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What it takes to be the Best IT Trainer


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Discussions about the current engineering education scenario existing in self-financing colleges in Tamilnadu (2007-2008). All problems and ideas discussed are purely based on my personal experiences only.

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What it takes to be the Best IT Trainer

  1. 1. What it takes to become the Best InfoTech Trainer? Sudarsun S., M.Tech., Checktronix India Pvt. Ltd. Chennai 600010 [email_address]
  2. 2. Vision Statement <ul><li>To host a quality learning environment for my students </li></ul><ul><li>To ensure value addition to all involved in the learning process </li></ul><ul><li>To impart technical competency in students to satisfy industrial needs </li></ul><ul><li>To inculcate innovation and research interests amongst my students </li></ul><ul><li>To generate revenue by industrial consultancy </li></ul>
  3. 3. Today’s Objectives <ul><li>What are the expectations of students? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the expectation of the department? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the last thing to have in teaching? </li></ul><ul><li>What is needed to satisfy the neighborhood? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the possible value additions? </li></ul><ul><li>Co-curricular activities for a trainer? </li></ul><ul><li>Extra-Curricular activities for a trainer? </li></ul><ul><li>End-of-the-day, what are the net returns? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Current Situation <ul><li>Do we think there is a deficiency in the educational system? </li></ul><ul><li>Where do we think is the discontinuity? </li></ul><ul><li>Who do we attribute the problem to? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we isolate the problem? </li></ul><ul><li>How are we going to fix it? </li></ul><ul><li>Have the university guidelines guided us in the right direction? </li></ul><ul><li>Has the department aided us? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Students <ul><li>Why are IIT, REC, AU valued so much? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it because of the staffing ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it because of the students ? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Are we saying the quality of education is bad because the quality of students are bad? </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t we make them better? </li></ul><ul><li>If we don’t help them, who will then? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the problems with my students ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IQ is poor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication is bad </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fine, how were we during our college days?  </li></ul><ul><li>Should students be approached with divide-n-conquer strategy? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Staffing <ul><li>Who are the people who opt for teaching? </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself, why you chose teaching? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Am I using this as a fill-gap to find a job? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did I come here as the last resort? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it because teaching is a 9-5 job? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do I have a passion for teaching? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do I think, I can make a difference amongst my students? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Am I technically strong enough to teach my students? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Am I serious about my profession? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do I still believe that my profession is noble? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Let’s make it better… <ul><li>Whatever be my reasons; Let me assure the following to my students and the department: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I’ll make a difference amongst my students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I’ll generate interest in the subjects taught </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I’ll guarantee reasonable results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I’ll share my knowledge amongst my colleagues and students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I’ll ensure technical competency to my students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I’ll improve employability of my students </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Expectations of a Student <ul><li>Provide a friendly learning environment </li></ul><ul><li>Be more knowledgeable than anyone else </li></ul><ul><li>Be a ROLE-MODEL </li></ul><ul><li>Be supportive during training and evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Have hands-on experience in the subjects taught </li></ul><ul><li>Help in finding a decent employment </li></ul><ul><li>Help in doing the final year project </li></ul><ul><li>Provide guidance and exposure to many contemporary technologies and facts </li></ul><ul><li>Help improving the communication and inter-personal skills </li></ul><ul><li>Assess the industry requirements and help preparing for it </li></ul><ul><li>Be available anytime for assistance even after office hours </li></ul><ul><li>Be innovative in conducting the learning exercise </li></ul>
  9. 9. Department’s Expectation <ul><li>Get 100% pass out </li></ul><ul><li>University Ranks </li></ul><ul><li>NBA A5 </li></ul><ul><li>100% Placements </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial Consultancy </li></ul><ul><li>Publications, Products & Research results </li></ul><ul><li>Anything else? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Aiyo da… <ul><li>Is the demand from neighborhood so high? </li></ul><ul><li>It’s a busy profession, ain’t it? </li></ul><ul><li>How much work one can do? </li></ul><ul><li>Isn’t there a sense of satisfaction at the end? </li></ul><ul><li>Isn’t that I am respected, celebrated after a great success? </li></ul><ul><li>Have I changed one’s life once for all? </li></ul><ul><li>YES! </li></ul>
