On Monday 13th June 2011, the University of York, UK, hosted a round table event with 17 MCTs who specialise in training Microsoft Office technologies.
The trainers, many of whom had travelled from all over the UK, joined Andrew Bettany, member of the Microsoft Learning Advisory Council, and 2 special guests - Wendy Johnson, Senior Product Manager, Office Certification at Microsoft Learning (Redmond, WA) and Lee Stott, Academic Evangelist based at Microsoft UK.
The discussion was organised to follow an IT Industry event at the University’s new Ron Cooke Hub building. During the afternoon which showcased what is new and "cool" in the Office/SharePoint arena - each presenter had just 30 minutes each to impress the audience of nearly 100 attendees.
Following the public event, 17 MCTs held an informal roundtable discussion with Wendy which provoked lively discussion and provided a range of suggestions and feedback regarding Microsoft Office Specialist certification, training and the value of being an "IW" (information worker) MCT.
Andrew Bettany, who organised the event, said "It has been a fantastic day. Particularly great to see so many MCTs attend the event, readily engaging with each other, sharing ideas, best practice and exploring ways to develop and improve the program and community. There was a real eagerness to repeat this type of event again."
The discussions were extremely interesting. It was clear that the academic sector has seen large growth, year on year, for "MOS" (Microsoft Office Specialist) certification, whilst the corporate adoption of MOS is less buoyant. Over 75% of the trainers were freelancers who worked as end-user training experts on Office products for a wide range of small, medium and multinational corporate customers. Collectively the group estimated that the audience had taught 250,000+ learners during their careers and yet it was estimated that less than 1% of learners followed the training to the goal of certification. There were some fascinating insights from MCTs on how they value the status of being an MCT whilst at the same time most preferred to describe themselves as "Certified Office Experts" when they pitched for assignments.
It was clear from the evening that improving communication is key as many of the audience were unaware of resources, blogs, wikis and even the recently announced "free MOS voucher" for all IW MCTs for FY12. Wendy certainly filled several pages of feedback to take back to the various teams back in Redmond, and Lee was busy messaging Greg Pearson the UK Lead for Microsoft Learning throughout the event!
I just want to say thanks for organising the event, I found it really useful and was glad to be involved and meet some fellow MCT's.
Until the next time,
Great Post! :)
Thanks for posting!
It's a pity that I missed this event. I would have love to be there. Would love to join you next time round. I have lots of questions and thoughts.
Thank you all for the GREAT discussion in York! It was indeed lively, and filled with a number of feedback points that will definitely help guide my thinking as we move into FY12. MOS MCTs ROCK! :)