Logically Speaking July 2020
July 22, 2020
 
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Upgrade Your Curriculum for Virtual Learning

by Jon O'Keefe, MCCT, Technology Education Jedi

 

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) recommends that virtual learning be broken into smaller chunks, with student engagement activities occurring every 10-15 minutes. Choosing the right curriculum can have a great impact on the success of the student, specifically in a virtual environment. Virtual learning needs to focus on student engagement with powerful visuals and accompanying external learning sources. In many instances, curriculum designed for purely face-to-face instruction lacks the engagement that students will need to be successful in a virtual classroom.  

Logical Operations has curriculum that is heavily focused on hands-on activities and student engagement, two key components to delivering a successful virtual training event. Through our Logical Operations CHOICE® platform, we can deliver digital copies of materials, editable PowerPoint slides, videos, checklists, and assessments to supplement any virtual delivery. Our materials contain hands-on and minds-on activities that are perfect for keeping students engaged during this period of adjustment to “the new normal”.  

Virtual training can be every bit as successful as in-person training. The key is the right instructor and the right curriculum. Logical Operations can be your partner for both with our virtual instructor-led training programs (MCCT and CVE) as well as our ready-to-go virtual curriculum. 

 
 
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Sales Support Fuels Growth

by Jim Gabalski, Vice President Sales and Marketing

 

The fastest growing titles in 2020? Power BI®Tableau®SQL (various different versions), and Data Analysis and Visualization with Excel®.  What do they all have in common? They all touch different elements of the fast-growing fields of Data Analytics and Data Science. And if early interest is any measure of long-term success, the recently released title of Programming and Data Wrangling with VBA and Excel® should join the club.  Additionally, we are seeing rapidly increasing interest in Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Secure Coding, and Cyber Security First Responder topics. How do you take advantage of the opportunity these titles provide? Your Logical Operations Account Manager will be glad to assist you in a variety of ways - just ask!

Over the past year and a half, we have enhanced our sales team and our approach for supporting training providers. Jedi Jon has supported dozens of webinars for training provider students and prospective students on topics ranging from Data Management to Artificial Intelligence.  We’ve conducted hundreds of sales trainings on CyberSec First Responder™. Our YouTube channel has been enhanced with quick-hitting videos that provide the opportunity for sales teams and students to get more information on key topics. Our Partner Products team has provided sales tools that assist in the selling of ITIL® 4 training.  And much, much more…. All of this has been done to assist you with your sales and student guidance efforts. 

Our team of Account Managers is dedicated to the training industry, and most members have at least 10 years of experience. Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for assistance. We enjoy working with you and your customers.   

About the Author: 

Jim Gabalski is the Vice President of Marketing and Sales. He is a “boomeranger” having been part of Logical Operations from 1996 to 2002 and having returned in 2018.  He is passionate about technology and training and would be glad to share his 33+ years of experience with your sales team. 

  
 
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Logical Operations’ CHOICE: A Proven Instructional Model

by Nancy Curtis, Vice President, Content

 

Logical Operations has a 35-year track record of excellence of service to the technical training community. In that time, we have refined our CHOICE instructional model for consistency, reliability, and clarity for successful use by instructors and learners in a variety of delivery modes.  

In the CHOICE instructional model, courses are organized hierarchically. Each course contains multiple lessons, each lesson contains multiple topics, and each topic contains instructional content in three different categories: Knowledge Blocks (“KBs” in our lingo); How To and/or Guidelines blocks; and Activities.  

This structural hierarchy reflects the logical hierarchy of the instructional objectives associated with each learning object.  The learning objectives themselves align with real-world job outcomes.   

  • Course objective = a job mission: the high-level purpose of the course equates with the high-level description of a job role 

    • Lesson objective = a job function: a broad, ongoing area of responsibility within that job role 
      • Topic objective = a job task (or “terminal” objective): a specific, discrete, observable action; something professionals in that job role might have on their To-Do lists 
      • Knowledge Block objective = job knowledge (or “enabling” objective): information that’s necessary to accomplish a job task  
      • How To Block = a job aid to support a near-transfer (procedural) terminal objective 
      • Guidelines Block = a job aid to support a far-transfer (principle-based) terminal objective  
      • Activity = active practice of the topic (terminal) objective  
    • Mastery Builder = active practice of the lesson objective 

So the course structure, the instructional flow, and the job relevance form an integrated whole. You’ll see this hierarchical structure in every Logical Operations CHOICE course. It’s a fundamental part of the consistency and reliability of our instructional product.  

