The Manta IBM i Training Library is an online training resource for programmers, operators, system administrators, and users. The library is designed as an integrated curriculum. Students can progress from entry-level concepts to advanced topics that prepare them for professional certifications.
The basic unit of education in the IBM i Training Library is a course. Because computer-based training allows people to take courses at their own pace, the time to complete a course can vary tremendously between students. For example, the average time to complete a typical Manta course is about two hours. However, individual students may take anywhere between one and four hours to compete the same course.
Some IBM i skills can be covered effectively in a single course. In other cases, more than one course is needed to adequately cover a topic. Related courses are grouped together into a series. An example is the 7-course Free-Form RPG Programming series. Similarly, related series are combined into a combination pack. An example is the RPG Development Combination Pack, which includes not only the Free-Form RPG Programming series, but also 37 other courses that cover everything an RPG programmer needs to be productive.
When a course is not contained within a series, we call it a stand-alone course. Examples include Using Screen Design Aid (SDA) and Using the ILE Source-Level Debugger, which are also in the RPG Development Combination Pack.
In general, after you sign on to the Manta software, you are presented with a menu listing the series and stand-alone courses that your organization has purchased. Your training administrator, however, can create a custom menu that limits the courses that are available to you.
If you select a series from this list, you will be presented with a Series Menu that identifies the courses making up this series.
Similarly, if you select a course, you will be presented with a Course Menu.
The Course Overview includes a brief course description, the course objectives, the course prerequisites, and a description of the intended audience.
Each course is made up of interactive sessions. On average, each session takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete. We recommend that you take a short break between sessions. At the end of a session, you can select the Forward button to continue with the next session. Or, select the Menu button to return to the session menu.
All menus are expandable. You can select items from the top level or drill down to any course or session that is available to you. You can even view the headings within a session and jump to any of those topics.
If you do not have time to finish a course at one sitting, you can set a bookmark to keep track of your place in the course.
If you are not sure which Manta courses you should take, you should examine the Curriculum Recommendations. You can also use the built-in Search facility to find a particular topic.
Every course has a corresponding Competency Exam, which tests the student's mastery of the course objectives. At the end of each exam is a report that shows the student's results and, if they are not satisfactory, points the student to the appropriate session for review. For stand-alone courses, the exam is packaged at the end of the course. For courses within a series, the exams are packaged together and offered as a separate product. (Some customers use the exams as a pretest because, if you pass the exam, there is no need to take the course.) If you purchase the entire series, the exams are included at no additional cost.
Student Reference Guides (SRGs) are available for all Manta series and stand-alone courses. Because the Student Reference Guides summarize all major topics, they make an excellent reference when students have finished their studies and are back on the job. Students can download the SRGs in PDF format from the Manta main menu.