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skillsoft and knowledgenet logos with question marks

Computer-Based Training at UNT: Aargh, I'm so confused!

By Dr. Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, Student Computing Services Manager

Computer-based training at UNT has come to the end of an era. Actually, it has just come to the end of three-year initial contract with SmartForce/SkillSoft. And what a long era it was! The technology used to implement SmartForce Campus has come to the end of its usefulness. As anyone who has tried to login during the past couple of weeks has noticed, the server has been taken offline because the Campus application was not compatible with the necessary patches needed for a robust and secure Windows2000 server. Please note that all of the courses listed at the old SmartForce website are still available on CD-ROM for your use by contacting Claudia Lynch in Academic Computing Services.

With the beginning of a new (one-year) contract for computer-based training services with SkillSoft and the addition of a new company for online learning, the CBT administrator hopes to offer a much more flexible and reliable online service than in the past. In fact, she hopes to eliminate those confusing CD-ROMs forever with a faster, more current system and several cross-platform issues are nearing resolution. All of the changes in CBT at UNT will be documented and linked via a new website: www.unt.edu/CBT/ (not available until January 2004) but the following is an explanation of what will be online for your use beginning in the spring 2004 semester.

Come spring . . .

The SkillSoft site will be completely different in scope and appearance. Dubbed "Skillport" by the company, each user will be able to design their own curriculum from the courses available and track and report their progress much more easily. Additionally, users will be able to search for specific topics inside available courses. A search for "java" will not only pull up all of the Java courses we have purchased but will also reference other accessible courses that may have sections dealing with Java. Some of the old SmartForce courses have been dropped because they are out-of-date content-wise. The Skillport courses will still be available on CD-ROM but users are strongly encouraged to try out the new online system before making CD-ROM requests. The courses that will be available via Skillport include:

Adobe Products

- also on the Adobe Products CD-ROM:

  • Getting Started with Adobe Acrobat
  • Up and Running with Adobe Acrobat 5.0
  • Getting Started with Freehand 10
  • Up and Running with Freehand 10
  • Moving On with Freehand 10
  • Getting Started with GoLive 5
  • Up and Running with GoLive 5
  • Moving On with GoLive 5
  • Getting Started with Illustrator 9.0
  • Up and Running with Illustrator 9.0
  • Getting Started with Paint Shop Pro 7
  • Getting Started with Photoshop 6.0
  • Up and Running with Photoshop 6.0
  • Optimizing File Sizes with Imageready 3

Adobe Acrobat 5.0

- also on the Adobe Acrobat CD-ROM:

  • Getting Started with Adobe Acrobat
  • Up and Running with Adobe Acrobat 5.0

Javascript and Java

- also on Javascript and Java CD-ROM:

  • JAVASCRIPT CLIENT SIDE SCRIPTING
  • JAVA SCRIPT: LANGUAGE BASICS
  • AN OVERVIEW OF JAVA
  • ANATOMY OF JAVA CLASSES
  • FEATURES OF JAVA
  • INTRODUCTION TO THE JAVA LANGUAGE
  • OBJECT-ORIENTED PRINCIPLES AND JAVA
  • JAVA 2: CORE UTILITIES
  • JAVA 2: CREATING CLASSES
  • JAVA 2: INTRODUCTION TO CREATING GUIS
  • JAVA 2: LANGUAGE BASICS
  • JAVA 2: LANGUAGE FEATURES
  • JAVA AND DISTRIBUTED OBJECTS
  • JAVA ANIMATION AND IMAGES
  • JAVA BEANS
  • JAVA DATABASE CONNECTIVITY
  • JAVA ENTERPRISE CONNECTIVITY: CORBA AND THE JAVA IDL
  • JAVA ENTERPRISE CONNECTIVITY: ENTERPRISE JAVA BEANS (EJB)
  • JAVA ENTERPRISE CONNECTIVITY: JAVA DATABASE CONNECTIVITY (JDBC)
  • JAVA ENTERPRISE CONNECTIVITY REMOTE METHOD INVOCATION (RMI) AND SERIALIZATION
  • JAVA ENTERPRISE CONNECTIVITY SECURITY FEATURES
  • JAVA ENTERPRISE CONNECTIVITY: SERVLETS
  • JAVA ENTERPRISE CONNECTIVITY: SWING AND THE IFC
  • JAVA FOR CD DEVELOPERS
  • JAVA SECURITY: NETWORKING AND THE INTERNET
  • JAVA TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
  • JAVA USER INTERFACE PROGRAMMING

Linux

- also on the Linux CD-ROM:

