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Important Change to Microsoft Virtual Academy Points System

Important Change to Microsoft Virtual Academy Points System

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We are making some changes to the points system you see within the Academy. The first thing to say about these changes is that no student’s current status will be downgraded by these changes.

Next point regards the Bonus Point system, Some of you will have also noticed the addition of bonus points to the courses. First of all, apologies to those people who completed a course prior to the bonus points being allocated and have not seen the bonus points added to their score as a result to that. Rest assured that this will happen during this update and all bonuses for completed course will be added to your scores.

The point system is being changed in response to feedback. Since the launch in March we have received a lot of feedback regarding the point system, as well as numerous requests to accelerate the release of new courses. In response to this we will be updating the points scale and the number of points you receive per course.

What you will see when the changes are implemented?.

  • No ones status will be downgraded as a result of these changes. There is also a possibility that some student may be promoted to Silver status once the bonus points are correctly added to your current score.
  • All current progress will stay the same, but the scale regarding how many points needed to reach a specific level will change. The new points levels will be
    • Bronze: 0 – 99 points
    • Silver: 100 – 499 points
    • Gold: 500 – 2999 points
  • Rankings in the Worldwide and local Top Student lists might change as we adjust the bonus points to students who finalized a course before the Bonus Point Feature was implemented on May 5th.
  • Distribution of Points per content type in a course will be simplified as follows:
    • Article / Whitepapers: 1 Point
    • Videos: 2-3 Points (depending on length)
    • Assessments: up to 5 points

The bonus points system will continue and you will be awarded bonus points every time you successfully complete all requirements for a course.

We hope you understand our reasons for simplifying the system. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on the Tell The Dean email.

As also mentioned we have had requests regarding more courses and their availability. The current schedule for the next couple of months is

June:

Microsoft Virtualization for the VMware Professional – VDI – the last of the Jump start courses will publish in June.

“Success with Private Cloud” – we are working a final name for this course, but it will contain 3 modules looking at how to be successful with Cloud computing from both a business and career perspective.

Office 365 Jump Start- We will start the publication of the 3 jump starts being delivered live during May 24-26 2011. This process will most likely spill over into July.

July:

Microsoft High Availability Solutions” – another working title for a 5 module course looking at Clustering.

Office 2010 – The first of our Office 2010 courses will look at planning an Office deployment, covering topics such as Activation, compatibility and security.

August and beyond:

The information below is very high level and while we would really like to provide the number of courses and content details all of these courses are in the planning stages and subject to change.

  • PowerShell
  • System Center Configuration Manager 2012.
  • SQL “Denali”
  • Windows InTune
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manage 2012.

To keep up-to-date with break course information look at MVA Blog, the MVA News Feed and follow us on Twitter @MSVirtAcademy

Comments
  • Cool.Nice to hear it!

  • The Global Leader board Top 3 are currently running at 500,000+ points...    could you please explain how it is possible to study enough material to gain this amount of points?  

    Or are we simply competing against people who spend their lives clicking through materials on as many courses that they can register on?   I can see that if I click on a video or download a PDF, a new window opens and the task is marked as complete before I have watched the video.  Is there any assessment on the content of those videos which would demonstrate whether you had watched the videos or not?

    Personally I want to learn something new - I want to read materials relevant to my work... but what is the value of collected points if people are able to abuse the system by "points gathering"?

    Best regards

    Oliver

  • Hi Oliver -

    You raise some valid points here and we've noticed that some users are racking up points. We plan to address the points system in the New Year. Once we have an update, we'll share it as part of a new blog post.

    To your second point, we do provide self-assessments following our video modules. Users won't get credit for completing a course unless/until they complete the self-assessment, nor will they receive their certificate of completion. So, there are benefits of taking the time to learn the content.

    Thanks again for your input!

  • Hi Carlos I. James Gutierrez,

    As you mentioned in your post that new point system is about to come in new year to avoid illegally racking up of points. Any updates on that ?

  • Still crazy high points scorers on the MVA board. Please do something about this and ban these users. It's ridic.

  • I was Googling what score was needed for a Gold standard, as the graphic on the dashboard isn't really clear. I then saw these comments at the bottom here and agree entirely. As I write, the top WEEKLY score is 5143... Assuming videos are 2-3 points for perhaps an average half hour, there just isn't enough time in the week for this. It's taken me months of dipping in and out to acheive my sub-500 score! The MVA content is great and getting better all the time, but there's no way I'd own up to my score (I'd love to include it as proof of extra study) as it's clearly just a case of point hunting for the sake of it and this renders the scoring system useless. I understand the need to make the videos available offline (and therefore scored as soon as opened), I use this facility all the time but there needs to be some sort of checking somehow.

  • Hi! i have a certain doubt with the scoring system, the leader's on the top 10 list have the completed the same courses as have i but still theay have 5.6k points while i am still sitting at 2.5k. How is the points system decided?

  • Anonymous, per a response from Microsoft to exactly the same query - it's totally at their discretion.

    If one is honestly studying, even at 10 hrs per day, it just isn't possible to earn more than 400-500 per week. Yet some seem to manager 10 times that. How? Microsoft have not been able to explain. Clearly some 'students' are still downloading content as fast as they can to add 'training' the BS resumes. Reminds me of the continuing discussion of the value of certification.

    I'm now just studying for my own benefit, so I can apply in my work. If Microsoft are willing to let the value of the Academy be devalued, so be it.

  • Well said, Ted.

    I'm a retired IT guy who decided to learn for the sake of learning and can barely get through that many courses in all my free time. I agree that this is very much like the old tests for certs where the people would take the tests with little experience. My old manager and I ran into an interviewee who had all the certs according to his resume. When it came time to test him, he knew absolutely nothing.

  • If people take the time to review the material, the MVA certs are actually very valuable. I agree though there is an unfair system in the point system.

    Maybe make it so they do not get any points until passing the exams at the end of each section? Instead of points for just clicking a link. I myself spend my free time doing the various training and can only rack a few hundred points a week.

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