Saturday, October 29, 2011

A New Chapter and a New Challenge

Well, now that it's been announced to the students in the current AST Instructor's Course, I guess their's no reason to not mention it here. While I was in Madison a couple of weeks ago for the AST Board Meeting, one of the orders of business was the need for someone to take over as the Chair of the Education Special Interest Group  (EdSIG) within AST. I'd heard of this need for quite some time, but I kept my mouth shut, because, really, what do I now about Education? I'm not a teacher (well, not really), I certainly don't have any academic credentials, or any fancy title to go with my name. I certainly don't have much in the way of academiese in my vocabulary; I'm much more comfortable speaking "dude".

Yes as I kept think about the situation and the needs, I realized that I may actually have more of an understanding of these things than I gave my credit for. I finished my Bachelors degree, my last two years, entirely online via distance learning courses. I went through 22 online courses of varying quality levels and went through a total immersion process to get the most out of them. Were they exactly like university classes held on campus? Nope, but they had their own interesting challenges, and I'll dare say I learned quite a bit from all of them. I realized that this experience dovetailed well into the way that AST delivers the BBST Classes through online facilitation.

What's more, I was one of the few people who has taught Foundations and Bug Advocacy, and was participating in the pilot program of the Test Design class (which starts next week, btw, and yes, I'm excited to be participating in it :) ), plus I'm scheduled to help teach the March session of the Test Design class. Who else could say they've been teaching all three of the classes (well, OK there's a couple others, but I was one of them)?

As I mulled these over in my head, I decided to do something brave or crazy... time will tell on that one :). By the time we reached the end of the discussion, I decided that there needed to be a Chair for the EdSIG... and if no one was going to step up to the plate, well why shouldn't I throw my hat in the ring? So that's exactly what I did, an for better or worse, the board accepted my offer :).

So over the next few months, I will be learning the ropes of what the EdSIG entails, but most specifically how to administer and run the BBST course series for AST's members and participants. That's a big chunk of where my involvement will be, and due to that, it means my direct involvement as a regular instructor will likely diminish (though I'll still be involved with all of the classes). What this does mean is that there will be a need for more instructors to help teach. We have a fresh cadre of newly minted Certified Instructors for courses, and it's my hope that they will step into the role of helping teach the upcoming classes in 2012. It's also my hope that many of you out there will consider taking the classes if you haven't already, and help me to deliver the best software testing training to be found anywhere on the planet (that's a bold boast, I know, but I happen to believe it :) ).
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