Hands-On Walkthrough (HOW) Sessions: A new way to learn

Developer Support

Dev Consultant Kevin Kraus spotlights HOW Sessions, an interactive way to learn through your Premier and Unified support relationship with Microsoft.

Within the Microsoft Developer Support organization, we have fostered and grown many different types of deliveries to better help our customers learn and implement the latest Microsoft technologies. Each of these methods has pros and cons when it comes to how our customers prefer to learn.

One of my focuses when I engage with customers is having participants follow along with my live coding exercises, allowing them to practice these methodologies and stay engaged during delivery. This live coding style engagement has proven to be very effective with hands on keyboards, facilitating greater engagement and retention.

Live coding in front of an audience can present its own set of challenges. Figuring out how to address these challenges and create a delivery model that is focused on student engagement and retention is a primary focus.

This is why Microsoft Developer Support has created a new delivery model called HOW sessions. These sessions are built on specifically to maximize the engagement and retention of Microsoft technologies within our students.

How sessions are built on these following tenets:

  1. Live Coding over Slides
    1. Active participation throughout delivery
    2. Greater retention of content (Hands on Keyboard)
    3. Attendance skills are appropriate for content
  2. Instructor guidance over Hand On Labs (HOLs)
    1. General guidance and reference document links to official Microsoft documentation
    2. Docs are created using markdown language and live within a GitHub repository, allowing for easy updates and ability to accept Pull Requests from community.
    3. Great readiness format for learning
  3. Pair Programming over Isolation
    1. Less skilled students can be paired with someone with higher skills
    2. Less overall student machines where something could go wrong
    3. Two people troubleshoot issues better than one which promotes better retention
  4. Consultant Know-how over canned demos
    1. Content is always current based on consultant’s up to date knowledge
    2. Removes the need to continually update slides, demos, and HOLs

If you’d like to know more about our HOW Sessions, please reach out to your Application Development Manager for more details.


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