Learning SharePoint at USPJA. Part 3: Our Philosophy

I was going through the USPJA web pages and noticed that we hadn’t really focused enough on what our ideas are. As such, I wrote a new page containing an overview of our ideas, and thought it would make sense to post those ideas here as well.

As I have mentioned previously in this series, I’m not saying that class room training is a bad idea, but I think the ideas we have solves some of the problems of traditional class room training. For some, class room training is the only thing that works, and of course, having something else then is not going to give you anything.

However, I am a huge lover of freedom and I have a tendency to do things my way. If you are anything like me in that respect, you may value the freedom that USPJA provides too.

Here’s what I posted on the new page:

We know that you are extremely busy. If you are in the SharePoint industry already, your days are probably already filled with plenty of work.

On the other hand, you also need to stay up-to-date on new technologies and methods. That takes time, a commodity that is too scarce already.

Traditional SharePoint training happens in class rooms, in which an instructor leads a number of participants through a pre-determined curriculum. However, there are massive drawbacks to this approach:

  • You need to take time off your already busy schedule, usually the entire day or days, while the training lasts.
  • You need to attend at fixed dates and must find someone to replace you or postpone your regular projects.
  • You need to travel to a training location or at the very least have a trainer come to you and provide location and equipment for training yourself.
  • You get a fixed curriculum only – if you are a visual learner but the course only provides text content, your efficiency will drop.
  • If you want to stop a class to explore something else, you need to pay for and attend a different class.
  • If you find that the class isn’t right for you, you still have to pay and you have to pay again to take another class.
  • If you have a bad day and can’t concentrate, or become ill and have to stay home, you still have to pay, even if you don’t get any training value.
  • You learn everything within a short timespan and are expected to retain all knowledge – if you forget something, you need to pay for and retake the class.
  • After a training course is done, you’re on your own and have little or no support from the instructor or from your fellow students.

In short, the training provider determines when you learn, where you learn, what you learn, and how you learn.

Our philosophy is all about providing training on your terms. We want you to study what you want, when you want, where you want, and as much or as little as you want, without being financially punished for making these choices.

Studying at USPJA means:

  • You can study while you work and don’t need to take time off your regular responsibilities.
  • You can study whenever you want, both during the day, but also during the week. We have few real-time lectures or events, and those few we have are always recorded and made available.
  • You can study wherever you want – all our training happens online, and as long as you’re connected to the internet, you have full access to everything you need.
  • We provide multiple forms of content and you pick how you best learn, whether that is video lectures, text content, hands-on exercises, or guided assignments.
  • You can study any topic you want – all our training content is always available, 24/7/365.
  • If you want to stop a course and learn something different, it’s as easy as clicking a button.
  • You can spend as much or as little time as you want to learn and because the content remains available, you can revisit it at any time.
  • You pay only your tuition, regardless of how much you study, how many classes you take, whether you abort a class, or whether you study one hour a day or all day.
  • After you complete any of your training efforts, you are still part of the community, the faculty is still here to help you, and you’ll meet your fellow students the next day.

In short, our ideas mean that you, as a student, are in control of how you want to learn, what, when, and where you want to learn, without being penalized for having that freedom.

You can safely explore different methods of learning, whether that is taking classes, doing self-paced courses, exploring content in the library, trying out your ideas in our labs, or any of the other options we provide.

Because you pay a fixed tuition per month, you can do all of this without being afraid of losing money if what you try doesn’t work for you.

You choice is really whether you want freedom or just want to tag along with what someone else has chosen for you.


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Bjørn Furuknap

I previously did SharePoint. These days, I try new things to see where I can find the passion. If you have great ideas, cool projects, or is in general an awesome person, get in touch and we might find out together.

One thought on “Learning SharePoint at USPJA. Part 3: Our Philosophy”

  1. Reminds me of college (as opposed to high school, wherein schedules and assignments were rigid). I love that all training content is permanently available!

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