  11. 11. What is the last thing? <ul><li>Am I getting tired of doing the same thing again, again and again? </li></ul><ul><li>Am I getting de-motivated? </li></ul><ul><li>Have I lost interest in what I do? </li></ul><ul><li>Have the students and dept lost confidence in me? </li></ul><ul><li>Have I lost confidence in myself? </li></ul><ul><li>Is nothing working out for me? </li></ul>
  12. 12. What to do now? <ul><li>Whom to fall back? </li></ul><ul><li>Can I do something to make myself better? </li></ul><ul><li>What is missing in me? </li></ul><ul><li>How to recover the lost confidence? </li></ul><ul><li>A genuine interest is the key </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to colleagues, industrial experts </li></ul><ul><li>Fill the missing gaps </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s take the first step today! </li></ul>
  13. 13. Redefine Functions <ul><li>There are mandatory functions prescribed by the university and the department for a trainer </li></ul><ul><li>How is a trainer evaluated? </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly only by the results produced! </li></ul><ul><li>How is the teaching process evaluated? </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly by the documentation prepared! </li></ul><ul><li>Is it enough? </li></ul><ul><li>Should the functions be only results oriented? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Redefine Functions – Contd. <ul><li>What’s the value addition to the trainer? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the value addition to the student? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the value addition to the department? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the prescribed function address the above basic questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is attrition so high in IT training? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it because the long run policies are weak? </li></ul><ul><li>How to complement for the missing link? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Statutory Function <ul><li>Conduct Lectures </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct Laboratory sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct Examinations </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate and Grade Students </li></ul><ul><li>Guide Student Projects </li></ul><ul><li>Implement ISO9001 guidelines by books! </li></ul><ul><li>Other documentation duties </li></ul>
  16. 16. Foundation… <ul><li>How many courses offered per semester? </li></ul><ul><li>How many hours of lecturing per week? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I have a Lecture Plan? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I have the Lecture notes prepared? </li></ul><ul><li>Have I done homework on the subject? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I know everything about the subject? </li></ul><ul><li>Can I handle all the possible queries? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I have the evaluation process prepared? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Teaching Process <ul><li>Do you use blackboard or projection ? </li></ul><ul><li>Statistically, blackboard reaches better </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why? Because, students have the habit of copying from the board right from school days </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Projection teaching is meant for revision </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Projected items visually impress, but are not generally registered within </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A combination of Black board and Projection is the KEY! </li></ul>
  18. 18. Teaching Process (Contd.) <ul><li>Do you split the black board into index and workspace? </li></ul><ul><li>Index lists the topics for the day </li></ul><ul><li>Workspace hosts the explanation of a topic </li></ul><ul><li>While projecting, try the following; </li></ul><ul><li>Stay near the projector </li></ul><ul><li>Use a sharp stick to highlight a line in the slide </li></ul><ul><li>Use a Laser pointer </li></ul><ul><li>Use a lot of pictures while explaining </li></ul><ul><li>Use Animations instead of static pictures </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t create slides fresh; try the Internet first! </li></ul>
  19. 19. Soft Skills Improvement <ul><li>What are soft skills ? </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Skills apart from Technical / Academic skills </li></ul><ul><li>Communication, Written skills </li></ul><ul><li>Inter-Personal, Team skills </li></ul><ul><li>Time, People & Stress Management </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Confidentiality, Loyalty & Hardwork </li></ul>
  20. 20. Course Website <ul><li>Every trainer should have a website </li></ul><ul><li>It should host all the learning material related to the courses taught </li></ul><ul><li>It should be the spokesperson for the course </li></ul><ul><li>All information be streamed through it </li></ul><ul><li>Project submission, Evaluation status, Requests, etc be channel through it </li></ul><ul><li>Online Tutoring </li></ul><ul><li>Single stop solution to a lot of clerical work! </li></ul>
  21. 21. Results Based Teaching… <ul><li>There are smart, average & poor students! </li></ul><ul><li>For ensuring results target the poor students </li></ul><ul><li>Two types of poor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students have Communication/Grasping problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students who don’t take the education seriously </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Help the Average to become Smarter </li></ul><ul><li>Help the Smarter to become Rank Holders </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you teach everything you know! </li></ul>