As a bonus, the modular structure of the courseware means we can offer you self-service content customization through our CustomCHOICE online tool. You can mix and match lessons and topics from any available CHOICE courses to create a learning experience to meet your unique needs.   

Check for the CHOICE instructional hierarchy in all the CHOICE curriculum you use!  

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CHOICE Courseware: Built for Student Success

by Nancy Curtis, Vice President, Content

 

One of the underlying principles in Logical Operations’ CHOICE instructional approach is that our courseware is built for student success. The material promotes that goal in several ways:  

  • Within topics, hands-on activities (those that use hardware or software) are written with two levels of scaffolding. The numbered step is a general target for what the student will accomplish in that part of the activity. Then, the lettered sub-steps provide detailed, click-by-click instructions to ensure the student can complete the task.   

  • Hands-on Mastery Builders at the lesson level are deliberately more open-ended and less scaffolded, to allow for more student challenge. In this case, a Solution file is provided as a student self-check tool.  

  • For “minds-on” style material throughout the course, (quizzes, guided discussions, case studies, and so on), sample answers are provided for the student in a Solutions section at the back of the Student Manual.  

The supports built in to the CHOICE courseware along with your expert guidance are a winning combination for ensuring that students master each learning objective in the course.

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Latest Product Highlights

 
Programming and Data Wrangling with VBA and Excel®

Using Data Science Tools in Python

ITIL 4 Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV)

ITIL 4 High Velocity IT (HVIT)

CertNexus Certified Artificial Intelligence Practitioner (Exam AIP-110)

CertNexus Certified Cyber Secure Coder® (Exam CSC-210)

 
For a complete list of current and updated courses, download the Product Summary Guide below.
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
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Logical Operations Garners Media Attention for Helping Educators Across the Globe

by Jon O'Keefe, MCCT, Technology Education Jedi

 

Earlier this month, Logical Operations’ Certified Virtual Educator (CVE) course was featured on Rochester, NY WROC News 8. See our news story here

Remote and virtual education has become a trending topic over the past few months and the tensions surrounding school reopenings have driven more media attention on the support teachers and school districts are looking for. We know that, regardless of the age of your students, the transition to teaching online can be abrupt and educators can easily lose confidence when they must deliver content over unfamiliar tools. The main concern of educators at all levels is student engagement, as high levels of engagement directly correlate to high levels of success. Whether we are talking about teaching Excel to a corporate audience or teaching High School Social Studies, keeping remote students engaged is every educator’s focus as we press through this pandemic.

Logical Operations has been championing remote and virtual education for years. Since March, Logical Operations has taught over 2,500 educators from around the globe best practices for teaching virtually through our Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT) class and certification. While MCCT is primarily aimed at adult and corporate trainers, we recognized the need for a similar program for K-12 and college educators and designed Certified Virtual Educator (CVE) to serve that audience.

Both CVE and MCCT focus on how to keep students engaged when delivering virtually. CVE has additional hands-on activities that a K-12 or college educator will find incredibly helpful when transitioning their classroom to a virtual one. Logical Operations is proud to offer MCCT to our adult and corporate trainers, and CVE to our K-12 and college educators to help them navigate this difficult journey of moving their classrooms online. If you are interested in learning more, you can visit mcctcertified.com and certifiedvirtualeducator.com for additional information and a list of upcoming classes.  

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CHOICE Courseware Elements: Behind the Scenes

by Nancy Curtis, Vice President, Content

 

There are many elements to a Logical Operations CHOICE curriculum product, but the flagship is the courseware manual itself. The manual comes in two versions, Instructor Edition (IE) and Student Manual (SM); as an instructor, you can access both from your CHOICE account.  

Components of the courseware manual include: 

  • Front matter (Title page, Credits, Table of Contents, About This Course) 

  • Instructor preface, “Using the Instructor’s Edition” (in the IE only – see this recent article comparing the IE and SM)Student notes (throughout the manual) 

    • Lessons, which include: 
      • Lesson introduction and objectives 
      • Topics, which include: 
        • Topic introduction 
        • Instructional content (“Knowledge Blocks” and “Supporting Blocks”) 
        • How Tos (provided on the CHOICE platform)
        • Guidelines (provided in the manual as well as on the CHOICE platform) 
        • Activities (with data file references)
      • Reflective Questions 
      • Mastery Builders
  • Instructor notes (IE only – throughout the manual) 

  • Back matter (Course Follow-Up, Appendices, Glossary, Index)

  • Solutions section (SM only)  

Most of these elements are self-explanatory, but as an instructor, it may be of interest to you to know some behind-the-scenes information about specific courseware components.  Here are a few notes about those CHOICE-specific elements:  

 

Course Component 

Notes 

Course and lesson objectives 

The high-level course objectives listed in the course introduction align one-to-one with the lessons in the course. Five lessons? Five objectives. Ten lessons? Ten objectives. Similarly, the lesson objectives listed on each lesson introduction page align with the topics in that lesson. Notice that titles and objectives share wording and will use action verbs whenever possible to promote outcome-based learning. 

