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The Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is a free online school with courses that cover Microsoft-related topics and specific Microsoft products.
The MVA offers a mix of on-demand courses and live events; each course contains a video and PDF download of the video transcript. A self-assessment component is available at the end of each module. Students are awarded points and can move to different levels of recognition based on the progress they make. Points are earned by watching videos, downloading video transcripts and self-assessment quizzes; the more points a member earns, the more opportunities she is given to participate in other MVA offerings. A leaderboard tracks the most active members. Although MVA offers free training for Microsoft certifications, members cannot earn certification directly through the Academy.
Topics offered through the MVA include business intelligence (BI), server infrastructure, desktop management and device security, licensing, programming and cloud computing. The coursework is designed to help lifelong learners work more effectively with Microsoft Lync, SharePoint, System Center, Office 365, SQL Server, Visual Studio, Windows Azure, Windows Phone and Windows Intune.