My experience as a student of the USPJ Academy
For a year now, I have been involved in the USPJ Academy. First in the piloting phase, now in the ‘real’ phase.
The main reasons I got involved in this Academy was the low costs, the ability to study in my own time, next to my work and improving on several SharePoint skills thus becoming a better SharePoint Consultant/developer.
Based on the courses I have followed, I can only say that this academy is really excellent. Traditional teaching includes going to a 5 days course, getting overloaded with information for 40 hours. The next weeks you don’t have time to spend on this new learned stuff and quickly you forget things. The USPA Academy has introduced a new type of learning: the online collaborative courses. This type of courses includes learning the new stuff in an average of 6 weeks, where you not only learn things, but also through collaborating with fellow students, make assignments. A weeks studying includes watching videos, reading articles, answering forums assignments and making individual and team assignments. And the nice thing is that you can do this in your own time, whether that’s during the day, in the evening or at midnight. You just have to finish your weekly assignments before the deadline.
The nice thing is, because you do the studying next to your ‘normal’ work, the learning experience is much in tenser for me than ‘traditional’ courses. Next to this, because of the input of fellow students, the learning experiences is much greater. In several courses I was able to use what I’ve learned during the course, put the practice in my daily work. Thus making me much more profitable for my company. Next to the collaborating courses, there are also self paced courses. These self paced course are for students who want to take a course without all the assignments and collaborative stuff with fellow students.
Next to the courses the student is following, you have access to all courses materials, like instruction videos, webinars, PDF e-books, articles and… you are able to communicate on a daily basis with the various teachers like Bjorn Furuknap, Marc D Anderson, Christina Wheeler and Laura Dochtery. The USPJ Academy provides in demo SharePoint environments based on the Amazon platform for students how don’t have their own SharePoint images. What also is very cool is that you get to meet fellow students from all over the world, making it a very international Academy.
I do recommend people to try this type of learning. It’s really ‘2011’, the costs are low compared to ‘traditional’ courses and if it not suits you, you can always quit the next month.
Introducing SharePoint 2010 for Developers
SharePoint Designer 2010 Workflow
Beginning SharePoint Development
Data View Web Part Basics
Marc D Anderson