Very Important Update March 2016
I wanted to pass along another update about CareerAcademy. They have recently launched a brand new membership platform that includes access to all of their courses (IT, CyberSecurity and Project Management etc.). Some of you have asked about it in the comments so I reached out to CA to get some info for you.
The CareerAcademy membership is just $29 for a 1 year of access.
The membership benefits include:
- Unlimited free access to 1,200+ online IT, Cyber Security, Project Management, IT Service Management and Business Skills certification training courses
- Certificates of Completion
- Over 11,000+ Review Questions
- Ability to obtain up to 611 PDUs
- Mobile Learning
- Priority customer support
Its really a huge offering for such a small membership fee. I am glad to see that CareerAcademy is now 100% mobile friendly with their courses.
To get access to such a large offering of training courses, you really can’t go wrong with a $29 membership fee.
The key thing here is that not only has the price plummeted, the range of courses available has increased and – more importantly to my mind – the courses are now mobile friendly. There is no dedicated Android App available yet but when I browsed the website on my Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro and my Samsung Galaxy S6, the videos streamed perfectly over a cellular connection
Kudos to CareerAcademy for shaking up their platform while at the same time reducing the price to access it!
Important Update Aug 2014: Career Academy got in touch with me to discuss the developments to their platform and a couple of errors in my post below, please read my updated post here for more information.
I recently saw an offer on Groupon for access to Career Academy on-line learning courses – including Microsoft Server 2012 courses – for only $90, the catch being that it only gave you access for 90 days. As I needed to update my Microsoft qualifications I figured I’d give it a go and went for the offer. To help others make an informed decision I decided to document the process and provide a review of the Career Academy learning platform.
Update July 2014: While I tried to use the platform regularly, the fact I could only access the content on a PC (not my phone or tablet) drastically reduced when I used it, that combined with the poor interface lead me to use the course less and less until in the end, one third of the way through the Microsoft Windows Server 2012 70-410 course, I abandoned it completely and just used the booked I purchased (MCSA Windows Server 2012 Complete Study Guide (for 70-410, 70-411, 70-412, and 70-417)). Unless Career Academy shake things up a bit, I wont be returning and I’m a definitely more suspicious of Groupon ‘deals’ now!
Career Academy Platform Overview
When browsing the courses, I was presented with a collapsible ‘tree’ type interface that was unclear and illogical – a usability nightmare and the first of many examples of cut corners on the UX front.
After identifying the course I wanted take, I jumped straight in to the first module.
The first thing I noticed was that the platform was driven by Adobe Flash, while not too surprising I would have thought that for a course as new as mine, they would have switched to a more modern HTML5 based platform (after all, Flash means no-go for iPad users).
The video player, which is the main player for all of the content of the course is even smaller still at a measly 480 x 360 pixels – very small.
I really feel Career Academy are missing a trick here because a great time for users to do there on-line learning is during their commute – I regularly use both the Treehouse and Duolingo learning platforms on my Samsung Galaxy S2 phone on the train or bus home, giving me a regular slot every day that doesn’t eat in to my home time or work day.
Self-Assessment: Review Quizzes
The Career Academy system features regular ‘review quizzes’ for testing your comprehension of the current module – this is a great idea but unfortunately is poorly executed. The programming behind the Career Academy is basic at best and seems particularly picky. A couple of examples are the following question:
Which of the following is a typical version of cloud computing? a) Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) b) Software as a Service (Saas) d) Platform as a Service (Paas) d) All of the above
If you check a, b and c (providing the correct answer) the quiz marks this as wrong because you didn’t select ‘All of the above‘ – it’s a small thing but annoying and something that is easily fixed by decent programming.
It also frequently gives the wrong feedback to an incorrect answer which can send you in circles retaking the test but not being able to work out where you are going wrong. For example I was asked the following question:
Which of the following are features of Windows Server? (Choose all that apply) a) Network load balancing b) Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption c) Group Policy Management d) WSUS
The correct answer is a, b and c but when I selected only b and c, the quiz told me “Windows Update Services (WSUS) is a role” rather than “Network load balancing is also a feature”. I then assumed I’d misunderstood the question and by features they meant features and roles – I retook the quiz and select b, c and d, to again be told “Windows Update Services (WSUS) is a role”.
Alas, it’s pretty clear that Career Academy don’t do particularly robust testing of the review quiz module.
So far the course content has been pretty good although I’m in the early stage – I’ll update as I go along!