Subject: e-training?
From: "krupp, marguerite" <krupp_marguerite -at- emc -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 13:15:01 -0500

I can speak about my own experiences with "e-training," most recently with a
product from Centra Software that allows 1-on-1 contact with the instructor
in a virtual classroom setting. I have no financial or other interest in the
company, and I'm sure there are other products out there that have similar

The interactive experience
The students log on from their own workstations at an appointed time, and
the instructor checks in with each to verify the connection. Students have a
headset with an attached microphone, and everyone can hear everyone else.
The instructor controls the flow of the conversation, recognizing students
and asking/answering questions when students indicate they have something to
say (kind of like passing a token in a token-ring network). There's an
interactive "whiteboard," too, on which the instructor can draw diagrams.

The course content
As always, the quality of the course experience depends on the course
content. The best stuff is developed with this kind of delivery in mind and
with a well-defined audience. GIGO, as we used to say. The course I took was
an overview of a particular networking technology, and it was quite well
done. But I left the company before taking any more of these courses.

My experience
I thought it was pretty neat! And they've improved the software since then.
So it really CAN be a meaningful learning experience, but it all depends on
good courseware, a good instructor, and fast, reliable equipment (and a
supportive management).


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