Microsoft Virtual Academy

Microsoft Virtual Academy is a website for Developers and IT Pros offering free Microsoft training delivere d by experts. Follow us on Twitter @MSVirtAcademy

We Heard You! New MVA Dashboard Offers Improved Personalized Learning

Michael Aldridge

Since we launched the new MVA site earlier this summer, one of the most frequent requests from the MVA community and the Tell the Dean alias has been “give us more control over our courses”.

Many comments said things like, “I want to delete courses from my dashboard I don’t intend to finish” or “I want to re-order my courses and have more control over how I track my learning”.

Your feedback spurred us to take a hard look at MVA’s “My Dashboard” experience. How could we help give you better control? How could we ideally add some new capabilities to help you personalize your own learning and skill building with MVA?

I am pleased to unveil three significant new improvements for MVA learners that are live right now that I hope show you we are listening to you.

1) A New Improved “My Dashboard”  (you can finally delete courses) :)
You asked for it, we are excited to finally now give it to you.

  • We created a new tab for “Courses in Progress” that allows you to delete any course in your listing.
  • We extended your personal control to allow you to re-order courses or drag and drop them in whatever order you please.
  • We created a new tabbed UI to help you manage all the new elements of your dashboard and added to totally new feature too (below).

2) Introducing “My Learning Plan”
Another new exciting addition to “My Dashboard” and your entire MVA experience is "My Learning Plan, a new widget you can customize to build your own personal MVA course learning plans. “My Learning Plan” follows you through the MVA experience and acts like a personal shopping basket for skill building (or bookmarking)  allowing you to add courses that interest you across:

  • Search results
  • Topic pages
  • Course pages
  • And then it helps you track your progress.

The exciting part about "My Learning Plan" is you are at the center of this plan because you define and personalize it based on the skills or knowledge you need and want. For example, you could create a learning plan on a particular topic like C# Programming or training on a product like Deploying Windows Server 2012 and then add the courses you want to your tailored plan. Any registered MVA learner can create and manage their own “learning plans” as part of our new dashboard experience today. 

The "My Learning" widget you customize in "My Dashboard" then follows you on the far right rail of MVA as you visit any topic or course page. You can add a course by simply looking for the green circle (see below), hover over, and select the plan you want to add that course to, and press the add button.

3) Improved Search: Now Includes Live Events in Search Results and Improved Keyword Matching
Search now integrates not just on-demand courses but also relevant Live Events like Jump Starts or Live Q&A.  For example, today when you type in a term like SQL Server you will see the latest Live courses available for registration together with SQL on-demand courses. We have also improved our search filters with a tabbed UI to make them more discoverable.

So check these new features out and tell us what you think. And if we missed something, well tell us that too!

MVA’s mantra is “Successful technologists never stop learning and great technology never stops evolving.” Your feedback is our fuel, and powers us to think about how to improve MVA with every monthly sprint we do. Thanks for pushing us to evolve MVA and keep the feedback coming, especially the stuff that bugs you we still need to fix.

We are listening; this is your MVA.

Kind regards,


  • Anonymous
    | |

    How about a MVA Windows 8 App ?

  • Michael Aldridge
    | |

    @ Rob Thanks for the feedback. It is on our roadmap and we'd love to hear from you and others what you would like to see in a great Win 8 MVA app.

    | |

    The dashboard looks great, but I can no longer log in from home with IE 10 or work with IE9.  I can log in to Technet, Bing, etc and I can log in to MVA with Google Chrome.

    It's just an ironic annoyance, the site and courses are fantastic.  Great service, thanks.

  • Matthew Calder (MVA)
    | |

    Sorry about the hassles, J. Send mail to and we might be able to help you out.

  • Anonymous
    | |

    Love the new changes!

    Well done, how about a Windows Phone 8 App?

    That would be awesome :)

    Shame to see the cheating still happening in the top 10 leaderboard,

    But the only person they are cheating is themselves, so it doesn't really matter :)

    | |


    We really appreciate the improvements made in the MVA portal but I miss one little thing that could make easier my searchs for new courses.

    Could you please add a "completed courses" filter so that those courses don't appear when making a search?

    Best Regards,

  • Matthew Calder (MVA)
    | |

    Great idea,!

    | |

    Thank you Matthew.

    Today, I am using the "learning path" feature to kind of trace the completed courses in the search page. I've created a learning path called "Completed Courses" so that I can distiguish the new courses (or those whom I'm not interested in) from the subscribed to or the completed ones (via the "green point" used to mark those courses included in a learning path).

    Best regards,