Thursday, 10 February 2011

KnowledgeSmart user group meeting

We're organising our next user group meeting in London next month.

Here are the details:

Date: Tuesday 15 March
Time: 9am – 1pm (working lunch included)
Venue: Stirling Room, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London
Cost: Free of charge

Places are filling up rapidly - and we always end up with a waiting list for these sessions - so if you'd like to come along, you'll need to let us know in the next few days.

We have room for about 30 people in total and, as of this afternoon, we have 10 places remaining.

The agenda on the day will be pretty flexible, with plenty of scope for open discussion. From our end, the main talking points will be:

KS system tools update – what’s new?
KS wish list – tell us what else you’d like to see in the next 3-6 months..
Training links – marrying the KS training outputs with appropriate learning material
The impact of BIM on technical software in AEC firms
A closer look at testing Revit and Civil 3D skills
Writing your own assessment material – do’s and don’t’s

Plus whatever else comes up in open debate!

Hope to see you there!


Thursday, 3 February 2011

Assessing Revit skills

We have a rolling program of new test content creation; our aim is to double the size of the KS library this year, depending on how things go, economically speaking. So far, so good in 2011.

It will come as no great surprise to learn that Revit tops the list of customer requests, so we have a few ideas for new content coming up in the next 3-6 months.

That's not to say the existing Revit test library material isn't looking good already! We have some excellent RAC questions, authored by leading Revit protagonists Paul Aubin, Paul Woddy and Chris Senior. We have a comprehensive RST library, written in partnership with Thomas Weir. And our RMEP modules are coming along nicely, too, with the help of US based author, Tony Tedder.

It's just that people want more! We're happy to comply, so here's what we have in mind..

Revit Families - a module which looks specifically at creation of Revit families. We'll probably split this into 2 sections; one for general families and one for discipline specific content.

Revit process - a module covering the practical aspects of using Revit on a project and the impact of working in a team environment.

RAC 2012 - more basic test content for Revit Architecture 2012, linking to corresponding training courseware from authors White Frog.

RMEP 2012 - more basic test content for Revit MEP 2012, linking to corresponding training courseware from authors White Frog.

RST 2012 - more basic test content for Revit Structure 2012, linking to corresponding training courseware from authors White Frog.

Timescales are not set in stone, but work is underway on the families and process modules. We'll start the new 2012 modules in March, once the code for the new releases from Autodesk is more or less frozen! We're aiming to have much of the new library material in place by the Summer.

Last, we have some intermediate level material planned for all 3 disciplines, during the Summer/Fall period.


Assessing AutoCAD Civil 3D skills

Another new addition to the KS test library went live this week - AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011, module 1.

Now I'm not a believer that you can reliably create a 'general' Civil 3D test, so we're taking a slightly different approach with this one.

Because the KS tools offer AEC firms a tremendous amount of flexibility, in the way they can customise test content, we are giving firms the final say on what modules their version of the C3D test will contain. The daisy-chain feature, which allows admins to link a series of individual modules together to form a longer test, means that firms can mix & match the C3D content in a wide variety of ways.

So how are we approaching this task? Well, first, we're working with leading C3D author, Eric Chappell, to create 4 overall test modules, covering a range of C3D tools and commands. Each module will contain c.25 test questions, with the usual mix of task-based and knowledge-based exercises.

These are the main topics, which will be covered across the 4 modules:

  • Surfaces
  • Alignments
  • Profiles
  • Points
  • Sections & quantity take offs
  • Assemblies & Subassemblies
  • Corridors & intersections
  • Parcels
  • Grading
  • Pipes & pipe networks
  • Plan production
  • Data exchange
  • Rendering
  • Survey
  • Hydraflow

Module 1 is now available, covering Profiles, Alignments and Surfaces. Work has already begun on module 2, which will be finished in March. Module 3 will follow in April/May. The last module will be written in the summer; we'll review progress to date at that point and take feedback on any remaining features which haven't been addressed in modules 1-3.

Enterprise customers will see the new C3D content appear in their accounts this week. As always, we welcome your feedback on the material and also any topics you'd like to see covered, which are not mentioned in the summary list above.