Live, interactive online Servoy training?

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Live, interactive online Servoy training?

Postby amcgilly » Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:57 pm

With services like GoToMeeting and WebEx it is now fairly cost-effective to put on live training classes online which closely mimic the traditional "classroom" experience. By this I mean:

1. A real live instructor is leading the online training.
2. Everyone can see the instructor's screen
3. Upon request, the instructor can see any student's screen
4. The instructor can take control of the student's machine to help them out if necessary.
5. Everyone can hear everyone in the class via conference call, so they can ask questions and everyone can learn from each other.

Although less "personal" than a traditional classroom, it spares the students travel time and expense, and a 2-day course can more easily be spread over 4 half-days, allowing students time to tend to their other work resposibilities.

I am interested in hearing what people think of this. If you saw an online Servoy class that was of interest to you and cost about the same as a regular class, would you consider taking it? And if not, why not?

Addendum 1: assume that these classes would be capped at 8 - 10 students. That's as many as I would want to handle all on my own in a classroom so it seems appropriate to set the same limit here.

Addendum 2: note that these events would differ from the webinars and the Virtual Users Group in that everyone on the call can speak and be heard.

Thank you.
Last edited by amcgilly on Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby IT2Be » Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:07 pm

Hi Adrian,

Interesting idea but you would never see me in such a class, certainly not against appr. equal costs.

Reasons could be:
1. Easily distracted from the screen;
2. No real 'break-out-of-real-life' and as such easy interruption;
3. No easy discussion with each other;
4. Missing faces;

I too have experience on your side of the class as well as on the other side. The same goes for webminars. It could be me but the first have always given me much more satisfaction...

I guess what I am trying to say is that this could work as a complimentary service but can't beat the real thing I'm afraid.

Hope you are not too disappointed...
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Postby Harry Catharell » Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:38 pm

Hi Adrian,

My points are:

1) In any webinar style event, no matter how well put together, the dynamic is missing from a classroom training session
2) Multiple people tend to have to fly a holding pattern to wait for appropriate time to get that required response - and without doubt, there is a timelag which can become uncomfortable. I cite the last webinar which you were kind enough to host which was illuminating as a minimum but required me to concentrate both on the chat log and the live delivery in order to assess when and how to make my points
3) If this were something that you were keen to promote, my advice would be to provide one-to-one training where you could focus on the specific needs of the individual.
4) You need to consider your price point if you were to go ahead with this. I would think that the overheads in running this style of training to be considerably lower than classroom based and so to pitch it at around the same as a classroom based one would certainly not appeal to me

All of our clients have a support contract with MaJic which includes on-line and real-time access to remote users.

We have found that the resolution of issues can also take the form of mini training sessions where the quality of the interaction with the user teaches them far more than telephone only support, which is the equivalent of the blind leading the blind.

So in conclusion, I agree with Marcel - which I enjoy doing - in saying that it is not for me for those reasons above - but I would advicate you thinking about one-to-one Servoy-bite sessions pitched at specific functional areas and which I think are more attractive

Hope that you find this constructive

Cheers
Harry
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Postby amcgilly » Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:48 pm

Thanks for the feedback so far. As a clarification, I just added this "addendum" to the original posting:

Assume that these classes would be capped at 8 - 10 students. That's as many as I would want to handle all on my own in a classroom so it seems appropriate to set the same limit here.

Also, in response to these comments from Harry:

1) In any webinar style event, no matter how well put together, the dynamic is missing from a classroom training session
2) Multiple people tend to have to fly a holding pattern to wait for appropriate time to get that required response - and without doubt, there is a timelag which can become uncomfortable. I cite the last webinar which you were kind enough to host which was illuminating as a minimum but required me to concentrate both on the chat log and the live delivery in order to assess when and how to make my points


Please note point 5 in my original posting:

5. Everyone can hear everyone in the class via conference call, so they can ask questions and everyone can learn from each other.


In other words, this would be quite different from the Virtual User Group and the webinars - everyone can speak and be heard, so no need to follow chat logs, just join the conversation like in a regular classroom.
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Postby david » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:34 am

I agree with the detractors on this one. Online web help is the way to go -- but probably not for lengthy classes. We've been doing Servoy Help on demand for a couple of years now. Works great for interacting with clients and other developers in groups of up to three for shorter periods of time (1 to 3 hours).

But even with as much experience as we have with the medium, I wouldn't want to tackle doing a classroom situation for a whole day. The majority of human communication is non-verbal and everyone would be missing most of those cues which would leave it a fairly dry experience for all involved.

With large groups, the webinar concept (short, mostly one-way communication, packed full of information, and with materials to download afterwards) is what gets you the most bang for the buck.
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online training

Postby Roger giddings » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:29 pm

Hi
As a 'developer' designing 1 product for my own company rather than professionally for others - i would welcome any further training that moves me on from beginners fumblings. There seems a gap between 'first up' info as in the beginners guide and the more advanced work.
For instance some of the examples in Servoy reference guide assume knowledge I do not have - and needs working examples.
There are parts of servoy where i am at a complete loss.

I'm not sure I could handle more than an hour or so at a time online but building blocks of how to make servoy work for me in more than just a beginners way, in any form, would be very helpful.

Cost is an issue and a high price would put me off. Also time differentials have so far stopped me with the webminars.

I am not too bothered with the personal interaction - what i need is level 2 (level 1 being absolute beginner) information and knowhow.

The flash tutorials are again a good first step and very useful - but they only go so far. Level 2 of these would also be useful and are overdue.

I wish to thank Adrian for his beginners guide which has allowed me to take the first step in the right direction on more than one occasion.
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Postby jim » Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:30 pm

I have found Data Mosaic's help on demand service invaluable. While I may find webinars useful, there is no substitute for one-on-one help, tailored to your own needs. We can veer off in any direction, not worrying about the experience of other participants (because there are none). Rather than example files that are generic, we work with our solution specifically. In this way, progress can occur very rapidly. And, while the rate by hour may be higher than that for an online course, having someone who knows your solution give a quick answer when you are stuck can be very cost-effective.

Hats off to David and Troy!

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