Lack of 102 books

Julie Thornton julie at
Tue Jun 25 15:05:52 EDT 2002

This discussion has been interesting to follow, and I've appreciated the way 
various LPI-discuss list members have contributed.  It is very encouraging to 
see such depth of interest among the community that has formed around LPI 

It is clear that this issue....
> > Thus, people acquire knowledge to answer obscure quetions
> > without first obtaining the very basic dicipline and
> > experience that they should build their knowledge on.

has been an important focus for the work Kara Pritchard has done in managing 
the development of Level 2 and the Level 1 rewrite.  She has worked hard to 
eliminate obscure knowledge questions and to present questions that are 
important to the daily work of a professional systems administrator.  

> It's better to include thinking scenarios that make people show they
> know their stuff than just obscure memorization things. Even better is
> hands-on, but that's very expensive to deliver as a test, and
> therefore expensive to take.

I must disagree with the part of this statement that says "Even better is 
hands-on" because it has not been proven that hands on is better, nor that it 
more accurately measures the knowledge and/or experience of the user.  It all 
falls upon the exam development process and the psychometric process to 
determine which knowledge is most valuable to a professional in any career 
field.  A hands-on test that is not developed according to psychometric 
standards is likely to be far less effective in developing a qualification 
base for the candidate than a paper test which has been created in accordance 
with the American Psychological Association guidelines.  While a very small 
group of companies have developed hands-on tests for the users of their 
products, there has been NO research that I'm aware of to support the 
assertion that those tests more accurately measure knowledge or skill of 

That said, I know there are some widely accepted hands-on tests.  For 
instance, Cisco has a hands-on test.  It is notable that the hands-on test is 
not available until one passes the written pre-requisite tests and 
demonstrated clear knowledge that takes candidates through to the appropriate 
level FIRST.   Hands-on testing is perhaps more fun and interesting to the 
candidates, but until there are guidelines developed to build standards for 
test development, there is no way to know if a hands-on test really 
demonstrates the qualifications of a candidate to do a particular job.

> It's interesting to me, but I suspect soon we'll need to take it off
> the list. :)

It's also been interesting to me.  Sorry to jump in here, but I think LPI has 
not been particularly effective in stating these things before, and these are 
issies which should be clearly understood.
All the best -
Julie Thornton
Linux Professional Institute

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