How did you become an instructor at Progress?

    Progress_LogoI have been teaching for more than 25 years. My teaching career began in the Air Force when I taught UNIX classes as part of my military duties. For the last 21 years, I have been teaching technical classes to Progress customers, predominantly direct users of Progress’s application development tools and end users of 3rd party applications.

     

    How has training delivery changed since you have been an instructor?

    In the early days, the best you could do was teach classes using basic lectures and labs. Students had books with examples and lab exercises. While instructors would use PowerPoint to help illustrate a concept, we didn’t actually “teach” from PowerPoints. I remember using a flat panel screen that sat on top of a projector.

    We didn’t do remote training until about the mid-2000s when the drive to lower traveling expenses and stay at home started to come out. Once remote training began to grow in about 2005-2006, we developed our own type of remote training at the company I worked for which we called “e-training.” We cobbled together different platforms, including Adobe Connect, remote desktops, smart whiteboards with Bluetooth digital pens. It was our very own version of remote instructor-led training.

    We also had a producer who handled all the technical issues from students so the instructor could focus on instruction. And I remember we had a live, high-definition camera looking into our classroom so students could see the instructor. Today, what’s changed is there’s a much greater demand for different forms of training, for example in-person instructor-led, self-paced online training and virtual instructor-led training (VILT). Students still prefer in-person instructor-led training, but travel costs encourages their employers to pick VILT instead.

     

    BThompsonProfilePic"First of all, the use of access codes is very organized and efficient. Once we schedule a class, students are assigned an access code. Using this access code, students get access to the virtual classroom where we can communicate with them, give them access to all course materials, give lectures/presentations and work on virtual training labs."

     

    First of all, the use of access codes is very organized and efficient. Once we schedule a class, students are assigned an access code. Using this access code, students get access to the virtual classroom where we can communicate with them, give them access to all course materials, give lectures/presentations and work on virtual training labs.

     

    Which ReadyTech features do you like the most?

    We have been speaking to ReadyTech since the beginning of 2017 and offered our first VILT class in April 2017. So far, we have discovered many great features and were very impressed with the service ReadyTech has provided.

    First of all, the use of access codes is very organized and efficient. Once we schedule a class, students are assigned an access code. Using this access code, students get access to the virtual classroom where we can communicate with them, give them access to all course materials, give lectures/presentations and work on virtual training labs.

    Lab-ManagementSecond, the lab overview feature is also extremely useful. The fact that instructors can see a student’s screen and provide assistance when they notice a student lagging is very helpful. This feature allows instructors to interact one-on-one with students and gets them as close to students as possible. We’ve used Amazon Cloud Services before, but they allowed only one user to access the lab at a timein other words, the student and instructor couldn’t look at the lab together.

     Third, the other thing I really like about ReadyTech is how we can give students access to the hands-on lab over a multi-day classthis means we can assign lab homework for students to work on after the VILT class.

    And finally, ReadyTech’s audio capability. At first, we didn’t realize that ReadyTech offered this feature, but now it has become integral to our teaching. Instead of having to use GoToMeeting for audio, ReadyTech provides this audio feature built-inwhich prevents us from having to switch back-and-forth between ReadyTech and a 3rd party audio provider during the class. That’s huge.

     

    What advice would you give to new instructors using ReadyTech's solutions?

    Be sure to set up a practice session. Schedule a training event and invite the potential instructors that will be teaching on ReadyTech or some of your internal people that can act as students. Take advantage of ReadyTech's free trial class to become familiar with their virtual training tools and features. You need to be familiar with that because you need to tell students how to use the tools, too. This practice will help you be a better teacher and give your students a better learning experience.

    So what I would say is give all of your instructors at least 2 days before class to interact with the tools and features. Becoming familiar with the lay of the land is critical for instructors just starting out on ReadyTech’s online training software.

     

    About Progress Software
    Progress Software provides platforms for developing and deploying mission-critical business applications. 

    Website
    www.progress.com

    Industry
    Computer Software
    Enterprise Integration
    Application Development 

    Company Size
    1,900 employees
    $405 million in 2016 sales

    Headquarters
    Bedford, MA, United States

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