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The New MVA: What Do You Think?

Michael Aldridge

Wow did you see we hit 1.2M users yesterday? Super exciting. We have been revamping the MVA site quietly over the last few months - although after hitting our 13th release in 7 months it doesn't feel so quiet for team MVA. 

This past week you may have noticed some "louder" substantial changes on the MVA home page. I wanted explain why we made these changes, and also request your feedback on them.

A key theme of this new release was to change the discoverability on the site: we wanted to help MVA customers get to the courses and topics they care about in a much easier way. Let us know, were we successful?

Key goals in this new release were:

Get to the content you want in a single click on the home page:

  • I think we almost got there with our new “hover click” UI although I still see room for improvement
  • This new UI lets you see immediately top courses by subject or help you get to new topic pages
  • Improve our top-level navigation menus to help you access courses by topic anywhere on the site

Offer new Topic Pages that group courses by subjects like HTML5 or products like Windows Server and help you:

  • Find courses in topic areas you care about, and build your own personal learning plans around them
  • Discover additional resources like books or software evaluations to supplement your education
  • Help suggest ways to explore how to take the next steps in your career with Microsoft Certifications

Make it easier to find our popular Live Events like MVA Jump Starts and Live Q&As 

  • New countdown tiles on the home page to help find our ever growing choice of live events and remind you when they are happening (several times every week)
  • An improved Live Events link in our updated top level menu to find it anywhere on the site and see Live Events grouped by themes on our event page
  • And we made the Live Event registration experience easier and more integrated for MVA members: you no longer need to juggle two separate registration IDs and Passwords, just use your MVA member ID and password. For existing customers, we help you join these on your first log-in to register for a live event.

Give MVA customers a place on the home page to be heard with MVA Voices: a place we share all the great feedback MVA members send us through our Tell the Dean alias, and via our Live Event forums.

Do a better job of making it easier to understand what MVA is and our philosophy to new visitors with a new What is MVA? section

So as you can see, it was a jam packed sprint for us this month. Heck we even updated our favicon: we affectionately call it "Frank" :)

Please let us know what you think of these changes, what you like, and more important what you don’t like or still think is missing.

Share with us here on the MVA blog, on FacebookTwitter, or send mail to our Tell the Dean alias which you can access on the lower right hand corner of every page on MVA.

Successful technologists never stop learning and great technology never stops evolving. Our commitment is to keep evolving MVA to be the most exciting place for expert-led technology training.

Thanks for learning with us and keep the feedback coming!


  • Luigi Bruno
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    MVA is a great resource.

  • Aswar Alif
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    i like

  • Anonymous
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    I would like to be able to remove courses from my dashboard that I don't want to take or which are no longer offered.

  • Michael Aldridge
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    Thanks for the feedback. @Dean - great feedback on the dashboard. If we let you remove a course you started but didn't not finish, would you want to keep the points or would you be ok with us also removing those points when you deleted the course?

  • Anonymous
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    I like the new MVA, specially the JumpStarts. I only miss some Exchange. Any plans for Exchange courses?

  • Anonymous
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    The MVA is amazing

    It would be nice to custom build your infrastructure and save it online for “free”!

    Thank you, you’re going a great job

  • mrpaulb
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    Hi Michael,

    Recent changes looking great,

    I'm repeating myself from past request but want to second Dean above here, please add a delete button so we can keep dashboards focused, best to remove points, we can always start the courses again later and get the points back if we need.

    I also think it would be good to help stay focused by having a limit on the number of courses on the dashboard, something reasonable like 8 or 10 would be good. i.e. if your on the limit can finish or delete to free up a spot.

    Would also be nice to know how many courses have been completed, even better if we can show this in profile and or on Top 10 lists.  

    Lastly :-) Some graphs on progress overtime for extra motivation, stats like points, courses complete, total questions answered etc. I understand this last one is quite some work.

    Thanks to the whole MVA team and course presenters for growing this resource.


  • Frank Gartland
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    Hey everyone! Great to see some familiar names on the blog! Here are some thoughts:

    @Andreas -- Thanks for the feedback! Yes, we do need several Exchange Server courses and I hope we can focus on that a bit the last half of this year. It's very high on my priority list.

    @dean & @mrpaulb -- Sounds to me like it might be better if we had sort of a "Learning Plan" section that would allow each user to decide what topics are next and where they want to focus. With a section like this, we could still keep a "full transcript" of your history, but not display so much of it every time you hit your dashboard. Do you agree?

    Thanks everyone for your thoughtful suggestions - keep 'em comin'....!


  • Anonymous
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    @ Michael: I was also looking for the option to remove one course I started but do not plan to finish. I would not mind if the respective points are removed since my interest is more in the learning and not the "achievements". So if you want to keep the points, you keep the course in your dashboard. If you want to remove it you can do so and then the points for that course are lost too.

  • mrpaulb
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    Hi Frank,

    "@dean & @mrpaulb -- Sounds to me like it might be better if we had sort of a "Learning Plan" "

    Keep it simple is good for me, limiting the number of courses on the dashboard will help those that get distracted easily (this includes me as I like to learn everything). Having a dashboard limit with a delete key (and points being removed) will create nice clear decision.... abandon or complete before adding something new. For MVA students who are still students or starting out in the workplace this is also cool for the working world, where abandon or complete is a common reality.

    On a totally different subject, I'm just about to complete the Service Manager course (David Tesar) recorded at MMS, very high quality training thank you.... keep it coming.

    Kind regards


  • Michael Aldridge
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    @dean, Markku, Mrpaulb I hear your feedback about being able to delete courses from your dashboard list and we will work on that. Thanks for the feedback and helping us make MVA a better experience. Stay tuned :)...

    Let us know if there is more you would like to see.

  • Pedro Sousa
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    @Michael I recently attended a few Jump Start Live Events and I found some issues that you might look into. After registering for the events, we get an e-mail with the link to join the event but if we go to the MVA Site Live Events menu and click the event, we are directed to a page for the event registration - even when you are already registered! Also I have some difficulties finding the recorded sessions of those events I've attended. My timezone is GMT so the events start at 5pm and end at 1am for me and it´s difficult to keep up with the event after a days work. Getting access to the recorded sessions is a plus to review some of the contents that need more attention.

    Also one more suggestion for the MVA SIte is an option to add Courses to My Dashboard for "do later"! I found some excellent materials on Courses list that I want to look at but at a later time. The option to "bookmark" them would enable me to do so without having to browse the list of the courses and find them again...

    Just wanted to add the this MVA SIte was a fantastic idea and the live events are an absolute plus!!! Keep up the good job.

  • Michael Aldridge
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    @Pedro Thanks so much for your candid feedback and staying up so late to get the benefits of our live events. Confusing you is not our goal :) So we will work to refine our e-mails to prevent that.

    If you go to our live events page on the MVA site you can see the latest recorded sessions. We have an RSS feed there that can help notify you. Look for the RSS icon next to Recorded Events. We will also take your feedback to think about new ways to make recorded events easier to discover.

    We are working on some ideas for the future that could you very excited related to bookmarking. Stay tuned and thank you again for ideas your support.

  • Anonymous
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