  22. 22. RBT (case 1) <ul><li>Help students to improve communication </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate regional language based training </li></ul><ul><li>Provide them easy to understand learning materials or simplified classnotes </li></ul><ul><li>Generate Question Banks and Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Split the subject and make them concentrate on a limited scope. </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct revision exams like schools </li></ul><ul><li>Help keeping their confidence level higher </li></ul><ul><li>Provide extra time by online guidance, email or telephonic help </li></ul>
  23. 23. RBT (Case 2) <ul><li>Find the reason for disinterest in the subject </li></ul><ul><li>Provide counseling to the affected students </li></ul><ul><li>Create interest in the subject </li></ul><ul><li>Try to orient teaching in the student’s liking </li></ul><ul><li>Motivate them by inculcating positive attitude </li></ul><ul><li>Once they are ready to learn, following RBT (Case 1) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Evaluation Process… <ul><li>How are you evaluating your Students ? </li></ul><ul><li>By correcting test papers. </li></ul><ul><li>Have you tried online objective exams ? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you tried peer-appraisal scheme ? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you tried multiple evaluation ? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you tried Percentile based scoring ? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you conducted open-book exams? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you tried giving 1 problem for 3 hours? </li></ul>
  25. 25. Evaluation Process <ul><li>The university guidelines do not allow this! </li></ul><ul><li>Should we limit to conducting only 3 term exams and 1 end-semester exam? </li></ul><ul><li>Is someone stopping us conducting more? </li></ul><ul><li>When you make evaluation process interesting, students would love to examine themselves. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Laboratory Training <ul><li>Provide them training about fundamental System and Network Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Does your student know about IP addresses? </li></ul><ul><li>About DNS, DHCP, SSL, HTTP, Proxy etc? </li></ul><ul><li>Ok, what about SSH, Tunneling & VPN ? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they know about VNC, Terminal Services </li></ul><ul><li>Have you used VNC for monitoring ? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you used WLAN ? </li></ul><ul><li>Does your students use Version Control ? </li></ul><ul><li>Does everybody know about Debugging, Profiling? </li></ul><ul><li>Do your students use g++ or Visual Studio? </li></ul>
  27. 27. Online Technical Support <ul><li>Have you provided help over phones ? </li></ul><ul><li>Yes, mostly </li></ul><ul><li>What about Internet Messengers? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you done conferencing with students? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you tried Video/Audio conferencing? </li></ul><ul><li>First thing, get a broadband at your home </li></ul><ul><li>Even during vacation, you may be available on demand </li></ul><ul><li>Painful? Actually it’s fun! </li></ul>
  28. 28. Publications – Conferences, Seminars & Journals <ul><li>Why are publications important ? </li></ul><ul><li>It is a metric to measure the research strength of a department and its people. </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual Property is an Amudha Surabi </li></ul><ul><li>When should someone opt for Patents or Publications? </li></ul><ul><li>International Journal Publication is the Crown any researcher would want to possess! </li></ul><ul><li>Start with Seminars  then try conferences at National and International Levels  then to Journals </li></ul><ul><li>Keep track on professional bodies like CSI, IEEE, AAAI etc </li></ul>
  29. 29. Revenue Generation Model <ul><li>Develop Technical Abilities of your team </li></ul><ul><li>Publish your abilities </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare Demo Application(s) to shout cast your team’s capability </li></ul><ul><li>Invite Projects from Internet Communities and Industry by giving Demo </li></ul><ul><li>Assess Requirements from the Prospect </li></ul><ul><li>Provide them Quality Software (or) better Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Get Paid </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  30. 30. Industrial Consultancy <ul><li>Why is Industrial Consultancy important? </li></ul><ul><li>It adds value to your department </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NBA A5 is easier then!! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It adds revenue to your department </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The management is happy  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It adds confidence & respect on you amongst your students </li></ul><ul><li>It is not easy to get this done! </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to the Industry and find out what they need and what you can offer to them </li></ul><ul><li>Make yourself capable and reliable in delivering that </li></ul><ul><li>Keep trying, there is always a first time to everything </li></ul><ul><li>Once it starts, it starts overflowing… </li></ul>
  31. 31. Software Development <ul><li>Set up teams for Software Development </li></ul><ul><li>Helps your consultancy work </li></ul><ul><li>Also helps increasing the exposure and experience of your students </li></ul><ul><li>Identify areas of demand </li></ul><ul><li>If you do a lot of reading, you can assess the demand outside easily </li></ul><ul><li>Identify students with skills </li></ul><ul><li>Spend time to motivate and guide them in projects </li></ul><ul><li>Define tasks and milestones </li></ul><ul><li>You may pay them for their work! </li></ul>
