Microsoft Virtual Academy

Microsoft Virtual Academy is a website for Developers and IT Pros offering free Microsoft training delivered by experts. Follow us on Twitter @MSVirtAcademy

MVA Site Enhancements: January

MVA Site Enhancements: January

  • Comments 27
  • Likes

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.

  • Some people are taking this bug to whole new levels.

  • Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the feedback, I'm doing courses in English and couple of other languages (mostly Spanish), the Spanish ones, because there is some great .net and VS development content not available in English, and also like Ricky I have completed all the courses in English.

    I'm not doing courses that duplicate those in English, I am also completing these including the exams, I hope the setup will continue to allow this. (or have same courses for all languages which would be idea, I understand this would limit the content so is highly unlikely ).

    Apart from removing points for duplicate courses, and request to only include completed course points for ranking purposes, there are a couple of other things that could be done to help, you probably already have these for consideration, but thought I would share my ideas anyway.

    1). Make the points in each course only for exams and course completion, this will remove the possibility of just clicking links to gain points.

    2). Provide each Top 10 profile a % figure to show how much of the points come from completed courses. (This as an alternative to only allowing completed course points for Top 10 ranking).

    3) Make the completed course listing mandatory for Top 10, again this won't fix the Top 10 but would show those that are collecting points and not learning.

    The Top 2 Students in the All Time in MVA seem to have more points than it is possible to gain even doing duplicate courses in all the languages (600,000+ and 300,000+ if I recall these correctly, numbers are now hidden from us.)  I can work out the new No 3 in all Time all MVA has more than 27000 points because they have gained this many in one month !

    Doesn't impact me but seems unfair for the All MVA forth place student who looks like they have legitimate points for the courses they have completed, also unfair for those Students in 11th and 12th in the World rankings.

    Please also add exams for all courses, I have just completed the SQL for Oracle DBA course, great content and some questions would have been good to confirm how much I understand. I also joined the Win Phone 8 course live for two days, so was disappointed there were no questions to test (and reward) the time spent learning.

    I did click on one course thinking by its name, it was different to the ones I had done in English to find the first Video was something I already did, therefore I won't do any more on this course. Can we have a remove course button on our dashboard, I'm happy to lose the points when doing this.

    Last point, anybody can use web search to help with exams so there will always be a limit to how good the Top 10's are reflecting students ability and effort, this can't be helped, but at least if somebody gets to the Top 10 by doing this they would have learn't something along the way. Having said that, doing as much as possible to make the rankings legitimate I believe is well worthwhile for student motivation.

    Kind regards


  • Hi Ricky,

    I can explain the following,

    "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."

    The people disappearing and reappearing (me included) are changing their country to access content in other languages, and then changing back.

    I don't think this is an issue, unless doing the same course twice or more times or if just clicking links to gain points. In Spanish in particular there are a number of different courses not available in English.

    I don't speak Spanish, but I find the matching UK material on technet or msdn work through that, and then use web page translation for the tests.

    Congrats on completing all the UK material, I know this was a lot of work.

    Very impressed you admitted to jumping on the bandwagon, not many people in this world who would do that these days.

    Kind regards


  • Still missing tracks and learning paths.

    For example, I want to learn about server 2008 or server 2012 to use with test plans.  From a bing search, i go to a direct link:

    This shows a learning path that includes the things in order of how you should study them.  

    But, there is no good way to this page from home or any link that i can find easily.

    There may be some good stuff in here.  Shame i can't find it.

  • Hi STL Shawn - thanks for your feedback. Sorry we are making it difficult for you. We are working to make our content more discoverable in several ways which I think will address your concerns over the next few months.

    Love all the ideas and feedback everyone.

  • I'd like to learn about Lync Server or Exchange Server, but I don't find any course in MVA. How do I find these courses in MVA?

    Thanks & Regards,


  • Hi,

    yes Ricky Day; mrpaulb, you´re right and i hate it, too... but also at my certification to MCITPea, there were also students, who just knew the answers, they never had as much score as me ;) but they got the same cert and cannot configure and explain simple things like DNS in AD!! And the GER no.2(MVA) did soooooo much courses, i´ll never do^^ but He was my Trainer to MCITP, he knows really much (&much languages^^)

    And in Germany, business-people doesn´t know what it means to "KNOW" the systems.. And thats my problem for getting a job.. They don´t understand that i dont need 5 years business experience to onsite-support clients :D because i AM ServerPRO..

    In german MVA, i am 25th of 24.000, REAL skills, so i will show them my 30 MVA Certs ,too :))

    THANKS mva, rock on.


  • Again like to thank you for a great resource MVA team.

    Plain to see from the top 10 that the cheating is still rife, which is a real shame!

    Says a lot about the individuals I guess, they don't know as much as they thought they did hence the need to cheat, shame a real shame, and hope your can curb this one day MVA team.

  • MVA is awesome!  Way to go all you guys for the effort you put into making it great.

    Regarding a previous post needing exams for all courses, I think some students will find it discouraging especially for the JumpStart series.  But I agree, we should have a quick 5 "easy" questions exam at the end of the course so that it brings more validity to the completion certificate.

    Anyway new suggestions for you guys:

    1. More Courses You Might Like: Great feature already: Instead of a general list of courses, maybe it could show not completed courses related to the category of the course we are viewing instead.  If the list doesn't reach 10, then it could also show courses related to other categories chosen by the user (in the "My Preferences" section of edit profile).  If the list still doesn't reach 10, :-) then it could show upcoming live events.  If it still doesn't... ;-)

    2. Show the total time for videos (and if possible the time to read the materials) in the course summary .  This will help with evaluating what course to tackle next.  Plus its also good for newbies trying to catch up.

    3. List the certifications that these courses could help with like it was done with "Upgrading Skills to Windows Server 2012 Jump Start" although that one referenced a specific exam.  Anyway, this way, once the feature is a little mature you could then give search ability against the certifications as well.

    Either way, any suggestions you implement only help make MVA even more aweomsertastic!

  • Sweet!  Thanks for listening.  Love the new features.

  • Hi

    Many thanks,, keep up the good work adding MVA content. looking forward to more great content on MVA in the coming months.




    P.S. Totally different subject area, I find Bob Tabor's C# and Win8 Dev courses on Channel 9 really high quality, combined with some questions would make excellent MVA Courses.

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment