The Online Course

Two months ago I got the chance to enroll for an online course where after one month of self-study, (with all the notes in pdfs, learning labs and demos). We would convene and have an overview of the content with the trainers from IBM where they would facilitate examinations as well as one-week intense learning.

Online learning

· There is never time

In those two months, I downloaded the material and stored it in a folder but never looked at it. I promised myself that this was not me and dived in, 30 minutes later I was caught up in other business (washing dishes is pretty important I think).

A month flew by and I had not covered my material.

I had to do something about this. Time was not on my side.

How could I face the last training week without a clue of the learning content?

3 weeks to the exams, I made a timetable starting Saturday through the week, mostly to work in the evenings. Pretty good on paper and in my mind, only to realize that the weekend ended abruptly as it had come and that I had one week to my certification, where failure is not an option.

· Taking the leap

Diving into the material turned out to be more interesting than all the other things I had been doing previously, the hands-on practical of working with a demo site and hacking into it kept me looking forward to the next lab exercise.

By the beginning of the short face to face training, I had covered all the exercises and was comfortable with the material and thus had an easier week in the training. I was also happy to raise my hand up when the tutor asked who had covered the material early in advance.

· Discipline

The challenge of learning online is real; procrastination and lack of good plans. You become lazy, and if you don’t realize this earlier, you never finish your course.

· All said and done

I discovered that one could do a lot of work while sitting in a matatu during a traffic jam (unless the music is too loud). You can also learn late into the night and quizzes do help in gaging your progress through the content provided.

Also, beware of a lot of information on the internet, there is too much and sometimes most of it is redundant. Be disciplined and all will be well.

sample online training from IBM

· Passed

Then the final exam came, we were all sitting pretty waiting for the tutor to activate the exams, chatting away how the week had been short and what happened in the football world.

The exam was not easy as we had thought. My famous elimination method of tackling multiple choice questions was trickier than I ever.

I was so scared of the submit button, it has so much power now.

Congratulations to me, I had passed the exam — above the pass mark.

No matter how rosy it looks, self study has very sharp thorns.