Microsoft Consolidates Learning Functions
After listening to customer feedback, Microsoft has decided to deliver an updated score report that includes a numerical score as well as a breakdown of the test-taker’s performance in specific skill areas. In addition, Microsoft recently united three of its business units under Microsoft Learning—Microsoft Training and Certification, Microsoft Press and Microsoft TechNet subscriptions.
This new Microsoft Learning group will provide skill assessments, learning product offerings, books, online reference materials and formal training. Lutz Ziob, who serves on Certification Magazine’s editorial board, will head up the department as general manager of Microsoft Learning. In an interview on the Microsoft.com Web site, Ziob said that the goal of Microsoft Learning is to help customers and partners gain the knowledge and skill needed to effectively use Microsoft technology.
“Some level of instruction is always needed to get the most from software products that are smart, highly efficient and help people do their jobs better,” said Ziob. “Therefore, our mission is to make Microsoft Learning a trusted IT companion for life.”
Microsoft also announced that starting with the release of the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 exams, it will be providing a more detailed score report on its certification exams. Just last year, Microsoft dropped the more detailed format, showing test-takers only the pass-fail decision. By the end of September 2003, most Microsoft certification exams will include the new score report format, which includes a numerical score and a bar graph covering each skill section on the exam.
By presenting exam results in this way, Microsoft allows test-takers to learn the areas where they have strengths or where they need to study harder. But, Microsoft warns that MCP exams are not meant to provide detailed feedback, even with the updated scoring format. Microsoft suggests that candidates should use practice tests from Microsoft Certified Practice Test Providers to determine their strengths and weaknesses, and to discover whether they’re ready to tackle the real exam.
For more information on Microsoft training and certification, go to http://www.microsoft.com/traincert.
Emily Hollis is associate editor for Certification Magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.