We believe effective distance education, or self-study, requires the best available distance education and self-study techniques.
The techniques are not difficult, nor are they secret. In fact, the best distance education techniques apply basic common sense:
- Manageable blocks of time
- Rich collection of on-line video material and written material
- Personal support
Manageable blocks of time
Best practices in teaching complex material are to create digestible portions appropriate to the complexity of the topic. For topics as complex as enterprise architecture and TOGAF certification, an optimal digestible portion is roughly 20 minutes in length. We structured Conexiam’s online TOGAF 9.1 Certification training into 26 blocks, each approximately 20 minutes long.
Rich collection of on-line video material and written material
We all learn best through a combination of listening, watching, reading and doing. In addition, we all have preferred learning styles for different types of material.
We have evolved our online education. Initially we partnered with Desire2Learn, the leading provider of eLearning solutions for post-secondary and corporate education, to provide a rich video/course material mix. With Desire2Learn’s Capture, we are able to blend the power of a personal lecture with slide display. Unfortunately the video quality was lower than we wanted and Desire2Learn couldn’t integrate outside their platform.
Our second evolution was to build a dedicated distance learning platform, training.conexiam.com. This portal allows us to mix multiple media, video, computer demonstration, downloadable material. We are experimenting with improving our education.
Despite our best efforts through the instructor’s explanations, the written material and the case study exercises, students have questions. To address this need, Conexiam provides three methods of additional support as follows:
- E-mail for straightforward TOGAF 9 & IT4IT certification questions.
- Optional: One-on-one tutorial with Conexiam’s instructors.
- Optional:Group case study boot camp
Note: The case study boot camp supports the development of a rich understanding of effective enterprise architecture. It is not a prerequisite for TOGAF certification. The boot-camp is drawn from the exercises of our EA with TOGAF & Navigate course. As an alternative we suggest that students undertake the 9 case study exercises so they can trace why the set of frameworks in the TOGAF standard are there, and why the different phases in the ADM exist.