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Case Studies

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Training Design and Development

Content Master was asked by Microsoft to write some assessment questions to support its Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). The MVA is a free learning portal that registered students can access to improve their IT skill set and thereby improve their career potential. At the time of writing, it has over 42,500 registered students, has had almost 25,000 self-assessment passes, and has delivered approximately 22,000 hours of training.

Anyone can register with the MVA; all they need to do is register with a valid Windows Live ID. Courses consist of a set of modules, each with a self-assessment at the end. Students then receive credit points based on all the course materials they have downloaded and studied and the self-assessments they have passed. These credits then count towards a student’s membership level, which ranges from Bronze (0-99 points) to Platinum (3,000 + points).

The study tracks can be product-based or technology-based, such as Windows Server 2012, System Center 2012, or the Microsoft Private Cloud; or they can be solutions-based, such as Licensing Fundamentals, Licensing in the Private Cloud, or Solution Accelerators for the Private Cloud.

The questions Content Master write for the MVA can be single answer, multiple answer, or true/false, and the typical requirement is 18 to 24 questions per module. The typical source content for the questions will either be the study material itself that the students download and study, or if the student materials are not yet available to Content Master, it will be the PDF files, PowerPoint decks, and any associated Windows Media video files that the study materials will be based on when published.

Once written, the assessment questions are copy-edited internally by Content Master and then handed off to Microsoft for technical review, usually by the person responsible for the initial creation and delivery of the source content. After this has been approved and all edits incorporated, the questions are then published as part of the course content on the MVA portal.