Distance Learning with Magnolia

We understand the resilience and adaptability our customers and partners have shown and we have done the same with our offerings to help cope with changes.

by Cass Weber, Professional Services Manager at Magnolia
Jun 18, 2020 | 5 MIN

Traditional classroom-style learning has always been the way to go. It’s a timeless mode of instruction that has proven benefits as it promotes interaction and engagement during the entirety of the session. This allows attendees to build rapport with Magnolia experts and new or experienced Magnolia project developers. Also, participants are keener to ask questions.

For us, it is also a chance to learn the various project setups, requirements and expectations of our customers and partners. We then tailor the courses to ensure that we are equipping developers with sufficient Magnolia knowledge to be able to produce their desired digital experiences.

The instructor-led Basel and onsite training have been going on for years and while that has always been effective, at the back of our minds we knew that going digital was simply the next logical step.

Our Journey to Distance Learning

We want to adapt to the demands of our customers and partners especially those that are overseas. Magnolia is known for having a close relationship with our customers and partners, and we are dedicated to maintaining and nurturing it.

We considered several solutions, including open and free text-based training as well as remote video-based training. Finally, we agreed to launch an all-new Magnolia Academy and scheduled it for release in 2020. The official release date, however, was yet not defined at that time.

It is undeniable that one of the influencing factors of finally moving online is the current global situation where we are all being forced to stay at home and work remotely. To cope with this issue we needed to come up with additional offers that would make use of the resources that were already available. More importantly, we needed to speed up the development of Magnolia Academy.

It was clear that the time was ripe to move from traditional training to distance learning.

Remote Training Opportunities

We based our solutions on one of our existing offers. Our Magnolia Author and Content Editor training is an on-demand three-hour remote training conducted via Zoom. We know Zoom works, we have training materials in place. Access was already available to laptops with a microphone and a camera - we just needed a schedule and went online.

We adapted this solution and transformed the two other existing developer courses into virtual instructor-led training courses. We have added the Magnolia Website Developer training and Full-Stack Magnolia Developer training as a remote training with fixed schedules.

Remote training available for:

  • Magnolia Author and Content Editor training – schedule on demand

  • Magnolia Website Developer training – schedule listed on our website

  • Full-Stack Magnolia Developer training – schedule listed on our website

This seemed like a perfect solution, except that not everyone has the liberty to sit down for two to four full days learning the ins and outs of a modern CMS. Developers had other projects and most importantly, a life.

To remain mindful of them, we decided to offer another option called “Self-study” where a developer who wishes to learn about Magnolia can go through the training material on their own anywhere, anytime. The developer can request for a special Q&A session with a trainer to discuss unclear points or exercise blockers.

Available for:

  • Magnolia Website Developer training

  • Full-Stack Magnolia Developer training

Knowing our customers and partners, we also took into consideration those who prefer to learn and work with their own team exclusively. This gives them an opportunity to ask project-specific questions without the risk of exposing sensitive information or data. This brings us to another option which we tag as “Flexible schedule for your team”.

Available for:

  • Full-Stack Magnolia Developer training – schedule on demand

In a span of two months, we managed to quickly transform our training courses and adapt them for distance learning. We premiered the remote training on April 16–17 and April 20–23, 2020 with a full-house attendance.

Magnolia Academy

Last March, 25th 2020 we have officially announced the release of Magnolia Academy. This time with a clearer target date: Q2.

Magnolia Academy is our online learning solution for Magnolia users. It comprises a collection of video-based online courses and is packed with exercises and knowledge checkpoints. Solution codes are shared through Git.

Our first course offering is the Magnolia Website Developer training where you learn about Light Development and Magnolia's CLI tool to build websites quickly without the need to program in Java.

Moving Forward

In the past months, we showed resilience and adaptability. We were able to respond to the increasing demand of going digital, and as a result, we realized how flexible we could be.

Moving forward, we do not expect these distance learning options to replace the in-house instructor-led Basel or onsite training courses fully. Some options may remain available as alternatives. Magnolia Academy will be a long-term alternative.

We are still keeping the traditional learning because aside from its proven effectiveness, it is always nice to gather in a room with our customers and partners. We prefer to simply give a modern touch to a beloved classic.

With the better days coming, we see our offerings improving too.

Cass Weber

About the Author

Cass oversees Services tasks and ensures a smooth and successful delivery. She started as a trainer and still provides training and helps out coordinating various training offering.

See all posts by Cass Weber