My role in the development of the new intro to SharePoint course (#1501) is to be involved in the selection and organisation of content then to review and pass feedback to the author as he develops the new material.
Our goal is to produce a course that provides real world value in a way that is easy to understand. Ideally what you learn today you can use today.
SharePoint 2010 brings many new features and plenty of changes for us to convey in the course however we also have to cover the fundamentals so at present we are just getting started on laying it all out. We currently have a detailed outline and Dux is now writing the exercise manual. This really drives our course forward as we need a set of meaningful exercises that build up from the basics to more complex pieces of work. When this is done he will write the course notes and at every stage of the way I am looking over his shoulder (metaphorically) to make sure he does what we agreed and in a way that will be really useful.
One of the exciting new features is that of the new fluent (ribbon) interface which is similar to the ribbon found in the Office 2007 products. This is a context aware menu system that makes it easy to get to the task you are working on.
Naturally you can expect to see this covered in detail in the course and by the end of the week attendees will have mastered it. However the Ribbon brings about a fundamental change for companies deploying SharePoint 2010. In the past users would simply use the SharePoint interface and find it was fairly simple – just a bunch of hyperlinks, images and content. Many companies customized this and if it was designed well it would be easy to use.
Now the Ribbon brings a big decision point for SharePoint adoption as now the user interface is at first glance more complex and many more users may need training to get the hang of it than in previous SharePoint versions. Such topics may also end up as discussion or workshops in the course which can add to the interactive nature of the way we like to teach.
Another challenge we face is what to leave out, SharePoint 2010 is so feature rich that we would like to cover it all. Dux and I argued for a 20 day version of the course (just to cover the basics) but Karen won’t give in which means we are going to focus really hard on what is important. Whatever content we finally end up with there is just so much good stuff in SharePoint 2010 that it’s going to be a great course.