Instructor-led delivery enquiry using Certmaster Learn/Labs

Andy H

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Apr 9, 2020
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I'm looking to deliver a 5 day instructor-led Sec+ course and am wondering if anyone has done this using the Certmaster Learn together with the Certmaster Labs, as opposed to the traditional 'death by PowerPoint' with supporting activities as relevant.

I'd like to understand whether anyone has delivered the course using 'only' the Certmaster materials, or whether people have successfully integrated the slide presentation content with the Certmaster learning/labs packages. If it's the latter, sight of an example/recommended training schedule would be very useful!
 
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Hope your students aren't noobs and have their Net+ already...five days through Sec+ is gonna be murder to the uninitiated. Just my 2¢.

We use CompTIA approved materials for our classes now and teach it with 120 h of seat time - I couldn't even dream to do it in 40 unless it was to a group of already-trained professionals who were just refreshing their knowledge.

/r
 

Andy H

Well-known member
Apr 9, 2020
4
3
Hope your students aren't noobs and have their Net+ already...five days through Sec+ is gonna be murder to the uninitiated. Just my 2¢.

We use CompTIA approved materials for our classes now and teach it with 120 h of seat time - I couldn't even dream to do it in 40 unless it was to a group of already-trained professionals who were just refreshing their knowledge.

/r
Rick - the challenge is that CompTIA, along with EC-Council and (ISC)2 seem to be trying to pack more and more material into the new versions of their courses and don't 'appear' to have considered delivery scenarios with fixed timelines (i.e. 5 working days). Whilst I accept that materials need to be refreshed/updated, there is a tendency to keep some of the the 'ancient history' content just in case there is a scenario in which those elements are still in use, .

I would agree that 5 days of between 7/7.5 hours contact time just isn't enough now, but would like to understand how instructors have incorporated the new learning requirements, materials, delivery methods, and face-to-face contact time limitations. The Certmaster material is good, but I'd like to hear how it's been integrated with the 'old school' material.

WE should also consider that Sec+, along with Net+, are regarded as 'foundation' level course with little or no prioir knowledge required in advance of attendance. Having taught both Sec+ and CISSP I would say that Sec+'s curriculum is very close to that of the CISSP in many ways.
 
Rick - the challenge is that CompTIA, along with EC-Council and (ISC)2 seem to be trying to pack more and more material into the new versions of their courses and don't 'appear' to have considered delivery scenarios with fixed timelines (i.e. 5 working days). Whilst I accept that materials need to be refreshed/updated, there is a tendency to keep some of the the 'ancient history' content just in case there is a scenario in which those elements are still in use, .

True on all counts. I know from what I see in the field, old and new stuff alike changes constantly. I wouldn't expect CompTIA, EC-Council, or ISC2 to worry that much about timelines - I think they are going to be more about covering the body of knowledge that a professional would need to be successful at the level for what the cert calls. I don't disagree with this position, because it's really not the certifiers job to figure out the timelines for delivering content - that's our job. There is a plethora of approaches, books, materials, and such to get that done, based on the audience. But the certifiers really just have the job of setting the bar.

I've been on a number of seminars with Patrick Lane, the PM for all this. He makes it a point to let us all know the various entities out there who feed back into the exam. While I expect differences of opinion, I know that CompTIA will aim center-mass for what the exam should contain and not contain.

I would agree that 5 days of between 7/7.5 hours contact time just isn't enough now, but would like to understand how instructors have incorporated the new learning requirements, materials, delivery methods, and face-to-face contact time limitations. The Certmaster material is good, but I'd like to hear how it's been integrated with the 'old school' material.

I can't directly speak to this, as I'm not on the front, teaching, right now. I do know that we pack in a full class with the CompTIA materials for 120 seat hours, aimed at people who've had Net+ (although not certified). It's challenging enough.

WE should also consider that Sec+, along with Net+, are regarded as 'foundation' level course with little or no prioir knowledge required in advance of attendance. Having taught both Sec+ and CISSP I would say that Sec+'s curriculum is very close to that of the CISSP in many ways.

I am not so sure I'd put Sec+ on the same level as CISSP, particularly when I noticed the downward angle for Sec+ in order to make curriculum room between Sec+ and CASP+ for PT+ and CySA+. But Sec+ is a critical exam for DoD and other big-name players - DoD 8570 and 8140 push the Sec+ hard to people. I knew one situation where Sec+ was being pushed on a camera systems technician as a condition of employment. He had 30 days to certify or die. He didn't make it.

