Microsoft Virtual Academy

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MVA Site Enhancements: January

MVA Site Enhancements: January

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Exciting MVA Improvements now live!

For 2013, we have some new innovations on Microsoft Virtual Academy we just rolled out:

  • New Top Students of the Week /Month
  • New MVA Video Experience ready for feedback
  • Expanded RSS feeds to keep up on new courses and live events

Top Students of the Week /Month
Some of you may have noticed our new Top Students home page banner now features weekly and monthly point leaders for both your local market and globally. This was done based on member feedback asking for more ways for recent member accomplishments to be featured more often. We have also updated the Top Students leader board so you can compare yourself to top students in your country by week, by month or by all-time. We hope this allows more amazing MVA members all over the world to be featured.

New MVA Video Experience

We are also continuing to improve the site experience. Our goal is to make it easier to find and experience the courses that are important to you and give you new ways to share and compare your progress.

This week we launch a totally new MVA video experience we would love for you to try. This is designed to make it easier to navigate a course, skim the various course modules, find supplementary materials and take self-assessments.

We want your voice involved as we improve the MVA experience. Please try this new MVA video experience by taking one of our recorded Jump Starts here and send us your feedback to “Tell The Dean”. Tell us what you like and more importantly what we need to improve before we roll this out for all courses.

Improved Course Description Pages
To make courses easier to read and discover, we have revamped the course description pages to make course and module descriptions easier to read.

New expanded RSS feeds
In order to provide more ways to discover what is new on MVA, we have expanded RSS feeds for members on the:

  • Most popular courses,
  • New live Jump Start events you can attend
  • And new recorded Jump Starts you may have missed

You can check these out on the home page and our new Jump Start section.

Thanks for your terrific support of Microsoft Virtual Academy and we look forward to sharing more exciting innovations over the coming months.

Comments
  • Great Work guys, I love this site!

    And I Love the videos, as someone that doesn't read often this really Helps me a lot.

  • Echo that, the site is al pleasure to use, Bar some minor issues on iOS and Android. I am wondering if the Silverlight content will be switched to a new platform in the near future?

  • Nice idea

  • Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

    Mike - We want to make MVA accessible for as many users as possible and will look into your idea. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Carlos,

    Great Idea for the top students, weekly and monthly.

    It's a shame that these lists are becoming populated with people gaining many thousands of points in a week I strongly believe because some students are just clicking links and not learning the material or taking the tests.

    Since the change to the flexible module order (which is great) the top 10's have basically no credibility. This could be fixed by having the ranking based on points only from completed courses and or completed modules and courses.

    looking forward to many new courses and tests in the coming months.

    Kind regards

    Paul

  • sorry one other point, less of an issue, some students are taking exactly the same course in multiple languages, maybe the ranking can also be subject to removing points for duplicate / triplicate material.

    Paul

  • First things first, I really love this site.

    Two issues that I identified

    1) when logging from IE10 on windows 8 app, the sign in procedure is taking quite a few seconds than when I do the same from other browsers, is there some issue?

    2) I identified with an other training that I use (Codeschool.com), it will not allow the user to move forward until he answers all the questions correctly or does the lab correctly. i.e. I will not be able to access chapter 5 until I answered the questions for chapter 1,2,3 & 4 correctly or upto the pass percentage.

    This way it will encourage people to learn as well do something.

  • The site loads very slowly, I dont have an issue with any other sites like outlook.com / yahoo.com / msn.com even windows 8, but this one loads pretty slowly and any change of page, or opening a new chapter will make the page in hang state (or disable state with white file of opacity of 0.3 to 0.5) for a 4 seconds or more than that.

    I have tested it in IE10 and Chrome (latest version).

  • Hi Paul - Others have provided similar feedback on the points & rankings - we're having some discussions about them as an MVA team and will keep you posted of any changes in an upcoming blog post.

  • Hi Surendra - Thanks for sharing your site load time findings with us. Please send an email to TellTheDean@microsoft.com and a member of our team can get back to you directly.

  • Hi Carlos,

    Many thanks, understand it is a decision that will require some thought and may take a while.

    Just 9800 more students until MVA reaches 1 million ! :-)

    Paul

  • Firstly I would like to thank Carlos and all the team for all the hard work they have put into MVA.

    When I discovered it last year in Sept, I was totally addicted and as I am looking at a career change this year, this is going to help me immensely.

    I spent hours every single day studying and found MVA gave me focus and discipline which I never knew I had, and most of all it was very very enjoyable, I have learnt so much, especially regarding Private Cloud/Public Cloud and System Center I now feel very confident in these and other areas.

    Also it was such an incentive watching my progress and myself moving up the leaderboard, it was absolutely fabulous I was aiming for the top 10! That was my goal for 2013 and in early January I achieved my goal! I gave myself a pat on the back!

    I have to say though watching some people cruising up the top 10 leaderboard, I wont mention any names as its just to obvious for words it really deflated me and all the hard work I put in over 4months and the leaderboard lost all credibility for myself.

    I would really appreciate it if you guys could carry out the process Paul B has recommended and remove all duplicate courses that have been added to users accounts in another language to gain extra points.

    I will openly admit I have added a couple as I was not prepared to let my months of hard work go to waste and let cheats move my legitimate ranking after spending 1000s of hours studying.

    If the above process can be carried out it will put everyone on a completely level playing field At least then the truly devoted students and there are many will shine through and the leaderboard process will regain the integrity that it once had.

  • Hi Ricky and Paul, I'm Michael the site manager for MVA. And I want you both to know we hear you and others who share your opinion.

    I want you all to know we have been working on this over the past few months to ensure people who take a course on one language, don't get additional points in another language. We are trying to take a thoughtful approach to adjustments like this. So stay tuned, we will improve this situation very soon.

    Thank you again for your support of MVA and helping to make us better.

  • Isn't there any better way the certificates appear?

    Why should my certificates have someones name on the side!!!!!?

    <blockquote>Good Way to study. It really helps. Thanks</blockquote>

  • Hi Michael

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Good to hear it is being addressed and as I have admitted I did get annoyed and jump on the bandwagon and add a couple of different language courses , as I had completed every single course on MVA legitimately and the cheats were moving me down the top 10 leaderboard by using the other language bug.

    In hindsight this was wrong, which is why it would be great if the pending and completed courses in other languages could be removed somehow, I know its probably a massive task.

    I see at the moment that someone that was on the TOP 10 has made their profile non public so they disappear, I guess they don't realise that I have bookmarked quite a lot of peoples aliases, so simply clicking on a bookmark I can see certain people are suddenly in Spain.

    Hope it can get sorted Michael.

    Have a nice day!

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