Office 365 end user courses in Microsoft Virtual Academy, please?


One of my Office 365 peers is currently involved in a large project to move the Gaelic Athletic Association’s (GAA) 12,000 users from Google Apps to Office 365.
Sean O’Farrell of Ergo in Ireland is playing a key role in the migration of email. Among other aspects of the project, Microsoft will be providing training videos to upload to the GAA’s eLearning site.

Office 365 user training is a hot topic and I’ve blogged about various resources available from Microsoft in the past. End user training resources for Office 2013 and Office 365 and Office 365 for Business Learning Center.

It occurs to me that Microsoft could make better use of the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) for this very purpose. Most of the content in the MVA is targeted towards IT Professionals, to help them implement various services and technologies from the Microsoft stack. I’ve viewed some of the Ignite videos for Office 365 and a lot of effort has been put into making them.

However, there is potential to use the MVA platform to offer shorter, bite-sized courses with the content aimed at Office 365 end users. Content could be organized according to the different services Exchange, SharePoint and Lync Online. Office software training for Office 365 could simply address the features that are used with Office 365 services. For example, how to use the Office 2013 Open and Save As options to access documents in SharePoint Online.

The MVA platform already has the mechanisms to take tests and track your progress through the courses. Where it could be improved is if there was federation and integration between MVA and Office 365 / Windows Azure Active Directory. The addition of a training section in the Getting Started page could help Office 365 users enrol in MVA.
Office 365 users could register or log into MVA with their Office 365 account, via Windows Azure Active Directory.
A new Office 365 admin role for HR could allow them to enrol and track progress of users participation in MVA based training, direct from the Office 365 portal.

Office 365 end user training courses in MVA would be a good supplement to instructor led training, be it in person or online.

There is potential for Microsoft to improve the user adoption of all Office 365 services by implementing ideas like these.
What other ideas do you have to improve Office 365 end user training and adoption?

- Darrell Webster | | @DarrellCWebster