I also believe that the "trifecta" still stacks as required repertoire. I believe A+ is very necessary for Net+ success, Net+ for Sec+ success - so I don't see Net+ and Sec+ as peers. Sure, Sec+ is foundational now, but with the rise in security incidents, even IT neophytes can't be in the field without a goodly measure of security training - far more than what was required when I started out, 30 years ago. Others experiences may be different.

/r
 
Oh, those 5-day delivery formats. The problem isn't the amount of class time, with the usual run of around 35 hours in total. It is the fact that human absorption doesn't work so well when you cut the time between lessons (CompTIA's Security+ Certmaster has 21 of them), to a 10-minute break. Me, well I much prefer an academic structure with 16-week semesters or a summer class that runs for 8-weeks. Why? Well, it gives students their own time to do homework, practice their virtual labs, etc.

At the end of this month, I'll be teaching a Security+ class for a distant community college. The online course runs for 10-weeks. There are two class meetings a week. Each class meeting runs for two hours. Rather than having to cover 4+ lessons a day that is necessary for the 5-day format, I'll be covering an average of one lesson for each class meeting. The bottom line is this approach, IMHO is considerably more digestible and manageable for our students.
 

Tess Sluijter

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Apr 1, 2020
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the Netherlands
www.kilala.nl
Let's put it this way: CompTIA aren't the ones teaching the materials. CompTIA aren't saying you have to train people in 5 days. They provide the objectives, the exam and the instructional guides and contents. But to my knowledge they're not saying "Here, now you have to teach all of this in 5 days". That's pretty much the old-school IT training setup that's been with us since the 90s: five days to bang out a training, fits well into an IT professional's work routine as they can take five days off for studies.

EDIT: Confirmed. CompTIA themselves teach Sec+ in 10 days, not 5.

As Steve and Rick suggested there are plenty of other options. But they will not fit the old-fashioned routine of "bam! five days!"

  • I teach Linux+ in 16 6-hour classes, which include labs and a nice lunch break.
  • When I took CEH, it was spanned across 6 3-hour evening classes. Students were expected to read ahead and prepare questions.
  • When I took a CISSP bootcamp, it was a 5-day drink-from-the-firehose. But! Students were expected to have read the whole book ahead of time and to do research, to prepare questions.
If you want to do Sec+ in 5 days? Force students to read ahead. It's gonna be a bootcamp for cert-prep.

If you want to teach Sec+ at a normal pace, it'd be worth it to spread it out. To give students homework. And so on.
 
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It is the fact that human absorption doesn't work so well when you cut the time between lessons
👆 This . Right . Here. 👆 There has been study after study with respect to human learning that has shown that cram study simply doesn't work. The human mind is not like a hard drive where you can write once and it's there. On average, it takes seven exposures to the same datum before it is recorded into neurological memory. It's said that the human mind retains, maybe, just 7% of what it is exposed to in an academic setting. This is why terms are stretched out longer - to give that cool down and refresh time for data. And I know as my mind gets older, it's not as spongy as it once was - I have to go over things again and again to cement that in.

Personally, I believe the old adage of the five day boot camp to teach the uninitiated is a concept that refuses to die. I know a lot of training houses out there rely on it for their marketing forecasts and need that learn churn and burn, but if our business is to actually educate students and prepare them for IT work, then it stands to reason that boot camp model should only be reserved for those people who have been through the material before and need a refresher.

...Students were expected to read ahead and prepare questions.
Active learning requires that students take lead on their learning. What I have observed from nearly 15 years in the classroom is that less than 10% of students that sit in the seat are actually for engaging in learning the material. Perhaps it's different with a professional training house, then it is a college. But since the dawn of time, students have winced at the idea of homework. But, as the dead horse in the paragraphs above would indicate, students definitely need to have multiple exposures to that information in order to retain it. And to go further, they need exposures using different learning styles, such as auditory, visual, or kinesthetic. Although a student may have a dominant learning style, they need the exposure in the other learning styles in order to cement that information into their memory.

I don't mean any disrespect and when I'm going to say next, but if the training organization's goal is to make the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time, then by all means five-day boot camps, collect that bank, and move on to the next. But, in the end, at least as far as I'm concerned, that does a disservice to the student who is relying on that organization to properly train them for work. Granted the student has to bring their "A" game to the game everyday, and many of them don't. But, this is totally what I see, particularly in IT education today.

/r
 
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