  32. 32. Quality Perspective <ul><li>Quality is the key in Industrial Consultancy </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain Industrial Standards in your lab </li></ul><ul><li>Make the student members as professionals </li></ul><ul><li>You do the planning, let the students execute </li></ul><ul><li>Follow SDLC in lab assignments too </li></ul><ul><li>Mandate usage of Version Control </li></ul><ul><li>Mandate Technical Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Mandate Unit, Integration and System Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Mandate User Documentation and UI Evaluation </li></ul>
  33. 33. Reading Habit… <ul><li>Do you read journal and magazines? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you read IT Magazine from EFY? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you read LFY? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you read Tamil Computer? </li></ul><ul><li>How many books you read a week? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have habit of buying books monthly? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you subscribed to ISTE, CSI, IEEE ? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you read conference proceedings ? </li></ul>
  34. 34. Research & Innovation Initiatives <ul><li>Why do you think you can do Research? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do we think R&D is Read & Duplicate? </li></ul><ul><li>Academia is primarily meant for Research and Industry is meant of Development </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t one do research without funding? </li></ul><ul><li>The dept is providing computing facility </li></ul><ul><li>The dept is providing man power as students </li></ul><ul><li>Why not innovate? </li></ul><ul><li>There could be reasons for staying busy, but there are not reasons for not doing research! </li></ul>
  35. 35. Industrial Interaction <ul><li>Why is Industrial Interaction so important? </li></ul><ul><li>What do Academia & Industry get in return ? </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Exchange is the key! </li></ul><ul><li>Academia is the Technology Incubator for Industry </li></ul><ul><li>Academia is the Professionals Manufacturing unit </li></ul><ul><li>Academia is the place to perform experiments </li></ul><ul><li>Industry is the Consumer for Academia </li></ul><ul><li>Industry rolls the ideas generated by Academia </li></ul><ul><li>Industry & Academia should complement eachother </li></ul>
  36. 36. Industry’s Responsibility <ul><li>Facilitate Knowledge Exchange by internships, forums, seminars, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Provide assistance in Research and Development projects </li></ul><ul><li>Provide exposure to Software Metrics, Standards and Design Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Update Academicians continuously on varying industrial demand for manpower and technology </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize and promote scientific research by converting ideas to products </li></ul>
  37. 37. Academia’s Responsibility <ul><li>Learn about what’s the latest in the industry </li></ul><ul><li>Assess the requirements of the industry </li></ul><ul><li>Concoct training program fitting the demands </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain continuous interaction with SME </li></ul><ul><li>Invite Industry for Knowledge Sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Promote Staff Industrial Internships </li></ul><ul><li>Promote Industry Endorsed Dept Projects </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare Students for Industrial Demands </li></ul>
  38. 38. Employability… <ul><li>What is the employability? </li></ul><ul><li>The ability to get quickly employed in a professional body. </li></ul><ul><li>What are the parameters? </li></ul><ul><li>Technical Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Education Qualifications </li></ul><ul><li>Soft Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Of course, the ability to survive the stringent On/Off Campus Recruitment Process. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Assess the current Industrial Requirements <ul><li>Why should one Assess? </li></ul><ul><li>We know that Industry is our Consumer </li></ul><ul><li>Unless we understand the consumer’s need, it is not possible to satisfy. </li></ul><ul><li>We are the Loser, if we don’t sell (place) our products (students) </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in touch with many industrial professional to understand the changing demand of skills and brains </li></ul><ul><li>How to Assess? </li></ul><ul><li>Forums, Seminars, Invited Talks, Competitions, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Internet has a lot of content in this regard. Use It! </li></ul>
  40. 40. Mock Interviews, GD, Tests <ul><li>Helping Students to get Placed is one of our primary goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Help Students get rid of fear on tests, interviews and GD </li></ul><ul><li>You may conduct tests based on Campus Recruitment test papers of different companies available freely in the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>You many invite industrial patrons to conduct interviews </li></ul><ul><li>On a regular basis, conduct GD on any contemporary topic at dept level as practice session </li></ul>
  41. 41. End of the day … <ul><li>Have I made any difference ? </li></ul><ul><li>Have I reached my goals ? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I have better values now ? </li></ul><ul><li>Have I become more important ? </li></ul><ul><li>Are students respecting my technical ability? </li></ul><ul><li>Have I attracted revenue ? </li></ul><ul><li>Am I getting satisfied ? </li></ul><ul><li>YES! </li></ul><ul><li>At least, in the very near future! </li></ul>
  42. 42. Thanks <ul><li>If you have any queries or need technical assistance, contact me at: </li></ul><ul><li>Sudarsun S </li></ul><ul><li>Checktronix India Pvt Ltd, </li></ul><ul><li>9 Ramanathan Street, Kilpauk, </li></ul><ul><li>Chennai 600010 </li></ul><ul><li>Phone: 044-30570028, 32 </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile: 09840737947 </li></ul><ul><li>Email: </li></ul>