Note: This is a second version of this text. First was discussing why SAP formal education or SCN self-studying are not the best ways how to learn something new (at least not for everybody). After the reconsideration I realized that it is not like the SAP formal education is bad or something, it is the way how many people use SCN what makes me thing about other ways how to study, use SCN and move forward with your knowledge.
Attending last year of the high school and looking for suitable universities to apply for I found something what would be very nice to have on SCN: it was a correspondence course of Pascal held by few volunteers on one of the schools (it was the school where I spent 6 years of hard times and they made me who I am now)(hope you know the programming language Pascal? It is widely used in my region for teaching purposes – Through Pascal students are told how the programming works, what to do and what you´re not supposed to “try at home”. ).
The interesting thing about the course is the purpose:
- Recognize which of the students which may come to study at the faculty,
- what is the level of their programming skills,
- recognize the people who are pro-active,
- educate the possible future students BEFORE (!!) they come to study.
So far it is nothing new. But think about how this concept could work here, on SCN.
What would we get if we would try the concept on SCN
Many people come here to learn something new (even if they don´t have to. It is not like you have to learn it or you cannot finish the project – in that case you CV is a fraud, right? You do it to become even better consultant or developer, to widen you skill set etc.). These people, including me, come and look around and sometimes they spot something interesting they would like to try. So they sit by the computer and start recreating a tutorial or reading about the new concept/ technology etc. (but got stuck after completing the tutorial…).
I ask: what are the main pain-points about learning from the blogs, tutorials, materials you can find here? What problems can you name about trying to learn something new from SCN? I lack a leadership. There are no people who would turn the tons of materials into a sequence, into a flow, into something one can follow from the beginning to the end. So that one would be able to learn two fundamental things A and B and then be able to understand how to use A+B to learn C.
We have the (so-called) topic leaders, the mentors and many “name-less” but educated and knowledgeable people here who could create these sequences, flows (when thinking about it, I call them the learning paths). We have enough materials: enough blogs, e-learnings, tutorials, howtos and manuals so we would not have to create the study content from scratch. We only lack a “methodology” how to glue this together.
Close your eyes and picture this: there is a twitter account you can follow. Every week (any other period) you receive a notification about a new part of the “learning path” (of course you can skip the Twitter part if you´re not a fan of it…). You click on a link, gets redirected to a page (would be cool to have the content on SCN, but none of the current categories are ready for this kind of content, in my opinion) and you can see the lesson.
The lesson would have two parts:
- Recommended reading – the author would not have to do anything special here. All the content already exists, so he/she would only list the links and provide a short description why should one read this or that, what to learn from the text etc. By the way, this is something what you can get – if you´re lucky – when asking a question in a forum saying you´re a beginner and can do X, would like to learn Z and what are the steps Y to narrow the gap. I got lucky few times and got structured and detailed pieces of advice where to start, what to read, how to try.
- Tasks/ exercises – the author who prepared the “reading section” knows exactly what is the reader capable of now. If the reader can understand and recreate certain tutorial or solve a given problem. Or better: such man/woman is aware of the existing tutorials which could one use to train what he/she read about.
It would not be obligatory to read the lesson or to solve the tasks. It would only be here if one becomes interested in the topic. It would provide a comprehensive path from knowledge A to B.
To complete the picture add a forum section, where one can talk with other people working on the same topic, reading the same texts and solving the same exercises. What do you think?
I think this would provide so many added values to all the pieces of content we have on SCN! It would help so many people, who ask their question in the “ordinary” (not in a “dedicated” one) forums to ask them in a more appropriate place. Beginners would not create so much “noise” – well, noise from the point of view of the experienced users who ask advanced questions and do not want to go through all the beginners’ questions over and over again (frequent objection of the people who use SCN for “some real work”).
I have heard many so many suggestion about splitting ABAP General into two or more sub-forums, just to separate the basic questions from the advanced one. But how would one learn where to ask his/her question? If we would have what I suggest and he/she would follow the lesson, it would be easy to recognize one is supposed to ask the question in the dedicated forum.
I wonder what do you think about the suggestion? Would you follow such “paths” if there were any? Or would you be willing to create a lesson or two?
Best regards, Otto