Good morning ladies and gentlemen. My name is Zeshan Sattar and I am a Senior Trainer for Zenos. I am based at the Zenos Leeds Academy and this morning I have the pleasure of telling you all about our MTA pilot. I have actually been involved with the MTA since its inception and about a year ago I was invited to blue print the Objective Domains for the IT professional exams. I also had the pleasure of being the Technical Editor for an Exam Review Kit. Hence, when I was invited by Certiport in the US to involve Zenos in a Select Preview this summer, I jumped the chance.
First of all, I want to tell you about Zenos. At Zenos we firmly believe that we change lives by providing high quality IT training. We were founded in 2001 and our main mode of teaching was with work based training. Our founder, George Anderson, was curious to find out how many of these companies would employ young people. Unfortunately, there weren’t many employers willing to take on a 16 year old due to lack of experience and certifications. Hence in 2006 he started the IT Academy programme to deliver nationally recognised qualifications and certifications in an IT apprenticeship model. The programme lasts for 22 weeks and is intensive – meaning that learners must attend our course Monday to Friday, 9-5 in business dress. Upon completion of our programme, we help our learners to find a job – but it can’t be any job – it has to be something that will help them to take their first steps in a fully fledged IT career.
So let’s have a look at our qualifications portfolio. In 2006 we offered all these qualifications. We combined nationally recognised qualifications with internationally recognised certifications.We constantly evaluate our qualifications and how effective they will be with helping our learners to gain skills that would be required in the workplace. Hence in 2010, our portfolio looks like this…
Note that our qualifications have changed, however, it is still quite an impressive range of qualifications that our learners can hope to leave with. We have always perceived vendor qualifications as one of the key components to help our learners to find a job.
When we are looking ata new qualification we consider how it would impact our achievement rate. We don’t want to sacrifice quality of our programme just for the sake of achievement. We need to make sure that the learners gain qualifications in order to ultimately make them more employable. We want to ensure that learners have confidence with their expanding qualifications portfolio and be able to use this knowledge in the real world. The biggest issue we have is that they must be able to complete all this within the limited timeframe of 22 weeks.
This summer; Our pilot was done in three stages. Trainers took the MTA exam..In true spirit of the theme of our conference, we had a bit of pincer movement where the trainer feedback was driven in the Southern Academies and in the North we focussed on seeing how our learners would react to this new qualification.
Our trainers who took the exam, overwhelmingly loved the MTA qualification and this is what they had to say about it.When I received the e-mails back from my colleagues, I felt that I was reading the MTA promotional materials – it was simple the MTA did exactly what it said. However, our challenge in Leeds was to go beyond just the trainers taking the exam.
The MTA preview in Leeds combined trainers taking the exam as well as giving training to voluntary learners.At the end of our last intake we gave the opportunity to all of our Academy learners to come back for our MTA beta teach. We ended up with ten learners who were able to participate over the summer period. My colleagues and I delivered the Exam Review Kit and we encouraged the learners to revise using the Are You Certifiable game. Upon completion the learners took the exam…and they passed!A 100% success rate with a brand new course and the brand new exam seems like the perfect match.
This is a screenshot of the AYC game. It’s available for free on the Microsoft website. The rules are simple, you’re asked a question and are presented with four options. You have to answer as quick as you can, because as the clock counts down you lose points. When you answer a question – it gives an explanation of why your answer was correct or incorrect. The game can be very entertaining – and addictive! At the moment the questions are organised in different episodes – each episode being a different topic of the MTA. Episode 1 is Server Fundamentals, Episode 2 is Networking, and Episode 3 is Security.
This is only a snapshot of the tremendous amount of positive feedback we got from our learners. They loved the student activities, the chance to brush up on their networking knowledge – as well as expand it. The most positive factor for us was that the learners felt that they gained enough knowledge from the course in order to pass the exam. Thus proving that is was possible for us to run this qualification without having to invest too much time to alter it for our needs.
The beta teach and the pilot was a fantastic success. The Networking fundamentals MTA did exactly what it said. It reviews prior learning and additionally enhances networking knowledge. It also helps to build learner confidence as learners move on to the MCTS qualification. The biggest winning factor is that it is a Microsoft backed qualification and once candidates have this qualification on their CV it would help to enhance their employment prospects.
