For  several months now the Be Careers Network has been listening to the academic community voice their need for a "lightweight" primer-type course to quickly orient students to the MicroStation working evironment.  Be Careers Network in cooperation with Archway Systems, a long time academic consulting firm, have been working on such a "primer"-style course designed specifically to give the student a good foundation in MicroStation. 

Recognizing that such a course has to appeal to the contemporary student mindset, the course had to contain a bit more than just a bunch of text to read.  A multimedia approach was selected that uses a mix of videos and hands-on content contained within the same course.

The course itself consists of short  'modules' with a nearly even mix of video lectures (7-15 minutes in length) and hands-on narrative / exercises (equivalent to ten or less pages of printed material) .  The hands-on portion is designed for the student to complete on their own.   

The relationship between the videos and the hands-on materials was very critical.  In the videos, the student is first guided through much of the narrative content before being introduced to the hands-on exercises where the "virtual instructor" or narrator actually goes through the exercise step-by-step explaining what is going on the entire time.  [This is not unlike how an instructor in a traditional training class often demonstrates the topic under discussion by either doing a simple exercise or a walk through of the student exercise itself.  -author]

 

The opening title page for a typical video segment.

The in-progress video demonstrating how to complete the exercise.

When it comes time for the student to perform the exercises they not only are famliar with the objectives of the exercise but also have some grasp of the design environment behavior, what tools to select, how to use them and generally, how MicroStation 'feels'.  As an added bonus, the student can always return to the video for a quick review should they need to as part of the hands-on work.  The entire course can be completed in 8 hours or less.

Same example exercise as shown in the hands-on portion of the course.

As with all Bentley LEARN Server-delivered courses, the student's progress is tracked through each video and hands-on chapter until they complete the course.  They can stop anytime they choose, restart and the system always remembers where they were in the video or what page of the hands-on content they last viewed so there is continuity throughout the learning process.

If this course piques your interest it is available under the Bentley Institute's Bentley LEARN subscription as well as the Be Careers Newtork Academic Subscription. 

To jump directly to the course description click here.

The Be Careers Network is Bentley's long established support organization for higher educational institutions worldwide.  To learn more about what we offer, be sure to visit:

UPDATE (5/21/09):

I have put together a quick 3 minute video excerpt and posted it to YouTube to give you a sampling of the course.  Click HERE to watch the video.

 

Anonymous