Ask the Expert: Greg Nist with MarkLogic

My background is in consulting and education services for software companies. I’ve also worked as a consultant developing systems for enterprise content management.

How did you become an instructor at your company?

About 6 years ago, I joined education services at MarkLogic. At that time, I was the only one on the team doing training. Today, we have 8 instructors worldwide.

When I began at MarkLogic, my very first project was to implement online instructor-led training. Because I had used ReadyTech’s Instructor-Led Training solution in the past, bringing ReadyTech to MarkLogic was an easy choice. It has been so important for helping us scale our training program.


How has training delivery changed since you’ve been an instructor?

Before we used ReadyTech, instructors would hand out printed materials in a face-to-face class and were dependent on local installs and all the dependency issues that come with that approach. We also did not have the tools necessary to provide labs in the virtual environment. Once we brought ReadyTech on board, I reworked the curriculum to allow for virtual courses.

Learn more about ReadyTech’s virtual training labs.

How long have you been using ReadyTech’s solutions?

For over 6 years now. We currently use ReadyTech for VILT and we host our own self-paced courses.

Which tools/features do you use the most?The LabManager tool. This tool allows instructors to be hands-on with students and mirrors a face-to-face environment. Within LabManager, I use the Inactivity Monitor so I can see which students are still working on lab exercises and which students are finished.

I also use the Thumbnail View to see all of the students’ desktops simultaneously so I know who is doing what and where they are in the lab exercise. This view provides a high-level picture of where students are in the exercises. I can see when students get stuck and give them the necessary help and personal attention. Some students don’t want the entire class to know they are struggling, so it is important for me to see exactly what each individual student is doing. ReadyTech’s solutions foster an environment where students are not afraid to ask questions and get help.

“That’s why we use ReadyTech—for the training and instructor tools that add so much value to our training.”

What’s your favorite tool/feature?

The Admin Portal allows me to empower and trust my team. I let instructors own and manage all of the events they teach. Without the Admin Portal, it would be difficult to do this. The portal allows for the best customer experience because instructors can log in and make any last minute changes themselves. It provides complete control, regardless of geographic location or time zone.

I also appreciate ReadyTech’s worldwide capabilities because we have instructors all over the world. And ReadyTech’s 24/7 Support is wonderful. It is rare that we have to call support to help connect a student, but when we do, it is extremely helpful. We as instructors value this service because the beginning of every class is a very chaotic time in the life of an instructor. It is difficult to take 10 minutes to help one single student, so we defer to ReadyTech 24/7 Support to help.

Learn more about ReadyTech’s 24/7 Support Services.

What advice/tips would you give to a new instructor just starting with ReadyTech’s solutions?

Always put yourself in your students’ shoes and think like students. Remember that some students may not be familiar with online tools, so be sure to demonstrate how to get connected and work within the tools.

In all of our classes, we set the expectation early that students must pay full attention at all times. We encourage students to have dual monitors in order to see and follow along with the instructor. This makes online learning easier for students.

But we also realize that many students have limited attention spans. As a result, ensure that students are actively working in the VM and don’t just put up PowerPoint presentations for students to watch. Be sure to give hands-on work. For example, we frequently use a follow-the-leader format where we provide written instructions, demonstrate a skill, and then ask students to work independently on an exercise.

We try to tackle the issue of limited attention spans by developing curriculum that gives students the opportunity to catch up whenever they tune out and miss information.

About MarkLogic
MarkLogic is the world’s best database for integrating data from silos. MarkLogic is an operational and transactional Enterprise NoSQL database platform. Organizations around the world rely on it to integrate their most critical data and build innovative applications on a 360-degree view of that data. MarkLogic makes it easy to get data in and easy to get data out—and it is 100% trusted to run critical business operations. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, MarkLogic has offices throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia.


Computer Software
Data Management

+500 Employees
$1 billion valuation in 2015

San Carlos, CA, United States

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