SAN JOSE, Calif. -- November 3, 1999 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced a large-scale e-learning initiative that will significantly change the way the company educates and trains its employees, channel partners, and customers.
With the initiative, Cisco will shift its entire training structure to an e-learning model. As of Nov. 30, the company will offer a complete Web-based e-learning solution for its Cisco Certified Network Associate program, which addresses the growing demand for entry-level computer networking professionals. Two Web-based courses and a virtual lab product form the core of the new solution, which students will use to study on line and participate in modular, interactive course work.
With e-learning - Internet-based, online learning - organizations empower their workforces to keep pace with today's changing economy. E-learning enables businesses to embrace change and turn it into an advantage.
"There are two fundamental equalizers in life - the Internet and education," said John Chambers, President and CEO of Cisco Systems. "E-learning combines these equalizers to revolutionize the way organizations around the world communicate and train their people."
By training students on line, Cisco can inexpensively deliver instructional content in multiple formats, manage and track the learning process, and provide company-wide access to an extended network of learners, instructors, and experts. The company can reuse and reformat content quickly and easily, significantly reducing development and delivery time. Online courses provide flexibility and convenience, and can quickly reach students anywhere, at any time. This enables Cisco to meet its training needs in a cost-effective way.
Students are free to study at their own pace, regardless of location. Because e-learning makes students accountable through online testing and progress management, learners obtain relevant information faster, increase their own productivity, and can move forward or repeat course sections based on performance. Students can design their own curriculum after having their skill levels evaluated through online testing. They advance by testing out of subjects, and managers can track student progress on line.
The two courses taking advantage of e-learning technology are CCNA Essentials and ICND E-Learning Edition, core components of the Cisco Career Certifications program. Completing either course prepares students to pass the Cisco Certified Network Associate Certification test.
CCNA Essentials Offered On Line
The self-paced CCNA Essentials course, recommended training for CCNA certification, is now offered on line. Once students gain CCNA certification, they can advance to learn to create global intranets, improve network performance and security, and apply a wide range of application-oriented solutions. The four-module curriculum, which teaches students how to configure Cisco routers and switches in small and medium-sized internetworks, allows students to learn at their desktops. The course starts with internetworking technology basics and proceeds to in-depth content, exercises and virtual lab projects. Students learn how to apply Cisco IOS. software commands in a Web-based "virtual lab," providing valuable experience configuring fully operational Cisco systems.
Virtual Lab Technology
To accommodate the courses' lab requirements, Cisco worked with MentorLabs to develop Cisco Remote Labs technology. Cisco Remote Labs for Cisco is a 24x7 skills-based, hands-on network training solution that operates on a live Cisco network solely dedicated to the rapid acquisition and reinforcement of IT skills. Delivered via the Internet or corporate intranet, Cisco Remote Labs allows network engineers to participate in a virtual lab environment, where they can sharpen their skills at their own pace. The resulting flexibility delivers substantial savings in the form of reduced travel and lost work time typically linked to offsite training and updates.
ICND E-Learning Edition
Until now, the entry-level ICND (Integrating Cisco Network Devices) course, targeted at networking engineers and administrators, has been offered in instructor-led settings. The new Web-based course is interactive, more media rich, and modular, and students can take each module as a standalone course or in conjunction with an instructor-led course. The new format allows students to easily navigate to the information they need, when they need it. ICND E-Learning Edition is a focused preparatory course for the CCNA certification test.
"This is the first step in a truly integrated e-learning solution, which allows a student to access educational content anytime, anywhere," said Tom Kelly, Director of Cisco Worldwide Training. "Our goal is to extend e-learning into all aspects of Cisco, from our career certification courses to training of our channel partners and resellers on products, services, and sales programs."
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