Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Solving Problems And Making Decisions

Solving Problems And Making Decisions SitesPower is a training institute specialized in providing Technical courses in IT and courses in Business Management fields. It is based in Dubai and with a branch in Sharjah. It has been approved by the UAE Ministry of Education and it is an approved and accredited institute from awarding bodies like ILM, Autodesk, and Microsoft etc. whose courses and trainings are delivered in the institute. As a trainer in SitesPower, I provide training courses in ICDL, Microsoft Office Applications (2007-2010), and a wide range of certified courses in Business Management to deliver specific skills that students need. Also, I accomplish a lot of tasks assigned to me by my manager, and that requires a lot of time, effort and preparation to complete those tasks on time. Trainers face many problems in training programs, but some of these problems are frequent and sometimes worrying, such as: problems of students failing in the ICDL Exams, and delay in receiving the certificate due to students repeating the course or not being able to complete the course. Before talking about this issue, I will explain through the following chart: the administrative and organizational structure of the training centre SitesPower Sharjah branch in which I work there Present situation (Analysis of the problem) The International Computer Driving License Course (ICDL) is the most important certificate for a large number of employees or job seekers, particularly in government jobs in the United Arab Emirates. For this reason, the demand for this certificate has increased over many years and has become a key requirement for employment in many companies. Because of its importance, the candidates enrol in our training centre programs and attend ICDL classes for the preparation for ICDL Exams so as not to be an obstacle to access to jobs or losing their current jobs. The main problem that we face with these courses is the failure of some students in the ICDL exams, and therefore they will not get the certificate or causing a delay to obtain the certificate due to repetition of the course or the exam, which leads to a major embarrassment and might lose job opportunities. First of all, I will explain the components of the ICDL sessions, rules and how to obtain the certificate in order to understand the causes of students failure in the exams. ICDL Course consists of the following Modules: IT (Information Technology) Using Computer and Managing Files (Operating System) Word Processor (Microsoft Word) Spread Sheets (Microsoft Excel) Database (Microsoft Access) Presentations (Microsoft PowerPoint) Web browsing and Communication (Internet Explorer Outlook Express) This course duration is seven weeks, i.e. average of 9 hours for each module. The candidate must pass the exam assessments for each module to obtain the certificate. Exams are provided on the web through a software program, and its files contains exercises shown on a computer screen and questions bar shown on the screen with a time calculator to calculate the time required to complete the test. The Exam timing prescribed for each subject is 45 minutes. Questions are categorized into groups according to the exam module, but the numbers of questions for each module are 36 questions. The Candidate should answer these questions within 45 minutes and has to get the rate of 75% or more to pass in the exam. Based on the above, the main problem I encounter during teaching and training students for the exam is some repetition in these certification exams and this will affect negatively on the students and also on the training centre and its employees. There are many reasons that I will clarify them later, some of these reasons are: Inefficient trainee using the computer Inability to concentrate during the lecture and thus no interaction with the instructor. Lack of opportunity to review the material and training tests on these exams. The student may not be able to answer all questions within the time allocated for the exam. Student may face a problem in understanding the wording of the question. There are reasons linked to the technical aspects of the ICDL Exams online, hardware and software used may affect the result of the exam and cause the failure of the student. We can classify the above mentioned problems into two categories: First: Expected problems Problems associated with weak efficiency trainee in using the computer, Exam system, and inability of the trainee to answer all questions within the limited time. These problems occur continuously, and we face them in every training session including: Number of students enrolled in the training course. Difference in the level of competencies and comprehension of the trainees in using the computer. Second: Unexpected problems The technical problems associated with the exam system, the computer used by the trainee during the exam or software used by trainee to answer questions. These problems occur few and only appear during the exam, but may cause either postpone the exam or failure of the trainee and thus give him a chance to repeat the exam again. The problems that I mentioned earlier, both expected and unexpected adversely affect everyone. First of all The candidate will be affected by these problems due to the failure and delay in receiving the certificate, which means losing job opportunities or may lead to termination of employment. Other candidates will also be affected by these problems because of their fear from making the same mistakes and problems that have occurred with their colleagues and thus will affect their self-confidence and possibly lead to failure as well. Secondly these problems might also affect the training centre, as it may lead to bad reputation of the training centre as it was unable to address the problems of the trainees and its inability to help the candidate solve these problems and ensure their success in the exam. Thirdly These problems will also affect the trainer in taking part of the responsibility for the failure of the trainee. One of the most important goals that I am trying to achieve through solving these problems mentioned above and in cooperation with the management is to help the trainees to achieve their objective to be certified by developing their computer skills to ensure getting that certificate. Through achieving the objective of the trainees, training centre will achieve its goal and gain a special position among the other accredited training centres in the region. The failure to take any actions to address these problems that I have mentioned above and