A database of elements taken from NTIS training packages.


Where TO2.2 came from and why it's (still) not up to date

My history of putting training packages online started back in 2006 with the release of ICA05. I was busily trying to put together some course outlines and lesson plans using the two 600 page pdf files provided by NTIS and getting more and more frustrated by the exercise. Finally I decided to reformat the whole thing and put it online in an easier-to-use format, producing the web site: ICA05 Deconstructed.

I was very happy with the result, and so were my I. T. teaching peers and I even started getting requests from other trainers about their training packages. One day someone put me on to a source of information in NTIS; a collection of Microsoft Access databases they produced every 6 months from the original training package documents. The data wasn't squeaky clean, but it was a goldmine nonetheless and eventually I produced another web site to present this data to my co-workers. Training Packages Unwrapped proved very popular, but was short lived. After a few months NTIS retired the service in favour of a brand new web feed direct from their database called NTIS2.

NTIS2 took a while to get running, but I was keen to build a bigger, better application to use it, and applied for funding from the Flexible Learning Framework as a New Practices Project. Unfortunately my submission was unsuccessful, but I pressed ahead with a site that encouraged trainers and students to submit links to web sites that were relevant to the units, elements and performance criteria of their subjects. On the site you could also vote on existing links and add comments and quiz questions about these sites.

The site was interesting, but being in a hurry I'd built it on a beta version of some open source code, and it was slow and buggy. Eventually my hosting provider closed it down because it was taking up too many CPU cycles on their server. I still needed some of the functions, and so TO2.2 was born

Once again, the code here is running on NTIS2 data, which (like its predecessor) has been discontinued while NTIS work on building NTIS3. For what it's worth, the data here is the latest version I could find, I hope it proves useful to you.

If you'd like to get in contact with me about any of these web sites and/or training packages I'd be happy to chat. Email's probably the easiest way: pshanks@megalong.com

All the best,