Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Mac OS X 10.5 Support Essentials: With Regional Appeal

This week I have been teaching Mac OS X Support Essentials, and I'm really excited with this group. I have two students from New Mexico, one from Idaho, one from Wyoming, and the final student from Park City, Utah. It seems that our Apple classes are starting to draw a lot of students from across the West.

The class is moving along nicely, though the content is still really high. The poor students are hitting their cognitive load rather quickly, and so we can't move more than a couple of chapters at a time. Unfortunately, that leaves us with about half the curriculum left to cover today. Luckily there isn't a lot that the students need to learn at this point because all the heavy learning happened at the beginning of the course. Now we are just covering Networking, Peripherals, printing, and the startup sequence. But the students already feel overwhelmed.

Looking at the materials again, while I still contend they are better than the 10.4 materials (by a long shot), the course should have been made a 4 day course. Of course that brings up a whole different concern about the price tag on the course which most students and their employers already consider too high. It's an interesting balancing act, particularly when you think about what is required, or expected, for this level of expertise.

Perhaps, when I have time, I'll run through the materials with my magnifying lens, and see if I can't find a better design for the course. Perhaps there are exercises that are redundant, or perhaps there are topics that are not that important. This all comes after I have finally had the time to write the testing software that I intend to create.

Finally, something that I would love to see from Apple, is a Learning or testing platform that could be run within a Virtual Machine and distributed through a network. Something like LivePC (more on that platform later, which has really impressed me!). It would make testing easier, and even easily distributed (though controlled through an access platform), so that more Apple Professionals can be out there. Perhaps if the requirement for the software to work would be to have it run on Apple hardware...


Kingsley MacConsulting said...

Yeah, some of the other Apple Consultants were saying the same about the ACTC based server class and wishing it could be an extra day. I guess Apple has been making the tests a lot harder. I heard in a Vegas class that there was only a 20% pass rate the first time!

Jeremy Robb said...

So far I have one student that took the test, and he only got 51%. Part of it may be that English was his second language, but I still don't think he would have had a chance with the actual material that is taught.

Now I tell all my students to read the books extensively, and take at least a week of study before taking the test. Unfortunately, not everyone has a Prometric testing center in their area.