This document explains hands-on labs in Cloud Academy. This feature is available to personal and enterprise Cloud Academy accounts.
Important: Some labs may not be available during the free trial period.
This document contains the following sections:
- What Are Hands-on Labs
- What to Expect From a Hands-on Lab
- Pause and Resume
- How to Use a Hands-on Lab
What Are Hands-on Labs
Hands-on labs are a kind of lab — Cloud Academy's interactive learning tool. Hands-on labs guide you through practical experiences in live cloud environments, such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, with more arriving continually. You can find the list of existing labs in the Cloud Academy library, and see the Upcoming Content list to see what hands-on labs are scheduled for the future.
Unlike tutorials where you only read or hear information, hands-on labs give you the chance to also try your new skills. Hands-on labs help you learn faster and better because the lab offers the ability to practice and experiment.
You do not need your own account credentials to use the hands-on labs. When you start a hands-on lab, the system launches all the necessary resources and starts the timer. The technology you are learning about appears on your screen with clear instructions to guide you.
Tip: If your corporate firewall prevents you from accessing the lab tools, you may be able to use the Enterprise Bridge Function (sometimes called "bridge mode") to access the labs while continuing to comply with your corporate policies.
The instructions take you through a set of steps to demonstrate the functionality in a a secure sandbox environment with no additional costs, no new accounts, and no test instances to clean up. After you successfully complete the assigned steps, the hands-on lab is complete.
Enterprise users can customize hands-on labs using Content Engine. You can clone an existing lab and change the base environment or steps in the lab to match your technology stack. A customized hands-on lab helps your learners safely become comfortable in the context of your environment without you having to provision test accounts or risk your own infrastructure.
What to Expect From a Hands-on Lab
Like all content, hands-on labs offer detailed information before you begin the lab. You can find the name and description, plus the amount of time allotted to complete the steps.
Completing a hands-on lab updates your skill profile. If the lab is part of a learning path, then completing it continues you on the path.
For most hands-on labs, stopping in the middle causes your progress to be lost. In that case, your profile is not updated, and the learning path (if applicable) cannot be completed until you restart the lab and finish it. However, some labs allow you to pause and resume. For these labs, you can pause the lab timer for up to 1 hour.
When you complete a hands-on lab, a feedback tool appears where you can rate the lab with a number of stars. The average rating from all learners who have already taken the lab appears for your reference when you're choosing a lab to take.
Pause and Resume
Some hands-on labs allow you to briefly pause the lab timer and resume it again later. When you're working on a lab that supports pause and resume, you can pause the lab as many times as you like, but the total amount of time the lab is paused must be less than 1 hour.
If a hands-on lab supports pause and resume, you see this message when you open the lab:
Once you have started the lab, a pause button appears at the top next to the lab timer.
When you click the pause button, a confirmation screen appears. Important: The lab timer is still running until you click Pause lab on this confirmation window.
A message appears telling you that the lab is paused. Click Resume lab to pick up where you left off.
How to Use a Hands-on Lab
You encounter hands-on labs as you discover labs on topics that you want to learn about. Tip: When you search in the content library, you can use the Content type filter at the top of the screen to limit the results to hands-on labs.
Use the following steps to start a hands-on lab:
Click the hands-on lab that you want to start. A page appears with detailed information about the hands-on lab.
Click on the Start Lab button. The lab content appears and the timer begins.
Complete the steps.
When you finish the lab, you can share the result and return to the labs list.
Tip: If you're having trouble with a lab, check out the Hands-on Lab Guides. The articles in this section offer tips for the most commonly used labs.
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