I have attended six or seven of these things in the past two years and have the following information to pass
along to those who are considering enrolling in a Microsoft Instructor-Led course:
Most of these courses are 5 day
s long. The instructor will spend the first two hours
of the first day
of class discussing such important matters as where the bathrooms
are, where you can smoke
, what everybody's
names are and the like
. He/she may even get into a rough outline
of what will be covered each day (this is
subject to and very likely to change through the week however, depending on the amount of bitching
students provide). Regarding class times and length of the day:
No matter what time the class agrees to show up in the morning to save time at the end of the
day, most people will still show up at 9am.
Even though most of the class showed up at 9am instead of 7:30 or 8, they will expect to leave at
or before the agreed upon time.
It is unwritten but definitely understood that class will let out at the half-day mark on the
final day regardless of how much material there is left to cover. This is non-negotiable.
Roughly one-third of the class will be absent at any given time due to cell phone calls or
Once class is finally underway and all the bullshittery
is done, you will note that the instructor sticks
strictly to the Microsoft course material, sometimes reading verbatim from the text. All of the slide
presentation material as well comes directly from the text. The only time the instructor will part with the
course material is when asked a direct question by a student. This often produces amusing results
natural laws of Microsoft instructor lectures:
The Instructor does not like to be interrupted while reading from the text.
In the event the Instructor is interrupted, he/she will make an attempt to ignore the
raised hand or the voiced question.
Should the interruption continue, the Instructor will acknowledge the student and listen
politely to the question.
If the question concerns something already covered, the Instructor will repeat the material. If
it has not yet but will eventually be covered, the Instructor will inform the student of this and move on. If
the question does not appear in the text but is relevant to the real-world application of the subject being
covered, the Instructor will politely direct the student to information on another Microsoft course that will
answer his/her question.
The Instructor may at any time deviate from the text to impart some uninteresting anecdote
which has no bearing on the subject at hand.
Classroom activity during lectures is usually minimal, with most of the students either surfing the internet
checking their mail
or alternating between a semi-conscious wakefulness
and a disturbed sort of slumber.
Occasionally you may observe someone in a perpetual nod-state
, chin dropping as they lose consiousness and
snapping back up moments later. If some students know each other, they may take this opportunity to net send
each other concerning anything but the subject at hand.
Between lectures come the labs. These must be some kind of inside joke for Microsoft course designers because
they serve No Purpose At All
. Some traits of the Microsoft labs:
The labs are 'designed' to take anywhere from 30-60 minutes. This is odd as I've never seen one
that takes more than say, five.
The Instructor will always allow the full time for the labs, often incorporating them into
'snack breaks'. Much of this time however, is spent learning how to work the Solitaire and Pinball
The labs have excellent flow. They read like this: Point here, click here, type this, open
this, point here, click here. There, you're done. Wasn't that great? No. What did I just
After class the final day, the remaining students are rewarded with an official-looking certificate
that they somehow managed to sit through the entire drudgery
and should be commended for it, regardless of any
My serious recommendation to anyone considering taking one of these courses is, save your $1500-$2000 and buy
a couple books on the subject online or at your nearest bookstore (some of these will include evaluation copies
of the product you're studying).