solve them, will lead to increase the gap between the trainees and the training centre and unable to achieve the training centres goals and the trainees objectives. Investigation and identification of possible solutions to the problem When I started my job at the centre in 2006, as a trainer, I was assigned to give ICDL courses and train candidates on the ICDL practice exams. A lot of candidates joined our training centre programs at that time to get the ICDL certificate. Some of them faced many problems in the exams and failed to get the certificate. During that time, I didnt realize the reasons of those candidates who were failing in the exams. Gathering the information After a few months, the management asked me to start monitoring ICDL exams due to lack of exams testers. But I had to be qualified first in order to be authorized as a tester to monitor these exams. Therefore, I took a training course in the ICDL office in Dubai Internet City on how to monitor and solve problems that might occur during the exams. After taking this course, I had started to understand and analyse the reasons for why candidates were failing in these exams and also to know the nature of ICDL questions. And analyse historical records of exams and result reports. After knowing this, I decided to help candidates to overcome all problems of the exams plus for being an exam tester. In Summary, I gathered the information about the problem from the following sources: My evaluation of the candidates skills during the lectures. Monitoring the Exams Reports of the Exams Evaluation of Possible Solutions Fishbone is a way of analysing problems Super Series from ILM Based on the information gathered above, I have decided to use the Fishbone Tool to analyse this issue by identifying the main reasons and the subsets as shown in the diagram below: Problems in the Network system Difficult terms set out in some exam questions Lack of maintenance of devices before the exam by computer technicians Errors in the booking of exams for candidates Problems in the live exam system Problems in the hardware and software in the users computer The difference between the candidates in their skills The number of candidates in the ICDL course no interaction with the instructor during the lecture No preparation prior to exam Lack of practicing on mock exams Lack of computer skills Causes of student failure in ICDL Exams Candidates ICDL Course Equipment Employees Live Exam System By using the Fishbone analysis tool, I managed to collect all the reasons that might cause the students failure in the exams. After that, I conducted a survey among the candidates in a scale of impact and importance from (1-5), where (No.1 is very weak) and (No. 5 very strong): Identify the areas of improvement that can enrich the overall performance of the candidate in the exam. To know the level of impact on the students failure in the exams No. The Reason of student failure in the ICDL Exams 1 2 3 4 5 1 Weakness in skills, and incompetence and inability to use computer by trainee 31.58% 10.53% 21.05% 15.79% 21.05% 2 No enough time allocated for training on the practice exams at home or at office 15.79% 10.53% 15.79% 31.58% 26.32% 3 Less time of training on the sample exams in the classroom 47.37% 10.53% 36.84% 5.263% 4 The inability to interact with the instructor and the inability to understand his explanation of the modules 31.58% 31.58% 15.79% 21.05% 5 Uncertainty, and lack of understanding of examination program and not knowing how to use it during the exam by the student 26.32% 26.32% 31.58% 5.263% 10.53% 6 Lack of understanding of exam question because of the difficulty of the terms used in the exam 26.32% 21.05% 21.05% 21.05% 10.53% 7 Exam time is not enough 36.84% 15.79% 31.58% 5.263% 10.53% 8 Technical problems associated with the exam software 21.05% 15.79% 31.58% 26.32% 5.263% 9 Technical problems related with the computer user in the exam or technical problem in its software. 36.84% 26.32% 21.05% 10.53% 5.263% 10 Lack of the trainer experience and skills 89.47% 10.53% 11 ICDL Books and materials 47.37% 21.05% 5.263% 10.53% 15.79% Depend on the result shown in the table above I discovered that the most important reasons of student failure in the ICDL Exams were: Weakness in skills, and incompetence and inability to use computer by trainee No enough time allocated for training on the practice exams at home or at office Technical problems associated with the exam software Lack of understanding of exam question because of the difficulty of the terms used in the exam Recommended implementation plan to solve problem According to the results mentioned above, I have recommended to management the idea of taking the advantages of some features that we got form ICDL office, like booking for candidates ICDL exams at convenient and also provide them with practice exam cards. In addition, I have determined some other actions that would help solving these problems. These actions consist of the following points: Determine the number of candidates in each session with maximum number of 12 candidates. Increase the number of scheduled hours for each subject if necessary, and making more practices in the class. Provide each student with practice exam cards with 20 hours training to conduct the necessary training before the exam either in their offices, homes or even in the training centre. Explain the exam system for students at the beginning of each session, providing them with important advices and guidelines to ensure their success in the exam. Aware candidates of the importance of the exam timing, and the importance of answering the questions quickly. Getting help from the computer technician during candidate taking the ICDL exams, to resolve any technical problem that appears during the test. Update the computers and replacing the old one with new one. Making a routine and regular check on the computers, and especially before the ICDL exams. Print the result report of the student after taking the exam when necessary, in order to study the wrong answers with the student to avoid these mistakes next time. After applying these recommendations, and monitored its effectiveness and impact, we managed to: Increase the success rate of the ICDL exams. Reduce the percentage of the problems appearing in these exams to the minimum. Improve the performance of the candidates using of computers. Raise self-confidence of trainees in the exams. Following table show the different between ICDL Results through three years 2011 2012 -2013 2011 2012 2013 (January) Pass 42.85714% 70.58824% 71.42857% Fail 57.142857% 29.411765% 28.571429%

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