  • Linux: Basic System Administration I (listed under the title "Administration Tasks")
  • Files in Linux (listed under the title "Managing the Filesystem")
  • Editing and Printing (Linux Administration)
  • Hardware (Linux Administration)
  • Installation and Package Management (Linux Administration)
  • Networking Fundamentals (Linux Administration)
  • Networking Services (Linux Administration)
  • Security (Linux Administration)
  • Shell Scripting (Linux Administration)
  • Updating the Kernal (Linux Administration)

Macromedia Products

- also on the Macromedia Products CD-ROM:

  • Working with Images introductory course to Fireworks MX
  • Adding Interactive Objects Fireworks MX
  • Using Fireworks MX with Dreamweaver MX and Flash MX
  • Basic Animation introductory course to Flash MX
  • Increased Application Flash MX
  • Objects, Functions, and Components in Flash MX
  • Using Action Scripts in Flash MX
  • Dreamweaver 4 introductory course to Dreamweaver 4
  • Using Basic Dreamweaver MX Tools introductory course to Dreamweaver MX
  • Structuring Web Pages using tables in Dreamweaver MX
  • Flash 5 introductory course to Flash 5
  • Getting Started with Coldfusion MX introductory course
  • Data Retrieval and Manipulation - advanced Coldfusion

Oracle 9i

- also on the Oracle 9i CD-ROM:

  • Introducing Oracle9i Database
  • Reducing Downtime in an Oracle9i Database (listed under the title "Availability")
  • Joins, Expressions and Subqueries in Oracle9i (listed under the title "Development Platform")
  • The Oracle9i Database SPFILE (listed under the title "Manageability Enhancements")
  • Oracle9i Database Index Usage and Monitoring (listed under the title "Scalability and Performance")
  • Oracle9i Database Security (listed under the title "Security Overview")
  • Backup and Recovery Overview and Configuration (Oracle 9i)
  • Data Integrity (Oracle 9i)
  • Networking Overview (Oracle 9i)
  • Oracle Network Configuration (Oracle 9i)
  • Privileges and Roles (Oracle 9i)
  • Recovery Manager Maintenance (Oracle 9i)
  • Tables and Indexes (Oracle 9i)
  • Transporting and Loading Data (Oracle 9i)
  • User-Managed and RMAN Backup and Recovery (Oracle 9i)
  • Users and Profiles (Oracle 9i)
  • Data Storage (Oracle 9i)
  • Globalization and Auditing (Oracle 9i)

Solaris 9

- also on the Solaris 9 CD-ROM :

  • Advanced Installation
  • Networking with Solaris
  • Solaris Naming Services
  • Solaris File Systems and Storage
  • Supervising Solaris Systems

UNIX

- also on the UNIX CD-ROM:

  • UNIX: EXPLORING THE FILESYSTEM
  • UNIX: OVERVIEW
  • UNIX: PROCESS AND DATA UTILITIES
  • UNIX: SHELL PROGRAMMING
  • UNIX: THE USER ENVIRONMENT
  • UNIX: USING EDITORS
  • UNIX: USING THE SHELL
  • UNIX: WORKING WITH FILES

Web Design and Tools

- also on the Web Power! CD-ROM:

  • Design Concepts covers web page design basics
  • HTML Fundamentals an overview of HTML
  • Advanced HTML Design Elements
  • Advanced Technology Concepts covers HTML, Javascript, Dynamic HTML, XML, and Java applets

The platform disadvantage will, unfortunately, still remain with Skillport: users will need to use Internet Explorer on a Windows machine to access all course contents.

Knowledgenet

Because of a desire to provide better service and flexibility and to include our many Linux and Macintosh users, we have also contracted with a new company, Knowledgenet and are experimenting with their products. Initially Knowledgenet will provide all training on Windows 2000 and Windows XP (eventually Windows 2003) products as well as all Microsoft Office products. Knowledgenet runs on a Linux server (running Apache Tomcat) and is designed to be used on multiple browser products on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers.

This much more flexible solution is currently being set up by the CBT administrator and she will let you know more about its interface in the future. If the cross-platform promise of Knowledgenet is, indeed, true - then expect more courses to be offered via the Knowledgenet solution and eliminated from the SkillSoft solution. The goal is to provide CBT to as many users as possible regardless of their operating system or browser type and Knowledgenet seems designed to fit the bill. This experimental year will determine its future on our campus. A more thorough Microsoft training table of contents from Knowledgenet will be available in a few weeks.

Stay tuned!

Stay tuned to Benchmarks Online for further developments in UNT CBT as final contracts get approved and new servers get setup and put online. As always, questions and feedback should be sent to Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, UNT CBT Administrator. Make it your number one New Year's resolution (all right, number two behind the inevitable 'lose weight' one!) to check out these new CBT offerings in January 2004 and let us know what you think!