Keep your training venues wide open with Instruction Set

Can't decide whether to go with WBT or instructor-led sessions? Ilene Hoffman reviews Instruction Set, a site that also offers partnership services to meet your company's needs.

Do you need to plan training for your enterprise without being limited by the method of delivery? Instruction Set allows you to choose from a wide variety of technology courses with various delivery options: Web-based training (WBT) and instructor-led training for your onsite or offsite training needs.

Web-based training offerings
The Web-based training option offers more than 500 courses available via the Internet or an intranet in a self-paced, interactive format. Windows-based machines are required, and the site helps to ensure your system is capable by providing a browser compatibility check. Pricing seems reasonable at $98 for one course or $325 for individual access to all the Web-based courses for one year.

The site’s WBT is oriented to skill acquisition in such popular areas as
  • Programming: C, C++, Java, object technology, Windows, and intranet and Web server technology
  • Network administration: Client-server, Windows, and UNIX
  • Database technology: Relational, SQL, and Oracle

Sample courses are available on such topics as Writing Java Applets, Building Dynamic Web Sites with Visual InterDev, and Introduction to Linux and UNIX. The Linux/UNIX introduction yielded JavaScript errors for me while I was using Netscape Communicator 4.6.1.

Instructor-led course offerings
Instructor-led courses and workshops cover both specific technology and management skill training. Instructor Set Inc. offers overview courses in Internet use; e-commerce; influencing, facilitating, and interviewing skills; and many work flow and project management topics.

The comprehensive course catalog provides descriptions of each course, including
  • Intended audience
  • Prerequisite requirements for each course
  • Learning objectives
  • Course outline (for most of the offerings)

Pricing for instructor-led courses is done in conjunction with an Instruction Set account manager on a per diem rate for up to 15 students.

Partnership offerings
Instruction Set also partners with enterprises to develop courses on any topic in any medium to suit a company’s needs. This component is especially useful for companies that have targeted employees for skill retraining or specialized technology training. Course mentors aid in identifying knowledge and skills needed for projects and adjust objectives according to performance review during course delivery.

Customer base
Instruction Set has an impressive client list, including
  • Chase Manhattan Bank
  • Texas Instruments
  • Sprint
  • MCI
  • IBM

It has a partnership with Lotus CoursePak Provider Network, but it does not specify whether its courses prepare customers for any professional certification programs.

Ilene’s opinion
The information on course offerings, available training services, and previous clients services looks excellent. Lacking on the site, however, is any background information on its mentors and trainers. I also wondered what kind of satisfaction guarantee the site offers. Although the Web site is professional in its offerings, I'd suggest contacting Instruction Set Inc. for customer referrals before jumping in headfirst.

Instruction Set is worth a look. See what it has to offer you and your organization.
Check out the offerings of Instruction Set and let us know what you think by posting your comments below this article.
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Ilene Hoffman, MS, is a Macintosh/Internet writer, trainer, and consultant based in the Boston area. She is senior editor at, contributing editor at MacTech Magazine, and faculty member for MACWORLD Expo conferences . She also hosts weekly conferences on Talk City and AOL.

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