Several of these pages use some of the same data in slightly different forms. A plan for the next few months is to use text files and perl scripts to make their creation and maintenance easier.
Aris presented two sets of a Windows 2000 2 day course. These were attended by a total of 63 people representing 16 departments and 9 colleges. The courses were hosted by OUCS who provided training rooms and refreshments.
Comments were generally very good. More knowlegeable attendees spotted that the lecturer only knew the official Microsoft notes and was not a professional in the field. From my point of view, the courses were excellent for meeting people and discussing training needs.
Colleges: Corpus, Hertford, Keble, Mertin, Oriel, Somerville, St Hildas,
St Johns, Worcester
Departments: Archaeology, Biochemostry, Economics, Engineering, Human Genetics, IMSU, LAS, Law, Modern History, Modern Languages, Orthapaedic Engineering, OUCS, Physics, Psychiatry, Said Business School, Zoology
The second of these was held on Thursday 3 February and was well attended. Most people had been at the University less than 3 months and some good contacts were made on both sides. The course is still developing and improving. Future sessions will have a longer talk on OxCert and security issues, a tour of the OUCS Computer Room and a slightly shorter tea break. Jane Brown gave a talk on software licences which was well received and will be added to the course.
Sue has written Web pages for new IT Support Staff arising fom the Induction course. These can be found at http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/its3/resources/induction.xml
The course on 30 March did not run due to lack of support. Only 3 people booked despite having 5 enquiries. The method of booking is to be checked to make sure we aren't losing people. The next course is scheduled for 25 May.
Topics for Hilary were XML, Origin graphing software, Auditing LAN Networks, Stress Management, Windows 2000 for end users, Digimap, PGP, ITSS training update, Backbone Project Update.
Topics for Trinity are SAS Version 8, Computers and Users with Disabilities, Top Tips for Terrific Talking, Web Caching, Air and Share, Setting up an NT Server.
There were no special events between January and April. However Dell will be presenting a seminar on e-business on Thursday 18 May. This will be a technical talk from one of the world experts in e-business and look at what people need to set up an e-business site and how to go about it. They are providing lunch. Booking for this opens on Thursday 6 March.
I attended a TNA session at Brookes on 21 January. The report is at http://users.ox.ac.uk/~itssg/internal/focustna.html. They were looking to improve their short courses, basically evening class style, and find out what courses would be popular. Neither the findings nor the method of approach to a TNA were particularly useful to ITSS training at Oxford University although it was an interesting afternoon.
Considerable interest has been shown in participating in a CPD scheme. No funds are available to run the BCS scheme. I am investigating the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) which is a free, BCS Industry Structure Model style framework for TNA and CPD. Another suggestion is to have an Oxford scheme, based on the BCS CDP points system but with locally produced record cards, certificates, etc. The developments in this area will form the basis of my workshop at the ITSS Conference.
OUCS have purchased a set of single licence CBT including many MCSE and CNE courses. A pilot project has been set up with 5 participants to borrow the CDs for a week at a time and report back on how long they spent working through them, comments about content, learning methodology, etc. This started on 21 March. The feedback form is at http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ITSSinfo/training/cbtfeedback.html. So far, the participants have been enthusiastic and found the CBT useful. At the end of the pilot project (approx. 3 months), a paper will be written on the findings which can be used to support a bid for an increased licence, if CBT is found to be a good way of learning.
Reading College are a Microsoft Authorised Academic Training Partner who will run MCSE and other technical Microsoft courses for ITSS. The first course to be offered is NT 4 Admin and there are currenly 6 people interested. Reading College will run a course for these numbers. It is hoped that more people will book once definite dates are known. The commercial rate for this course is approaching £1200 per person. If we block book with Reading College, it will cost £360 per person.
Salford Software are the only Novell Education Academic Partner in the UK. They will be running the Novell Netware 5 Admin course at OUCS on 10 to 14 April. Initial quotes were for 12 people to attend the course. However, uptake has been slow and only 7 people booked. Salford Software are very keen to run the course so have reduced the price even further for the course to go ahead. They will be co-ordinating with Clive Rickett and Peter Higginbotham to ensure the appropriate course set up.
First Alternative, based at Harwell, have been chosen as the preferred supplier of these courses. The reasons are their closeness to Oxford, their technical excellence and good prices for block bookings. Currently 6 people have shown an interest in the Solaris Admin course and 6 for the Internet Security course. This should be sufficient for the courses to go ahead. It is hoped that more people will book once definite dates are known.
A specialist Perl course was organised for OUCS staff, in particular, the Registration Database team, on 28 and 31 March. This was very sucessful and was attended by 14 people. It was run by First Alternative at OUCS.
Following from this, I hope to be running an Introduction to Perl course in Michaelmas 2000. It will be open to staff only, as an experiment.
Interest in commercial courses has been lower than expected. With block bookings and special deals, the prices on offer were 30% to 60% cheaper than equivalent commercial rates. Possible reasons for the low numbers include:
The number of people who attended the ITSS Training Update Seminar was also lower than expected.
It is possible that some people were reluctant to ask for money if the course wasn't exactly what they needed for work and if they felt they could not justify, or would be criticised for asking for, the time and money. There is also a 'I need to know just this bit, now' culture apparent.
I will continue to organise and promote commercial courses at special rates. I hope the numbers and enthusiasm will increase as more of offered and people see others attending and recommending courses. The greatest difficulty is with courses run at OUCS as we need larger numbers to be cost effective. However, this is something that has been requested most often!
I have been asked by Alex to organise the OxTALENT seminars for Trinity 2000. These will take place on Friday afternoons or lunchtimes at OUCS. I'm waiting to hear about presenters and seminar titles.
A SIG for Windows 2000 Active Directory is being set up by Matthew Dovey. I have asked him to keep me informed of the meetings and plan to attend occasionally.