Windows 7 Deployment Learning Portal
Recently, after a UK pilot run, The Test Factory (on behalf of Microsoft, through TechNet) released a new tool designed to assess the strengths and gaps of your knowledge about Windows 7 deployment, and with that assessment, offer up helpful tips and training resources so you can fill those gaps.
With more and more businesses moving to Windows 7, it’s important to ensure that technicians have the resources they need to successfully complete their deployments without a hitch. The Windows 7 Deployment Learning Portal is a great way to find out what you, as an IT professional, might need to brush up on before starting on your Windows 7 deployment.
Stephen Rose, Sr. Community Manager for Windows 7, notes that “the Springboard Windows 7 Learning Deployment Portal is designed to guide IT Pro’s deployment education by:
- Enabling individuals to measure their proficiency and knowledge against key benchmarks
- Identifying specific skills gaps or areas of weakness to address
- Create personalized learning plans through direction to resources based on the areas and scope of knowledge gaps
- Provide informal knowledge checks through learning and re-assess areas initially identified as knowledge gaps
- Recognizing critical Windows 7 deployment skills and helping to build IT Pro confidence to deploy Windows 7″
Aiming for a global audience, the Windows 7 Deployment Learning Portal is available in many different languages, including German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese (simplified and traditional).
Here’s what the portal looks like after you register/login (click on the image to enlarge):
After first visiting the Windows 7 Deployment Portal, one thing you may notice is that it requires a separate registration, apart from Windows Live, (used by TechNet,) and notes that your data will be sent to The Test Factory, located in the UK. This most likely just means that your answers will be sent in order to get responses, but it’s important to note anyhow.
Once registered, you’ll be presented with a set of modules created for each stage of deployment. I found that this was really helpful, allowing you to see the entire course outline before you start. The presentation was very clear and to the point, and you’re informed right away about the estimated length of the modules, (a few minutes each,) and after starting a module, you’ll be informed of the pass percentage (usually 80%.)
Module Questions and Formatting
The module questions are presented very clearly and are multiple-choice in nature. (Either single-choice or multiple-answer.) Each module, consisting of 10 questions each, will offer up the ability to move forward and back through the questions freely, and allows you to mark questions for review. Once the test is complete, you’ll be given a chance to revisit questions that you marked for review (and even ones that you haven’t marked for review.)
What Happens After Each Module?
Once you have completed each module, you’ll be given a pass mark, (percentage,) and if applicable, answers and resources for any question you may have answered incorrectly.
Should you not pass a module, the site will note, “By examining your results we can suggest further learning materials tailored to your personal level of achievement. We recommend you review the following resources, and re-take the test with your new found knowledge.” These resources may include articles, videos, labs, and trainings within the TechNet Library.
These resources are organized in two ways. You can view them as-is, or click on “question specific resources” to see them organized by each question you missed. This helps to better associate what you’re looking to learn when using each resource. You are also given all 10 questions, along with associated resources, just in case you would like to brush up on a topic after answering the question correctly.
After you’ve completed each resource material, a check mark will come up next to said resource on the results page, noting your completion. After you’ve gone through all of the resources, you’ll be given the option to retake the test (and “pass with flying colors,” as they note,) or continue on to the next module.
What Modules Are Covered?
The modules cover a lot of ground; here are the names of each module so you can get a better feel of what is covered. In my opinion, the coverage is vast, especially with the resources provided after each test. The resources are spot on, and go over exactly what you need to know (and more) to answer the question correctly.
- Preparing your deployment
- Windows 7 deployment methods and technologies
- Prepare the environment for a Windows 7 deployment
- Configuring an Image
- Create a Windows 7 image
- Update a Windows 7 image
- Deploy a Windows 7 image
- Migrate computers to Windows 7
- Compatibility testing
- Configure and Manage Application Compatibility
- Deployment methods
- Light Touch Installation using Windows Deployment Services (WDS)
- Deploy using System Center Configuration Manager
- Create and Manage Windows PE environment
- Manage deployments with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
I really enjoyed the portal for many reasons, the most important being: I learned a lot. There were some questions that I thought I knew the answer to, but was only partially right (or completely wrong.) The resources that followed helped me to improve myself as an IT professional, and ready myself should I need to complete a deployment, which is exactly what the portal was created to do.
This would be a great training resource for anyone looking to practice for an exam, brush up before a large deployment, or even test your newfound skills after taking a TrainSignal video course.
Need more than what the Windows 7 Deployment Learning Portal has to offer? Check out Train Signal’s new Windows 7 Deployment Training created by Microsoft’s Setup and Deployment MVP, Rhonda Layfield. This is the most comprehensive Windows 7 deployment video training, covering every deployment tool and technique that’s available. It will help you master Windows 7 deployment and prepare you for the 70-681 MCTS exam.
Learn more: Windows 7 Deployment Training