CXO

FKA provides software tools for trainers

Looking for a specialty certification or planning to take the Certified Technical Trainer exam? Here's a Web site that can help.


Recently, I introduced you to the Web site of Friesen, Kaye and Associates (FKA), and we looked at their workshop and consulting offerings.

This week’s review takes a more technical bent as we look at the rest of FKA’s site, which features FKA software products that you can use to support your training department or instructional design practice, as well as tools to help you prepare for a variety of certification tests.

Certification help
Clicking this link on the home page (or any other page, for it’s a frame-based site) opens a new browser window on a site called CertPrep. This site is a branded page for FKA and offers a wide range of certification practice opportunities. Click on the Quiz List to view this collection. You can access practice exams for over 55 certifications from the following areas:
  • Chauncey Group
  • Cisco
  • CompTIA Certifications
  • Lotus
  • Microsoft
  • NetWare 3.x/Netware 4.x
  • NetWare 5
  • Oracle

All practice exams are available as a one-time assessment (at a fixed rate of $5.95, regardless of which certification you are interested in) or as 30-day and 90-day subscriptions. Prices vary somewhat, but all the options are available for your review.

CTT Simulator
As a member of the “press” (I’ve always wanted to say that!), I had access to the subscription-only area (thanks, FKA!). Out of the many exams to choose from, I’ll focus on the CTT (Certified Technical Trainer) Simulator.

Once you select the CTT Simulator, you’re asked if you want to work in the Certification Mode. This choice is best if you’re trying to gauge how ready you are to take the “real thing.” Alternately, you can select the Learning Mode that allows you to configure the quiz for an available time and your other specific needs. Once I had selected the Learning Mode, I had the chance to create the practice to meet my needs. Users can set the number of questions, availability of answers, areas of focus, length of time, and more.

Overall, my experience with working in the learning mode was very positive. Some questions seemed hard to answer—due to the nature of multiple-choice questions as much as anything else. Based on the way I set up the interaction, I was able to look at the answers throughout, if I wanted to do so.

At the end of the practice session, I received a report on my performance, including how I did on specific learning objectives. If you or someone in your organization is planning to obtain a CTT, I recommend this site as a way to help prepare for the tests.

Software
FKA also offers an impressive set of software tools designed specifically for training professionals. They include:
  • Trainer Certification Coach™, a CD-ROM coaching tool that provides video demonstration of key skills and techniques required for instructional excellence. This tool includes a self-assessment guide that gives users the opportunity to compare their instructional skills with the expert’s example and to evaluate them against the standards required for CPDT (The Certified Professional Development Trainer) and CTT (The Certified Technical Trainer) certification.
  • The FKA Instructional Designer Toolkit™, a complete Instructional Systems Design Methodology support package. It includes all of the tools you need to assess performance needs, identify performance improvement interventions, define performance requirements, design training, evaluate results and complete cost-benefit analysis. The toolkit contains the Needs Identifier, Analysis and Designer, and Evaluater software packages.
  • The FKA Needs Identifier™, a tool that helps define the performance requirement, identify possible solutions, scope the development required, and conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the project.
  • The FKA Analysis & Designer ™, a tool that helps an instructional designer take a defined performance requirement and create a detailed Training Plan.
  • The FKA Evaluater™, which acts as a database for questions used by the designer, manager, or instructor throughout the instructional design process.
  • integreator™ Professional, a tool that you can customize to meet your needs. Here’s how the site describes it: “If you need to customize instructional design software, the database engine of FKA's Instructional Designer Toolkit, integreator™ Professional, is available. Use it to create your own software tools.”

For each of these products, you can download an Adobe Acrobat brochure, which is great if you want to tell others about the software you’ve investigated. Additionally, you can look at a “demo” of FKA’s software. This term “demo” is a bit misleading, however, because it’s really a presentation of slides showing more about the individual tools.

Check it out
This site delivers. It offers a variety of training workshops and offers the tools needed to prepare for a variety of certification exams. Although the site could use some enhancements, such as an internal search function, I highly recommend that you check out FKA. Table A summarizes my review.

Table A
Here’s Kevin’s summary of his review of FKA.com.

To comment on this review or to recommend a great Web site for trainers for a future review, please post a comment below or send Kevin a note .

Kevin Eikenberry is President of the Discian Group ,a learning consulting company in Indianapolis, IN. To comment on this review, or to recommend a great site for trainers, please follow this link to write to Kevin .

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