Topic activities 

Topic-level activities support the instructional objective in that topic.  They provide an opportunity for learners to apply the knowledge and skills presented in each topic within the context of a job-realistic scenario. Activities can include both hands-on steps using software or hardware, and “minds-on” items such as discussion and quiz questions.   

Reflective Questions 

Lesson-ending wrap-up questions are designed to encourage students both to think about and to discuss how they will transfer what they have learned to their own professional situation. They are open-ended and deliberately have no “right” answer.  However, suggested responses are provided for your use in stimulating discussion as needed.   

Mastery Builders 

Mastery Builders align with lessons overall, rather than topics within lessons. They may contain additional hands-on practice, more extended case study work, or even quiz-style questions to promote certification readiness. 

Mastery Builders are considered instructionally optional and are not included in the suggested running times for the lessons. For this reason, they appear at the back of the manual, rather than in line with the lessons they support.  

Use Mastery Builders flexibly, as you see fit: as extra in-class review and practice; as offline work; or as optional self-study.   

Data Files 

For some activities, data files are provided for students to examine or complete. The “Data File” header in such an activity provides a cue when these files are needed. Instructions for downloading and installing the data files from CHOICE are found in the instructor preface in the IE. 

The path provided in the “Data File” header assumes you have downloaded the files as directed in the front matter, but if you prefer to place them in another location, you are free to do so. 

When you see an activity with a “Data File” header, be sure to talk your students through the process of downloading and unzipping the files prior to the start of that activity.   

How Tos 

A How To note in a topic is a signal that a job aid with generalized, procedural steps is available from the Checklist tile on the CHOICE platform. How Tos typically are not reviewed in class, because the topic activity is a worked example of a specific instance of the procedure. Learners can then use the How To as a reference when performing a similar task in their own job situation.   

Guidelines 

A Guidelines block contains summaries of principles, expert judgment, rules of thumb, and similar guidance that help accomplish the topic objective. PowerPoint slides are provided to support your discussion of the Guidelines. Students can also access the Guidelines as Checklists from the CHOICE platform. 

Knowledge Block 

The CHOICE terminology for most of the remaining instructional content (text, tables, figures, etc.) is “Knowledge Block (KB).” KBs form the bulk of your instructional presentation. There is at least one PowerPoint slide for every KB.  

Supporting Block 

A Supporting Block (SB) is a component of a KB. It contains information that is necessary but generally works better as reference material rather than presented and discussed in class. SBs have descriptive titles that appear in a slightly smaller font than KB titles. Slides are not provided for SBs as they are not designed for presentation, but feel free to refer to them in your delivery as you see fit.  

Student Note 

Student Notes are brief extra “nice-to-know” material, tips, and cautions that can appear anywhere in the course. They appear in a shaded box with a push-pin icon.   


And that’s a backstage tour of some of the unique elements of the CHOICE courseware product. We hope this information helps you get even more out of the CHOICE instructional experience.  

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Creating Your Own Custom Python Bootcamp on CustomCHOICE

by Andrea Montanarella, Manager, Custom Production

 

Have you ever wanted to take three different books and scale them down to a 5-day bootcamp? Click on the link and we will show you how in under 6 minutes!

You might have students with some programming background but no Python experience who need to become functional with both Python programming and the most important principles of secure coding, all within a compressed 5-day time frame. This video will show you how to make it happen!

In this case, the content you want covered in class would be found in each of the following three books: 

You can mix and match lessons and delete unwanted topics from each of these titles to make a 5-day Python Secure Coding Bootcamp of your own!  

Create your content using only the subject areas that pertain to your students, and then personalize it with subtext and footers plus your logo on the front cover. Looking to just add your logo? No problem! 

How to Order: 

You can submit an order for a quote online using our CustomCHOICE tool:

  • Go to → store.logicaloperations.com → Log in → Choose “My Account” at the top of the screen → Choose “CustomCHOICE” on the left-hand navigation.  

  • View a short CustomCHOICE demo to see how easy it is to get started:

  • Or call me for a 1:1 demo today!

Andrea Montanarella, Manager, Custom Production

cprint@logicaloperations.com | 800-456-4677—Option 4 | Direct: 585-350-7014 

 
 
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