Friday, February 01, 2008

ILO - Special offer from IIUG

The Informix International Users Group ( IIUG ) has just announced in it's January 2008 Insider publication an offer that will allow you to experiment the new IBM training offer: Instructor Led Online (ILO)

This kind of training adds an instructor "presence" to the traditional self-study eLearning scheme. This kind of training includes the usual material, access to a virtual machine environment and the presentations and help provided by an instructor using technologies like conference calls and webcasts.

The obvious advantage of this kind of training is the cost and the possibility of having students spread across geographic locations. Sometimes it's hard to get the required number of students at a specific time, all available in one location. In this situations, ILO can join people that would never be able to get together in a physical location. On the other hand, given the absence of physical installations, and physical equipment that would otherwise need to be provided by the training supplier, the costs can be considerably lower. The costs will be even lower if you consider traveling and accommodation costs for students. Of course this has it's downsides... The interaction will never be the same, but this greatly depends on the instructor and the students. One should, as a student, be as much participative as we would be in a classic training room, and it's the instructor obligation to facilitate the student's participation.

Another common misconception about this kind of training, is the idea that the students don't have to take full time for these classes. I personally have experienced this type of training as a student, and I can assure you this was a full time task. You have to attend the instructors sessions, and you must reserve time for self-study and exercise resolution. Otherwise you'll lag behind, and it will be harder to recover than in a classic training (I'd risk to say, impossible to catch up...). So if you ever think about ILO and you picture yourself attending it while you pursue your daily tasks... forget it!

Some of us, in particular in countries like Portugal, still look at this kind of training with some doubts. Maybe it's because we tend to be less disciplined, or just because we're more conservative, but I really think this can reach a very interesting cost/benefits ratio and also facilitate training for people living in less populated regions.

So, I suggest that all Informix DBA, programmers etc. take this opportunity to experience it, without costs... I think this offer will not include VM access for exercising, but please take into account that in a real ILO training this will be provided. In fact I have the pleasure and honor to have done several exercise tests for IBM Informix courses that were updated to version 11 in this environment. The purpose of this is to make sure that the exercises done in the physical training room can also be accomplished successfully in the VM environment.

The complete info and also the registration for this ILO demo can be accessed directly here. You must be a member of IIUG, but as you probably already know, this has no costs at all.

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