The ERK consists of twenty 50 minutes lessons which includes slides, lesson plans and student activitiesWhen you become an authorised centre to deliver the MTA, you immediately have access to all the ERKs. The course is quite in-depth and the lesson plans have suggestions for the teacher who may be need of a refresher or who may be new to the subject.
The ERK is not delivered by itself. It can’t be due to the amount of prior knowledge that the ERK assumes.There are three ways you can deliver the ERK. The first option is to create a bespoke course and run the ERK alongside to supplement what you deliver. This would be particularly suited for schools who might want to create an after-school club for students who would be interesting in becoming Microsoft Certified.The second option is to use a comprehensive course – one you may already be using or even use the upcoming courseware offerings from CCI Learning and Wiley. Then use the ERK for review prior to your students sitting the exam.Another option is where you might already have a course, but your endpoint is solely the MTA exam. You could deliver topics that are related to the MTA and use the ERK for regular review.
The MTA is currently being used by over 100 educational institutions worldwide. The reason for its success in the short amount of time is due to its ability make candidates more employable. The MTA demonstrates a commitment and basic knowledge required to function successfully in the IT industry.Microsoft Learning conducted a research study last year to see how certifications affect career opportunities and as you can see the overall effect of certifications is positive. Thus the MTA can help you to enhance employment prospects of your students.
We need everyone here to become a revolutionary and take back the MTA to your organisations. As educators we have the opportunity to get in at the ground level as the MTA is currently offered only at Academia. The commercial sector is crying out for this certification so we can lead the way by evangelising it.
MTA Case Study
Zenos MTA Case Study<br />PRESENTED BY<br /> Zeshan Sattar <br />Microsoft Certified Trainer<br />
About Zenos<br />Changing Lives<br /><ul><li>Founded in 2001
Learners take the MTA Exam</li></li></ul><li>Trainer Feedback<br />Learners will enjoy the basics of networking through the MTA<br />This is easily attainable for our students<br />The MTA is more suitable for our learners compared to the Network+<br />I would be happy to deliver this<br />This will add another certificate to learners’ portfolio and will make them more employable<br />I am sure that our learners will pass the exam and this will increase their confidence<br />It covers the basic elements required for the MCTS This is the perfect step forward<br />I think the students will pass<br />I believe this qualification is exactly what we need<br />
MTA in Leeds<br />MTA Networking Fundamentals<br /><ul><li>Trainers took the MTA exams
Learners took the exam</li></ul> and PASSED<br />
Are you Certifiable<br />www.microsoft.com/click/areyoucertifiable<br />
Learner Feedback<br />I enjoyed the content of the course<br />DNS protocols and design is easier to understand<br />The course was extremely relevant to the exam<br />The course prepared me for the exam <br />I passed<br />The course activities were helpful and enjoyable<br />Making the Ethernet cables was enjoyable<br />I now finally understand WANs<br />I passed the exam just by what you taught<br />I learnt a lot more about switching and routing<br />
MTA Conclusions<br />Networking Fundamentals<br /><ul><li>Reviews and Enhances Networking Knowledge
Microsoft Qualification</li></li></ul><li>ERK<br />Exam Review Kit<br />
How to use the ERK<br />Exam Review Kit Delivery<br />MTA<br />Exam<br />Bespoke Course based on OD<br />ERK used to supplement teaching<br />Comprehensive Course<br />Exam Review Kit<br />MTA<br />Exam<br />Course<br />Course<br />ERK<br />Course<br />ERK<br />ERK<br />Exam<br />
Certified Career<br />MTA Benefits<br />57<br />55<br />63<br />40<br />75<br />%<br />%<br />%<br />%<br />%<br />PROOF POINT NO. 139<br />PROOF POINT NO. 124<br />PROOF POINT NO. 62<br />PROOF POINT NO. 139<br />PROOF POINT NO. 93<br />Of hiring managers consider employee certification as criterion for hiring.<br />Of managers feel certified professionals are more productive than their peers.<br />Of certified professionals credit certification for helping them land a job or promotion<br />Of managers believe that certifications are important to team performance<br />Of hiring managers consider<br />employee certification as<br />criterion for promotion.<br />