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CIW Site Designer & Seek Learning

Discussion in 'CIW Certifications' started by zebidy, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. zebidy

    zebidy Bit Poster

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    Hi guys,
    It seems as though I may have a problem with my CIW Site Designer course.

    Background
    Back last year I signed up with a company called SEEK Learning, they seem really good, nice revews and global company, but.... recently I had an email saying that they were closing their UK offices and contact would only be through their headquarters in Oz.

    Problem
    I was slow getting around to doing the course (new job and lack of motivation), but last month I knuckled down and started the Foundations only to find out that my course work even though its version 5 was out of date compared to what is on the CIW website. I've struggled on and passed my exam this morning, but this is where the real problem lies, my coursework for my next exam (Site Designer) is way way out of date, with Frontpage 2003 and Macromedia mx2004.

    I've contacted them and they have dumped a load of extra folders in my student area, but these don't tie in with the syllabus either (includes indesign, captivate, illustrator, various versions 6, 7, 9, c3 and cs4 all kinds of stuff).

    Has anyone else had something like this happen, my course is fully paid but I am completely lost with the all the different modules I now have.

    What should I do?

    I contacted customer service and was told o send an email which I've done, but I must admit I'm feeling pretty ripped off right now.
     
    Certifications: CIW Associate
    WIP: Learning asp.net / c#
  2. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Contact CIW themselves and say you're having a problem with a TP.
    They usually look into things.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  3. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Oh, but if the problem is that the material is all out of date, then yes, that's something you have to get used to with CIW. :rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  4. zebidy

    zebidy Bit Poster

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    I've had two responses so far:


    from a course Mentor at Skillsoft the material vender >>>

    "The courses to help you prepare for the older version of the CIW Site Designer exam can still be used to cover the majority of the objectives listed.

    If you encounter any objectives not covered in the courses, I would suggest performing a search for these topics using a good search engine such as google.com. "

    from Seek Learning >>>
    "SkillSoft have not updated their training courseware to the latest CIW Site Designer Course, which includes CS4. However, SkillSoft’s Web Design Solutions folder does include CS4, which I added to your account. As far as an appropriate study schedule for the latest CIW Site Designer course, I am unable to provide you with this information because SkillSoft have no updated to the latest training for the CIW Site Designer Course and it does not look like they will be releasing the latest version within the next year according to SkillSoft’s Content Development Roadmap."



    So basically the training provider is blaming Skillsoft the training material vender and they are saying to Dreamweaver mx2004 stuff and google the things I don't know about that are not incuded in the informaion they gave me...... so how do I know if I need to know it or not....

    I might be wrong but I signed up for this April09 so shouldn't they have been selling me the latest version as in CS4? I am guessing CIW didn't jump from mx2004 to CS4 since then.

    Do I have any rights to getting my money back?


    ref: JonnyMX
    Thanks for the advice I have emailed the CIW guys, hoping they can do something.
     
    Certifications: CIW Associate
    WIP: Learning asp.net / c#
  5. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I doubt it. CIW isn't looked at by many employers since they would rather see a portfoli and what you can do. So its no wonder TPs are not updating their material.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  6. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    @ OP

    Just out of interest mate, is this an 'official' CIW course?
    Are all the materials branded with the CIW logo and is the centre an Approved Training Provider (ATP)?
    If they are, then they should be using the latest stuff.
    If they're not, then you're a bit stuck as they could be offering you anything.

    Official CIW stuff usually comes from ComputerPrep.

    CIW have just announced a major overhaul of their certs, so a lot of things will be changing soon.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  7. zebidy

    zebidy Bit Poster

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    Only thing they have given me is access to an online learning centre with links to presentation like coursework, there is no CIW markings on them from what I can remember.

    But their website was littered with the CIW logos and such.

    Really starting to think they've ripped me off now and I'm going to lose my money with no chance of passing the course.
     
    Certifications: CIW Associate
    WIP: Learning asp.net / c#
  8. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Well, on the bright side, CIW isn't rocket science so you can still pass the exams if you put a bit of work into it. It shouldn't matter too much if you're a version behind.
    Official CIW course materials are usually in the form of printed manuals, usually blue and white.

    The can of course provide their own curriculum to help you study towards the CIW exams, but if they are using CIW logos or trademarks without being an ATP, CIW will come down heavy on them. Might not be much help for you though...
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  9. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    It looks as if Seek Learning are not taking any more UK students and their Aussie site doesn't mention CIW...

    Mystery deepens.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  10. zebidy

    zebidy Bit Poster

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    I emailed CIW and had no response after a week, nice customer service! :cry:

    But, Seek Learning have responded to my email, they have said that as of March09 the CIW course did not include CS4 and the macromedia mx2004 was the latest version, no idea if this is true. However they have decided to offer me more courses free of charge from their catalogue.

    This leaves me with a dilemma, my original plan was to complete the CIW Site Designer course then do an MCTS / MCPD in ASP.net - do I :

    - ditch the CIW plan and ask them to provide the MCTS/MCPD and hope that the course is up to date etc
    - demand a partial refund from them, no idea if this is even possible
    - try and buy CIW self study material from someone (ebay?) and write off the Seek Learning offer
    - scrap the whole Seek Learning idea and CIW, and go for another provider for my MCTS/MCPD
    - other idea?

