Live!:
(contributed by Jonathan Bischke, email@example.com)
Welcome to Certifiable, your exam-prep headquarters. Here you'll find questions about some of the tricky areas that are fair game for the certification exams. This week's questions cover topics for Exam 70-215: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Server.
As the systems administrator for EnriousTech, you oversee the company's Windows 2000 native mode domain. One of the Win2K servers, a member server, hosts an accounting application and has the following backup schedule:
- Sunday: Incremental backup at 12:45 A.M.
- Monday: Incremental backup at 12:45 A.M.
- Tuesday: Incremental backup at 12:45 A.M.
- Wednesday: Incremental backup at 12:45 A.M.
- Thursday: Incremental backup at 12:45 A.M.
- Friday: Incremental backup at 12:45 A.M.
On Wednesday at 4:00 P.M., the server experiences a hard disk failure, and you must restore the server from tape backup. Which of the following represents the tapes you should restore from to get the server fully functional as quickly as possible? (Choose the best answer.)
B. Saturday, Wednesday
C. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
D. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
E. Saturday, Tuesday
F. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
For the correct answer and an explanation, go to http://www.certtutor.net/articles/index.cfm?articleid=26145#answers
Windows 2000 supports RAID 5, which lets you create a fault-tolerant volume of data across multiple physical disks. RAID 5 stores data in such a way that if one drive that's part of the volume fails, you can rebuild the data from parity information. Which of the following are requirements of a software RAID 5 volume on Win2K? (Choose all that apply.)
B. The computer must be running Win2K Advanced Server, Win2K Datacenter Server, or Win2K Server.
C. All the hard disks must be NTFS.
D. All the disks in the RAID 5 volume must be dynamic disks.
For the correct answer and an explanation, go to http://www.certtutor.net/articles/index.cfm?articleid=26145#answers and scroll down to "Answer to Question 2."
You're the network administrator at a call center with 300 phone operators and one Windows 2000 domain controller (DC) that validates logons. The call center has 100 workstations, and the employees operate in three shifts from 6:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M., 12:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M., and 6:00 P.M. to 12:00 A.M.
All employees log on with one account called "callcenter," which has a blank password. Recently, call-center operators have complained that people on the previous shifts often change personal settings such as the wallpaper and screen saver. What can you do about this situation? (Choose all that apply.)
B. Disable Group Policies.
C. Set the password on the call-center account to tealeaves.
D. Enable mandatory policies.
E. Disable roaming profiles.
F. Edit the domain Group Policy Object (GPO) to stop users from changing the settings.
For the correct answer and an explanation, go to http://www.certtutor.net/articles/index.cfm?articleid=26145#answers and scroll down to "Answer to Question 3."
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CertTutor.net Live! is the Internet's number-one training and certification discussion board. Each week, CertTutor.net Live! receives thousands of posts about Windows XP, Windows 2000, Cisco, and more. We've selected one of these posts to feature here in CertTutor.net UPDATE. To join in the conversation at CertTutor.net Live!, register at the following URL:
CertTutor.net Live! Featured Thread
(contributed by Gregory W. Smith)
\[sf1\] ran into some trouble when using Multi Router Traffic Grapher (MRTG) to monitor his Windows servers but then discovered some slick products that allow inexpensive monitoring of server and workstation machines.
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Do you have a really tough computer-related question? Do you feel like you'd be willing to pay someone to solve it for you? Now you can! Google Answers might be just what you are looking for.
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, firstname.lastname@example.org)
KEEP CURRENT ON WINDOWS XP AND WINDOWS .NET SERVER TRAINING
David Solomon Expert Seminars announced an expansion to its interactive video product line to include coverage of Windows XP and Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) kernel changes. Developed by David Solomon and Mark Russinovich, Inside Windows 2000 on video provides 11 hours of interactive training based on the book "Inside Windows 2000," 3rd edition, from Microsoft Press. The courseware provides direct menu access to 36 content-specific instructional video modules totaling more than 11 hours of training. The video is available in DVD and Windows Media format for CD-ROM and intranet server applications. The retail price is $198, with a special upgrade path for existing users at $95. The product release will coincide with the Win.NET Server launch. Contact David Solomon Expert Seminars at 800-492-4898.
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