Microsoft Virtual Academy

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Hello Microsoft Virtual Academy! How Do You Want To Learn?

Hello Microsoft Virtual Academy! How Do You Want To Learn?

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Hello, I'm Matt Calder, and I've recently joined the Microsoft Virtual Academy team as a publishing manager. I'm here because my passions for live video and education lead me to get very interested in MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course), and I have been really impressed with what MVA is doing with the Jump Start and Live Q&A series. You may have already seen me moderating Jump Start Q & A. If you're interested in more about me personally check out my personal blog and Linked-in profile, and I'd love to connect on Twitter. As a publisher my role is to ensure that the site, our courses, our instructors and subject matter experts engage our visitors. I'll be one of the voices of the MVA team for our audience, and more importantly, I'll represent the voice of our audience to the MVA team.

One question that is important to all of us is "If you have to learn about something for work, how do you want to learn?" Myself, I piece together a personal learning plan that starts with surveying the topic and identifying the sources of good, useful information. Then my process is rather ad hoc and includes watching video lectures, reading blogs, attending conferences, lurking in forums and reading books until I've learned enough to accomplish the goals that initially set me on the learning path. Depending on my curiosity, that might take a day or a decade, and I may or may not pick up a degree or certification along the way. It's personal process.

What about you? How do you want to learn? How does MVA fit into the mix? Let us know, either in the comments, or feel free to email me directly. I'm

  • Welcome aboard Matt !

  • I like the videos, blogs and virtual labs and forums.

  • I prefer videos (live and tapes) , forums and blogs

  • I prefer to have a video, first with a little bit of theory and then some demos. It would be nice to have after the video a self-quiz and the, probably most helpful, a small project to develop using the new skills learnt.

  • I like to have videos with a little theory slides.

  • The format of the jumpstarts is very nice. Videos with lots of hand-on-demos and a multiple choice test. Subjects? I love to have content related to Dynamics CRM customization and development.

  • Currently, the videos + summary materials (pdf, slides) are just fine on MVA, and I really like it, and like studying in such ways.


    I would definitely prefer more real-time study (labs + simulation exercises for each subject to get things nailed down) TechNet labs are just ain't enough, there are many subjects in MVA materials, that TechNet labs does not cover.

  • Hi Matthew,

    Where I have learned the most in MVA and elsewhere is in two ways:

    1. Questions, questions, questions :-)  please add lots of real world, hard questions to the courses, when I struggle with questions, perceiver and then succeed I always learn a great deal more.  It's been disappointing to study long hours on the jumpstarts and then have no questions at all.

    2. My favourite moments in MVA have been the live jumpstarts where the presenters show great real world knowledge with demonstrations often based on students comments and questions, the insights gained by these demonstrations, sometimes only a minute or two in length are of great value.

    Least favourite, which is thankfully rare, was a course that was PPT only, I can't think of a better way to describe the experience.... after a couple of hours I was bored senseless.

    I've used Khan Academy for refreshing and extending Math and Science knowledge, I find the knowledge map and the personal statistics on progress over time etc. really round off a great system, also think Udacity has a great system of questions embedded in the video lectures which really aid learning, maybe you could use the poll system in the jumpstarts to ask some technical questions about the material, would be interesting to see the results of that :-)

    Overall I've gained a great deal from MVA, thank you for your continued efforts I'm looking forward to all the upcoming events & courses.

    Kind regards


  • Hands on in the recording studio would be my preference!

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