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Paideia

History

The Paideia program was launched in 2007 with a three-day academy in Seattle concentrating on teaching basic MUMPS to both new and experienced programmers. The students from those in-person classes then continued their training online through weekly classes held by conference call with live screen sessions with the instructor. The final project for the students was a bowling scoring program that incorporated all the skills a programmer would need to show a solid understanding of MUMPS.

The second in-person academy was held in Seattle in 2009 to introduce the students to Fileman, the next stage of the training program. Similar to the MUMPS course, the students first learned the basics of Fileman during the in-person classes and then continued with more advanced training via weekly online conference calls.

Soon after the second academy, we noticed that many of our students, while continuing with their training in Fileman, had already begun to use their new skills in their careers. In reflection of that, we hosted a follow-up in-person peer review in 2011, that focussed on the Paideia students themselves discussing VISTA projects they had worked on and sharing any successes and problems they experienced.

This peer review session led us to evolve our advanced online class into its current format, in which the students drive the lessons to a degree by asking the instructor to teach the specific areas of VISTA that concern them. We found that allowing the advanced students to direct the path of learning kept their interest up by focussing on concepts directly relevant to their present jobs. It has also helped us to better grasp the ideal way to present the complex relationships present in VISTA. In addition to this, we introduced the idea of working on actual VISTA projects together as a class that would later be released to the community.

Meanwhile, as the more advanced students continued with their work, we started another preliminary course in beginning MUMPS, this time closely connected with our MUMPS Books project. During weekly online sessions our novice students are instructed in MUMPS using the developing chapters of Programming in MUMPS as they are being written. In turn, the students directly affect the way the chapters are being developed as they offer their impressions on how well the information was presented. By the end of this process we will have an efficient, user-friendly guide to learning MUMPS for publication, as well as a series of videos that will aid students of the book.

As we are transitioning the Paideia program from a regular classroom reliant model to one that is self-sufficient and web-based for the student, we currently have no in-person Paideia academies planned for the near future. If your organization is interested in having us run training sessions for you regarding any of our VISTA curriculum, please contact us. If you are a solitary student of VISTA we also may be able to help you connect with a teacher to suit your needs.

You can also check in with the current schedule of our annual VISTA Expo and Symposium, as there are often training courses in a variety of VISTA-related subjects offered there.