Course Management - Overview
- Updated on 31 Mar 2020
- 6 minutes to read
Microsoft Community Training platform allows you to create and manage courses, as well as categorize them quickly and easily. Organizations can add rich multi-media content, quizzes and exams to a course and create a structured learning experience for the learners.
All the management functionalities of courses are stacked together in a single panel under the Courses Tab – a one-stop-shop for administrators to manage content on the portal. From the course tab, administrators can create courses, change course outline, upload and manage course materials, configure course settings, check course analytics and much more.
In this section, you will learn how to leverage the course management capabilities on the management portal to create and manage your online learning content.
Course structure on the platform
Microsoft Community Training platform provides the following learning taxonomy to categories and structure content on the portal:
A Category is a collection of multiple courses.
Think of it like a subject or a domain in a traditional education system. Within that subject or domain, you can have one or more courses each of which may instruct learners on a specific topic within the domain.
For example, training your extended workforce may include different subjects such as communication, interpersonal relationships, customer satisfaction and compliance. Each of these subjects can be a category on the platform.
Alternatively, categories can also help you organize your learning content for different departments within your organization such as marketing, legal, customer support and finance. Each of these departments can be a category on the platform.
A Course is a collection of lessons and assessments.
Think of it as a book in a traditional education system. For each course, you can have multiple lessons as chapters. After each lesson, you may optionally include a Practice Quiz to serve as a refresher on the lesson. Finally, you may include an Exam at the end of the course to evaluate the learner’s knowledge and proficiency on the entire content of that course.
Every course may also include a certificate, that will be awarded to the learner on either a successful completion of the course or passing the exam, depending on your choice.
For example, an organization has a technical course on Washing Machine installation with a total duration of 20 minutes from start to finish. We can divide the video into segments of 2 to 3 minutes resulting in 6-10 lessons and add an exam towards the end to assess and certify the learners.
A Lesson is a single unit of learning in the form of Audio, Video, PDF, Word document or PowerPoint presentation. These are created as easy-to-learn capsules – short, simple and informative.
Supported file formats for content
- Video lessons: MP4, 3GP, 3G2, 3GP2, AVI, MEPG, MPG, WMV, VOB, MKV, FLV, DV, TS, ASF, M4V, MOV
- Audio Lessons: MP3 & OGG
- Other formats: PDF, PPT, PPTX, DOCX, HTML5
- Hyperlinks: Paste link in the upload lesson dialogue box.
Assessments are a way to test learner’s understanding of the course content and check their knowledge & proficiency. They may contain one or more multiple-choice questions. Microsoft Community Training platform provides two types of assessments:
A Practice Quiz to serve as a refresher for learners and facilitate revision of a particular lesson. It encourages and motivates the learner to go to the next lesson.
For example, a learner who has seen 3 lessons takes a Practice Quiz and finds that he has got 2 out of 3 questions correct. He can go back to the lesson, view it again and then repeat the quiz till he corrects his understanding.
An Exam is to evaluate learners on their proficiency and knowledge in a particular course, with limited number of attempts and passing percentage as specified by you.
Exam is always kept at the end of the course and learners can attempt only when they have completed all the lessons and practice quizzes in the course.
For example, an organization who wants to certify their technician on Washing Machine installation can put an exam at the end with a passing percentage to assess their knowledge and provide certificate accordingly.
Difference between a Practice Quiz and an Exam
|Purpose||Allows the learner to revise the concept of the previous lessons. Use it as a confidence-building reiteration of the key points in the previous lessons before moving further||Means of Assessment where the learner is evaluated for the questions. Based on the performance in the Exam, the learner is awarded a Certificate of Completion.|
|Functionalities||There is no restriction on the number of attempts for a Practice Quiz. There can be one or more practice quizzes in a course||There is passing percentage, a limit on the number of attempts and shuffle mode for an Exam. There can be only one Exam at the end of the course|
Organization can enable certification and offer customized certificates to the learners on successful completion of the courses.
Steps to create a course in the portal
Course creation is one of the core activities of any online learning program. This is why Microsoft Community Training platform provides specific set of features to help administrators to create new courses on the portal. Given below are the few simple steps to get started with course management on the management portal:
Step 1 - Create a new category
Here are the detailed steps on how to create new category on the portal.
Step 2 - Create a course
Here are the detailed steps on how to create a new course on the portal.
Step 3 – Upload content for the course
Here are the detailed steps on upload content for the course on the portal.
Step 4 – Add practice quiz and exam for the course
Here are the detailed steps on how to add quizzes and exams for the course on the portal.
Step 5 – Publish the course for the learners
Here are the detailed steps on how to publish a course for the learners on the portal.
View content analytics to track and measure effectiveness
Microsoft Community Training platform provides out of the box rich analytics for organizations to track overall learner’s enrollment and completion for different courses, measure learner’s performance and ensure quality of content in satisfactory and meets the success criteria set by the organization.
The management portal has content and user related in-built reports at category level to help administrators track and measure effectiveness of the learning content.
Best practices to create courses on the portal
Use bulk upload courses to create multiple courses on the portal in few simple clicks
For video lessons – keep the length of the video short i.e. 2-3 minutes for easy consumption
Categories and courses are alphabetically stacked, so it is best to use numbering 01, 02, 03, 04, 05 etc.
Order of categories/courses can be changed by editing the name/number
Only order of lessons is user defined and can be manually moved up/down.
For quizzes and exams, keep the questions simple to help learners revise and retain the training lessons. It must cover key points of the lessons to keep learners engaged and encourage them to complete the course.