Creating great courseware

I was recently surveyed by Microsoft about the Microsoft Learning: Microsoft Certified Trainer program. One of the questions was about the Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC). I’ve been using MOC in one form or another for about 15 years. Although I was only answering a question in the moment, I grabbed my comment about how to create courseware into a text file, and it seemed worth keeping. Rather than keep it in a text file, I’ll “keep it” on my blog. My comment was: 

Creating great courseware is hard work, but not impossible: 1) Decide on learning objectives 2) Vet learning objectives with MCT’s and experienced practitioners 3) CREATE LAB EXERCISES FIRST 4) Test lab exercises 5) Test them again 6) With lab exercises complete and FROZEN, composed supporting slides and course materials

I actually started writing courseware a few years before my first exposure to MOC. The method described above was how we did it. It makes sense because you want the practical exercises to support the learning objective and these are the hardest to get correct. Isn’t it irritating when you are learning a new technology and the lab exercises don’t work as designed?

I have noticed that there seem to be more problems with MOC courseware lately, especially with how labs work. I wonder if they follow the above methodology.

Don’t get me wrong – the MOC courseware is not terrible – I still think there are a lot of good things to be learned and valuable experiences to be had in the courses I teach. But it seems to me that the overall quality used to be higher, and I’d really like to see the quality of the MOC improve. 

BTW, I don’t teach every single MOC course. The above comments apply to course: 2778, 2779, 2780, 2784, 2790, 2791, 2792, 2793, 6158, 6231, 6232, 6234, 6235, 6236, 6317 and maybe a few others.

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