    I am thinking that if I take the free course offer then I could pass the Microsoft stuff and save a bunch of cash but then they have proved to be unreliable so would I encounter same or worse problems... also I worked really hard to pass my foundation and it seems a waste not to atleast get the proper exam.
     
    Certifications: CIW Associate
    WIP: Learning asp.net / c#
  11. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Well, CIW may not get back to you, but that doesn't mean they haven't had a go at the TP.

    It is entirely plausible that the MX2004 course was still current when you signed up. I'm afraid that it's a bit of a case of 'buyer beware' when you sign up with one of these courses. At the end of the day, even if you sign up for the 'latest' version of a course, there's no saying that the exam won't retire before you're ready to take it. That's a risk with any cert.

    The only question you need to answer is, what did you sign up for, and did they provide it?

    In terms of what to do next - if you've paid seek learning for a course, I'd make sure you get what you paid for (not what you didn't pay for, mind).

    In terms of the future, CIW is not an entry into MCTS/MCPD, so you may want to think about your goals again.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  12. zebidy

    zebidy Bit Poster

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    Yeah thats the tricky thing, judging by their emails they are saying they have but are being nice to offer me "free courses" as effectively compensation, my only concern is that if I do another course will I find in a couple of months that they won't be inline with the exam.

    As for

    My original thought was to get my CIW so it would be a formal qualification to go with my experience, since then the bigger picture has hit and I want to bridge over into development more which is where the MCPD comes in. If I hadn't already forked out money on the CIW last year then I would have gone straight for the Microsoft.


    I think you are right with what you said about "did they provide it", no question about getting a partial refund, maybe it would be a good idea to ask them for the MCTS course and compare the courseware to the whats out there right now. At least that way there may be some way to rescue something from the remainder of this CIW course.

    Thank you, you'e been really helpful JonnyMX
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
    Certifications: CIW Associate
    WIP: Learning asp.net / c#
  13. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    No problems mate - happy to help.

    You need to think about your current level of ability. As we've said before - although it isn't always the case, certification is generally about proving what you can do, rather than learning what you can't.

    If you are finding that CIW is providing you with a bit of a hurdle (forgive me if I'm wrong in that) then I would stay well clear of MS certifications for now. Compare them to CIW and you are comparing a NASA pilot to the guy that has a ride-on mower and does your local park.

    If CIW is your level for now, there's nothing wrong with that. See it through and then decide what you want to do next.

    CIW was my first cert, and it gave me direction on what I wanted to do next.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  14. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Sorry to hear you got stung by a TP, best extract yourself from it as best as you can, remember your education/learning is the most important thing.

    I really think you need to listen to Jonny here, people should learn C# and write as many programs as they can before even thinking about certifying. Its a certification for jobbing professional programmers, min 2-3 years fulltime programming experience in .NET using Visual Studio.

    If you've coded for years in your spare time or have a computer science degree etc, then you might stand a chance, otherwise I'd be more realistic about it. Since you're paying a TP for CIW, I doubt you fall into a category that should be looking at .NET MCTS or MCPD exams.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  15. zebidy

    zebidy Bit Poster

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    Well the foundation I did in 4 weeks, the hurdle was that the entire CIW course was out of date, (2 modules missing in the foundation), but I passed so I was happy :biggrin

    But if MCTS/MCPD is for people who have 2 years of coding asp.net, then my question is, how do I go about learning asp.net?

    No local college or Uni seem to have courses, I've done a 10 day Microsoft course and the odd how to book, I've googled but mainly get dodgey looking websites or TP's. Ofcourse the TP's will say that they can teach you as they are selling something so its in their interest to say that.
     
    Certifications: CIW Associate
    WIP: Learning asp.net / c#
  16. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Well, it isn't an easy thing to jump into if you've never done any kind of programming before, but it can be done.

    There are plenty of books out there - but look for something that promises to teach you ASP.NET rather than something tied to the MCTS or MCPD exam objectives. Start with something easy and move on.

    You'll need some kind of IDE to practice with. There are some free/trial versions that you can download, and some books may have a CD or website with them that gives you access to them.

    And then it's practice, practice, practice...
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  17. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    TP's won't teach you anything worth knowing, if you want to learn to program ultimately the only person to count on is you, and lots of practice.

    How do you learn to program anything ? Start small and build up gradually. I would advise not looking at ASP .NET at all at this point, learn C# and write hundreds of small console programs, that demontrate different aspects of the .NET Framework. After a while you can start writing WinForms programs, when bored of that look at adding in some ADO .NET and reading from a SQL Server DB, then finally look at writing some basic ASP .NET sites and host them on IIS.

    This is how most people learn to program, by starting small, and that normally means console apps with a single file and 10-100 lines of code.

    Some people jump into web programming, but I think its probably counter productive for most people and they end up with rather strange ideas and miss the fundamentals that they need to really understand stuff.

    Most colleges curriculums take time to devise and approve, most of them are still on Java and to be honest Java's not a bad language to learn. I'm sure there are some colleges and universities that are teaching .NET though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH

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