I am doing a very intensive Windows 2000 Server MCP course combined with City and Guilds Level Three Networking and Systems Management. This is a two year course being taught in just one year and it is getting really hard. I am retired and doing it for personal fulfillment and a possible late third career(I have previously worked in Law and also in Music Teaching).
I told my tutor I was worried about my progress or lack of and after reassuring me that we had a while to go yet to exams which are optional anyway and that I would be ready he told me that I should drop everything else and concentrate on this course.
By everything else he means the LearnDirect A+ course augmented with books and CDs, plus doing Skill Drills and practice exams in practically everything from W98 and NT to XP and .NET and CISCO and Web Design and Networking and of course getting some pretty bum scores in things I have not studied and then getting despondent. I told him I was using these practice exams to learn but he says one exam at a time, so should I drop absolutely everything except the W2K Server and Networking course?
If I was at school or Uni I would be doing various courses, so what is the difference? Or are IT exams different from others?
Do I accept my tutor's advice and drop everything else?
Last edited by MorseLady; January 31st, 2003 at 01:03 PM.
It's a good idea to concentrate on one thing at a time but, if you'll be taking those classes for two years, you should have plenty of time in between for other stuff. If you spend a couple hours a night studying it's not hard to learn a lot.
I think what he is trying to tell you is that taking so many different courses, which have each got their own "slant" on computing will confuse you.
A two year course done in one year requires that you concentrate on the course at hand. I did my A levels in one year... yes it's possible, but you do nothing else at all.
With networking you are not only dealing with design concepts, but good old parrot fashion learning. If you sit down to do 2k when you have just been fiddling with 98 you do things like click the wrong tab in 2k, because in 98 it would have been the right one. This is human nature.
The learn direct course I believe is a correspondence course? If so, can you take a sabbatical on it?
Never, ever approach a computer saying or even thinking "I will just do this quickly."
We were warned that a two year course with only one year to do it would be hard but there is so much to remember, not least of all what tab to click or even where to find the management utility I need. Lots of parrot fashion as you say but have at least memorised IP classes! The class is about 50-50 whiteboard/discussion and practical hands on and we have crib sheets for the hands on but then I find when I try to do it without the crib I cannot remember. If I do decide to do the exams I certainly won't get crib sheets!
This is the first year that the two courses have been combined into one year, it used to be databases and systems management first year and networking second year but they could not get enough students to make the class viable for funding so they combined and even then there are only about 12 students and the class was nearly closed last term. Everyoner wants to do the A+ course and they have split that class into three classes of 20 each, and the Web Design and VB are also very popular but no one wants to do networking.
My A+ course is online and I can take as long as I like and take breaks but once I pass an assessment it is closed. So far my best assessment is 92 out of 130 and fail for the OS part of it and rather less for the hardware part.
I am also supposed to be doing advanced web design and FP2000 extensions etc with LearnDirect but I have let that drop as I know enough to run my websites and the advanced stuff does not really benefit me as a hobby webmaster. I have actually had to drop my fractal design and the big fractal website I had in the IFL because I could not cope and I have not had time to redesign my other two websites, I just keep them updated.
Something has to go, the websites can wait and the A+ can go completely and in any case I think evening classes would be better than self paced learning.
So, I will concentrate on the networking course and dependent on how I do I will either repeat it next year or do the College A+ course or CISCO, not both. My tutor favours ditching the A+ and doing the CISCO - he teaches the CISCO too and he is a very popular teacher at the College.
So I will take the good advice of your self and my tutor and focus on one thing at a time and thanks again.
Having decided to concentrate on the networking and having told my tutor so, I found I actually enjoyed this week's class which was security, certificates, PKI, IPsec and so on and I was able to follow the hands on exercises rather better than of late.
Next week is IIS and Terminal Services and we have been asked to bring a copy of our websites if we have one with files for all the pictures etc because we are going to learn how to serve web pages.
The tutor is very enthusiastic about my desire to do the CISCO course he also teaches, next year,and he unlocked the big cabinet to show me when I expressed an interest in the new room wiring. It is a dedicated networking classroom and standalone with our own server but we have to use the College Novell LAN to get outside and even we cannot crack the network restrictions. I can access this forum and post but I cannot access the Yahoo Group I own or access my Management console. I was able to access it until recently when the LAN was modified now I get 403. but I am working on it!
It is also Inspection night to make sure that the classes meet the requirements set by the funding and examination authorities and our tutor says he has to be a little more formal than usual because they will be assessing him as they do all the staff and throughout the UK in all Educational Institutions and no doubt worldwide this is done.
Last edited by MorseLady; February 5th, 2003 at 05:57 AM.
Noo Noo, this guy is fantastic! I am very empathic and the minute I walked in and he held out his hand and greeted us in turn very warmly, I felt at ease. He bends over backwards to accommodate my hearing and other problems and if any student gets "lost" he will come and sit by your computer and help you. He never gets angry or fazed, is always first in the classroom. well presented, thirty something and good looking but most of all he makes you feel welcome and that it is a pleasure to teach. The department head is another really nice guy who whenever he sees me asks if I am enjoying the course.
Our College NHC affiliated to Herts Uni, has all sorts of awards and our new state of the art campus is being opened by The Queen soon and we start using it after Easter.